Blue Orca: Shanghai Spy Review

Blue Orca: Shanghai Spy
Author: Scarlet Risque
Series: Hourglass #2
Genre: Espionage, Crime

I received this book in my inbox, so I read and reviewed it.

Blue Orca is a weird name

I am not really sure if Scarlet meant in in English, but Mimi originated from Hong Kong, before finding herself in the whorehouse of America. Blue Orca is a long name in either Mandarin or Cantonese- 蓝杀人鲸 and no one would use it as a code name. Cool as it is, the title is oddly attractive.

This is book two of the series, Red Hourglass is the first book. I had read the synopsis of the first book after I read this one. I would be honest, there was not much to catch up on, despite reading the 2nd book without knowing much of the start.

Mimi was picked off the streets after a horrendous experience, and she was looked after by people working under the White Queen. After she had passed all her tests and swore her allegiance, Mimi became Blue Orca to her sisters. Throughout the book, she had many identities, but she was either Mimi or Blue Orca to her sisters.

Story and plot wise, it was okay. This is something you would usually read in a Mandarin book, but somehow it is lacking in this series. The characters mostly have similar background stories: victims given a chance in life. Mimi felt indebted to the Mother, White Queen and swore to do whatever she wanted. Over gratitude can be dangerous.

As this is part of a series, there is a larger story that holds everything together. As the heroines find themselves at cross roads, what does the White Queen really want with them? These loyal, well- trained and beautiful killing machines are deadly, but somehow love got in the way.

The Chinks

Oh yes, this series has a romantic notion despite being an espionage and crime, I am not entirely sure about the naivete of the spy girls. Love somehow manages to change a lot of minds in a second. While I have no issues about that, I do not appreciate being taken for a starry- eyed twelve year old.

The biggest problem is the writing style: a lot of telling. It is like someone narrating about an event, or explaining about a plan. At times, the telling is lackluster and I have to stop reading it. I guess if you like that style, Blue Orca is a good read.

Overall, Shanghai Spy is not a great espionage/ crime story. It is acceptably interesting and the story is still progressing slowly. I am not a fan, but if it comes my way again I will still read it.

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  • This sounds a little longwinded – which is a shame as the synopsis reads great! Hopefully your next read will be better 🙂

  • not an uncommon theme in Chinese literature, the telling makes it really dull.