Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The City of Sand by Tianxia Bachang - OPTIONAL

The City of Sand by Tianxia Bachang, 243 pages, Delacorte Press (Random House), 2017. $18.
Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence G

BUYING ADVISORY: MS, HS - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Tianyi is a 17 year-old who uses his feng shui skills and an old book from his deceased grandfather, to locate buried treasure in tombs.  He and his easily provoked buddy Kai, find some success and are recruited to help lead an expedition across the Taklimakan Desert in China.  While the two are hired to help find archeology remains, Tianyi and Kai are essentially grave robbers, and don’t want anyone to know their secret.  The desert and the gravesites they find are filled with danger and soon it seems the desert may have a new burial site unless they can work together to survive.

I wanted to like this book. The cover was great, it’s translated from Chinese, and the premise was awesome.  However, it reads like a video game.  The characters go from one gravesite to another and face cool adventures, but the characters are not fleshed out so it seems one-dimensional. I never really know what the characters are thinking or feeling, which made it hard to relate to them.  I’m not even sure I ended up liking them by the end of the book, even though the setting was great. Just hold a video controller while you read, and you’ll be fine.

Michelle in the Middle, Teacher

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