Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-06-24 
Review Score: 3 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

" Wildly imaginative and very, very entertaining. I loved how Peasprout Chen, the young heroine, arrives filled with self-confidence and then begins learning about the world outside her home country and begins to doubt. The invention of the sport of wu liu is fun and fabulous, but that's only the beginning of all the wonders in the world of the book. Now waiting for the sequel! " said.

"I loved this book! Peasprout Chen is a resourceful young lady who is fiercely protective of her brother AND she kicks butt doing martial arts on ice. Peasprout is a cool character. There’s action, bullying, and mystery in this fun book about a girl, her brother, and their first year at the Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword. The author does an excellent job describing this very unusual school setting, and the plot clips along swiftly. I’d recommend this to upper elementary to middle school students, especially those wanting something really different. " said.

"There's so much to love in this book -- when I was reading it, I was bursting with excitement and I talked about it to everyone I thought would listen. The premise is wonderful -- who doesn't want ice skating + martial arts + school story + thinly veiled geopolitical analogy? It was one of the most imaginative, funny, and engaging middle grade stories I've read in a good long while.

My one significant issue with this book is the queer representation. I've tried to keep things vague enough to avoid spoilers, but just in case... (view spoiler)" said.

"ARC via Netgalley. This is an absolutely amazing middle-grade fantasy and every library that serves children should be ordering it immediately. Sports, mean girl school drama, siblings who love each other but are also kind of embarrassed by each other, a really fascinating alternate history of China and Taiwan, horrifying consequences of political dissent, girls with a deep intense rivalry-to-friendship (in kiiiiiiiinda gay but also kinda not way, I can't explain without spoilers) storyline, and also one of the greatest, most believably flawed but appealing heroines I've ever read. Give this to the kid in your life who's obsessed with figure skating or martial arts or both. Keep it for yourself if you love the idea of a mashup of Mean Girls, House of Flying Daggers, and The Cutting Edge. If there's not a sequel I'm going to start a riot. " said.

"Peasprout Chen: Future Legend of Skate and Sword by Henry Lien - fantastic middle grade debut, a China-influenced story of ice skating kung fu! 14-year-old Peasprout and her little brother Cricket arrive at Pearl Legendary School for Skaters, eager to make their mark. The schoolmate dynamics are fantastic (rivalries and friendships and even a crush or two), the Kung Fu ice skating is amazing (think: crouching tiger hidden dragon level moves... on blades!) and at some point the author thought, “should I add a crazy machete wielding monkey who might be able to tell the future?” and answered “yes!” and was completely right. Fantastic narration with recognizable accents for the different background and ages of the characters, from spoiled rich girl to aged head master sage. Lovely repetition of idioms (curses like “ten thousand years of stomach gas!”) and call and response greetings lend a wonderful atmosphere as well. Highly recommended." said.

"I’m giving this 4 stars based on my own enjoyment, but I am an adult. This book gets my highest possible recommendation for middle grade readers, especially if they’re interested in fantasy or sci fi.

The world described in this book is totally different than anything else I’ve ever read. Basically, a skating/martial art called wu liu is foundational to society (and the fantasy society is loosely based on China/Taiwan/Japan). There’s a city called Pearl made out of a substance called pearl, which is a perfect skating surface. So everyone wears skates all the time and, since the pearl is white, they also wear sunglasses. So it’s all very cool in a Ninja Turtles-esque sort of way.

So I love the world-building! The plot is not as original, because the bones of it are the outsider-navigating-boarding-school-politics thing that we (adults) have read many times before. Peasprout is a great character, but many of the supporting characters are a little flat.

Again, though, a lot of it is amazing. I’m honestly really excited for kids to get to read it.
" said.

"As I expected, delightful, and even more so on a second reading. Very nearly five stars for me: I took off one because (1) I loved Cricket and wanted to know more about his journey. Companion novel, please! (2) The world Mr. Lien creates, though fascinating, is sometimes extremely cruel and often extremely strange. This, btw, is why it pays to reread! (3) Also, I want a sequel!

Briefly, Peasprout Chen, 14, and her little brother Cricket are sent from their native Shin to the Wu Liu academy on Pearl. Both are good skaters (the martial art they study combines ice-skating and Wushu), but Peasprout is the better by far. Little Cricket is much more fascinated by architecture.

This proves a problem when buildings start to be sabotaged. As 'aliens', Peasprout and Cricket are the prime suspects. Peasprout realizes their lives are actually in danger--unless she can catch the culprit.

You don't need to have read "The Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughter" to enjoy Peasprout Chen, but, if you have, you'll get kick out of seeing Peasprout and her friend Doi deal with Suki, their chief rival. There is character growth for Peasprout, a solid mystery, friendship, and some really crazy and difficult tests. Good fun!
" said.

"I was elated to receive a copy of this book at an author panel event at my local library. Not only did Mr. Lien offer an easygoing presence, but I could tell that he was clearly passionate and content with what he was doing. That, in itself, earned the respect and interest of myself.

While this novel is geared towards middle-aged children, I found myself enjoying this book immensely. The heroine of this story, Peasprout Chen, was a dynamic character with a headstrong voice that resonated with me very well. Complemented by the imaginative world of Pearl...the descriptions of the environment wasn't just descriptions of a setting; it was a distinct universe itself. And I have to say, there were so many moments in this book where I found myself just smiling for the sake of it---for the joyous and animated moments throughout the story were entertaining and humorous to the core.

Through the eyes of an ambitious and spirited young girl, she brings to life the people and the world around her---shining beautiful sparks of life through the complex nature of kung fu skating.

For anyone looking for a whole new universe to fall in love with, or a story that will brighten your life, I think that Peasprout Chen will be a story that you definitely need to experience for yourself!

" said.

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