House of Eight Orchids

Life is filled with difficult choices. Make yours now.

James Thayer
House of Eight Orchids

Audiobook – at the time of this review ebook + audio is included on Kindle Unlimited

Publisher’s Synopsis:
In 1912, John Wade and his brother, William—children of the American consul—were kidnapped off the street in Chungking, China, and raised in the house of Eunuch Chang, the city’s master criminal. Twenty-five years later, John is the eunuch’s most valuable ward, a trained assassin and swindler, and William has become a talented forger. On the brink of World War II, China is in chaos. When William betrays Eunuch Chang and escapes to central China, a place of ferocious warlords and bandits, John begins a desperate search to save his brother, while Eunuch Chang hunts them both.

Point of view:
1st person. Entirely from John’s perspective.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
This was such a unique book and in all the best ways. I honestly haven’t read much about China and definitely not in the period surrounding WWII – so this was an entirely new experience for me.

I loved the mix of Thayer’s detailed description of both what the time period physically looked like, but also the culture & customs of the time. John is in the unique position of looking like an American but being raised fully Chinese and trained as an assassin. While he’s loyal to Eunuch Chang, there is nothing to overcome his love and devotion for his brother. When William escapes Chang – John is forced to choose.

This does have some suspense elements to it, but the pacing overall is a little slower due to the interactions and friendships John forges during his travels. Each of these “mini stories” are interesting in their own right and several will tie back into later events. This didn’t go how I thought yet I enjoyed Thayer’s writing and the entire book.

I picked this book when I was looking for something completely different specifically because it was narrated by Will Damron. I always enjoy his voices and the emotional connection he gives me to characters. John especially was a such a fantastic character made even better by Damron.

About the author:
Jim Thayer is the author of thirteen critically acclaimed novels. To his books he brings writing that “is smooth and clear. Deceptively simple, it wastes no words, and it has a rhythm that only confident stylists achieve.” (Newgate Callendar, New York Times Book Review.) His novels have been translated into all major European languages and Japanese and Chinese. He recently completed a manual for novelists, The Essential Guide to Writing a Novel.

Thayer is the son of an eastern Washington farmer and his wife, and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington State University and of the University of Chicago Law School. He teaches novel writing at the University of Washington extension school, where he received the 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award in the Arts, Writing, and Humanities.

He lives in Seattle with his wife and two daughters.

You can connect with James Thayer here:

About the narrator:
From his website: I’ve now voiced over 400 audiobooks in almost every genre: from literary fiction to fantasy, YA, memoirs, business, romance, children’s books, and historical fiction. In my oodles of spare time, I was revising and honing the story that became The Tercentennial Baron. And in October 2017, I was finally able to publish the book independently.

You can connect with Will Damron here:

My Favorite Quotes

William and I were taken to the House of Eight Orchids, and from there we never entirely escaped. – House of Eight Orchids by @JamesSThayer #audiobook #narratormotivated @jwdamron #Historical #Thriller #Suspense

William was the only person in all of China who I knew—with utter certainty—loved me. – House of Eight Orchids by @JamesSThayer #audiobook #narratormotivated @jwdamron #Historical #Thriller #Suspense

Life is filled with difficult choices. Make yours now. – House of Eight Orchids by @JamesSThayer #audiobook #narratormotivated @jwdamron #Historical #Thriller #Suspense

I understood, just not in time. – House of Eight Orchids by @JamesSThayer #audiobook #narratormotivated @jwdamron #Historical #Thriller #Suspense

“Be polite.” “I am always polite.” “Unless you are sticking someone with a knife.” “Even then.” – House of Eight Orchids by @JamesSThayer #audiobook #narratormotivated @jwdamron #Historical #Thriller #Suspense

I don’t feel right, carrying only two knives. – House of Eight Orchids by @JamesSThayer #audiobook #narratormotivated @jwdamron #Historical #Thriller #Suspense

Published by rellimreads

Avid reader/listener who has finally decided to turn it all into a blog...

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