Jade City by Fonda Lee
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is a doorstopper of a book set in a world similar to our own (technological levels of autos/phones/etc, although the countries and continents are different), with one large divergence: the most valuable substance in this world is jade, a "biogenetically reactive" mineral. Basically, people who live on the island of Kekon and are trained to handle it can psychically link with the jade to perform all sorts of feats.
This would be fine, and indeed the worldbuilding is fairly complicated and interesting....but unfortunately I have little to no interest in the characters. That's because this story is basically The Godfather/Goodfellas on a secondary world with magic, and I have never been into tales of gangsters or mobsters. There's a lot of kneecapping/assassinations/gore in the story, and while that would necessarily be a prominent part of these characters' lives, I found I really didn't care if they killed each other off. I managed to finish this book (barely) but the next two books in the series are as big or bigger than this 500-page monster, and I have no desire to tackle them.
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