In Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford, Chinatown’s dark and mystical underworld makes life hell for inspector Roku MacCormick. While racing to save innocents from the grips of a magical terror, he comes face to face with some serious feelings for his new partner. It’s a unique urban fantasy romance book with plenty of mystery and just a hint of romance.
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Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford
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Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 9, 2017)
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy
Length/Format: 1610 KB/240 pages
Heat Rating: 2
Star Rating: 3
About Rhys Ford:
Other Rhys Ford Books
Dim Sum Asylum Blurb:
Welcome to Dim Sum Asylum: a San Francisco where it’s a ho-hum kind of case when a cop has to chase down an enchanted two-foot-tall shrine god statue with an impressive Fu Manchu mustache that’s running around Chinatown, trolling sex magic and chaos in its wake.
Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage, snarling dragons guarding C-Town’s multiple gates, and exploding noodle factories. After a case goes sideways, Roku is saddled with Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, to add to the crime syndicate family he doesn’t want and a spell-casting serial killer he desperately needs to find.
While Roku would rather stay home with Bob the Cat and whiskey himself to sleep, he puts on his badge and gun every day, determined to serve and protect the city he loves. When Chinatown’s dark mystical underworld makes his life hell and the case turns deadly, Trent guards Roku’s back and, if Trent can be believed, his heart… even if from what Roku can see, Trent is as dangerous as the monsters and criminals they’re sworn to bring down.
I really enjoy most of the Rhys Ford books that I read but this one wasn’t my favorite. There is a lot going on in this book. Not just with the mystery and character development but with the setting itself as well. Combined it was just too much for me to keep track of and I got lost regularly. That being said, I did like the story. I found the characters intriguing and wanted to find out the ‘who done it’ at the end of the book. There are plenty of 5-star reviews for this urban fantasy romance book but personally, I think simpler would have been better.
Quick character assessment:
Roku is an inspector with the Arcane Crimes division in the Chinatown police district. He is half fae and half human and struggling with a past filled with loss and family drama. Roku is determined to serve and protect the city, no matter what magical creature gets in his way. He has no interest in his extended family or finding romance, although there are hints along the way that seem to indicate that he is lonelier than he lets on to others. His new partner seems to just ‘get’ him like no one else has in a very long time.
Leonard is a rookie inspector who’s history you will learn in bits and pieces throughout the story. I won’t give away his secrets but he is way more complicated than he seems at first glance. He is determined to guard Roku from the magical creatures and crime riddled family members that they encounter along the way.
Setting and Story:
The setting for Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford is incredibly complicated. Basically, you have Chinatown in San Fransisco. However, it is FILLED to the brim with magical and mystical creatures. I love the author’s creativity but it goes wildly overboard in my opinion. You get introduced to dozens upon dozens of creatures with full details about each one. I couldn’t keep them all straight and honestly stopped trying about half way through the book. I would have rather read about only a few key species and kept the descriptions a bit simpler. Everything was just a bit overwhelming.
There really is almost no actual romance between the characters in this urban fantasy romance. It is more of a mystery than a romance since 95% of the book is about the crime solving rather than the development of the character’s romantic interest. While that is totally fine…I think labeling this a romance was a bit of a stretch. I would have like to have seen more development of the character’s feelings for one another as the book moved along.
This was a fairly complicated plot with a simple but believable ending. The story focuses on a major crime family in the area so its history and enemies are a major focus of the book. I was intrigued by the story as it unfolded and definitely wanted to keep reading to find out who and what was behind the mystical drama.
Overall, Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford is a complicated mystery with lots to keep track of but one that had me continuing to turn the pages. I wanted more romance and fewer species details to keep track of but still enjoyed the book.
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