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You're headed for a great adventure in this middle-grade novel. Lots of interesting Chinese historical and mythological figures, all of whom comes with excellent introductions for the reader unfamiliar with Chinese history and culture. I found this to be an unending source of fun and I couldn't put the book down.
Wade Watts meets Percy Jackson in this debut middle grade novel. I was thrilled to receive this as an ARC as I knew it was a must-read for the fantasy genre after reading the synopsis and I was not disappointed!
Zach is a realistic and relatable young main character as he navigates the challenges of youth which he sometimes feels are made more complicated by his Chinese heritage. Raised in the US, Zach gets a crash course in Chinese mythology after an attempted possession by an ancient emperor goes awry and the result is a refreshing take on a myth inspired story. Zach’s unique perspective makes it easy to follow his adventures as the author weaves the explanations of the Chinese history into the tale without slowing down the the overall story.
Along with the mythological elements, I also enjoyed Zach’s character development as he goes from insecure to embracing who he is and wanting to find genuine friends who accept him for who he is. Zach’s squad also experiences character growth when they finally begin to respect one another by the book’s end.
Well written with non-stop action that educates the reader while giving us a diverse main character that is much needed in not only middle grade fiction but in fantasy fiction in general, I can’t wait to follow Zach’s quest in the next book in this oh-so-fun series!
Zachary is a first generation Chinese American boy, struggling to make friends at school after school while his widowed mother juggles multiple menial jobs that don’t utilize her prior education or credentials. When Zach’s gaming headset gets possessed by the spirit of his many-times ancestor, he is immediately embroiled in a mystical battle between good and evil Chinese immortal beings.
But not at all it’s not as it seems and soon Zachary is running from one battle to the next like he is living in a video game. Only this time the stakes are real life for him and his mother, and the people he thinks are allies may not be all they appear.
As well as endless rising excitement & suspense, the book is a great introduction to many Chinese legends, and does a good job of setting up how immigrant children are caught between their various worlds, at home in none.
The pace is cracking, and I’m sure any 12-year-old gamer will be fascinated by it.
I was excited to receive an ARC of this book from netgalley and the publisher as I was a big fan of Iron Widow. I especially loved how the author blended the old (Chinese Legends) with the new (gaming). An entertaining and fun read! I’m looking forwrd to the next book from this author.
This reminds me so much of Percy Jackson. Never have I thought I could love Chinese myth and legends that I never knew about. Zach is a very relatable person in the modern day and I feel he will inspire a lot of kids in the lgbtq community. The only problem I have is I wish to read more in the story but I am very excited and satisfied with Zachary Ying. I give 5/5 stars 🌟
i really enjoyed this, the characters and history and dialogue were all so so much fun and i loved following along with the plot. honestly, i had no idea what was happening for most of the book but i had a good time so that’s all that really matters. the second half of the book was gathering my attention less though and it took me a little while to get through but overall still a good read!
"You're still thinking of matters in terms of black or white, good or evil. Such clear distinctions don't exist in real life."
Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor was an automatic buy for me because I absolutely love Xiran Jay Zhao. Their first book, Iron Widow, was one of my favorite reads last year so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. I definitely was not disappointed. While Iron Widow was YA, Zachary Ying is middle grade so there's a different, slightliy lighter, and more fun feel to this book. It's like if you combined Ready Player One and Percy Jackson, with Raya and the Last Dragon or She Who Became the Sun. It's a lot of action and adventure but it also secretly taught me a lot about Chinese history. I really love learning when I don't really know I'm learning and that's what this book does. I can't wait for the sequel, there better be one after that ending!!
If you liked Percy Jackson then you’ll love this. Zachary Ying and Iron Widow are the best books I’ve read in a while. Dying for the sequels for a both and the movie for IW. So happy for Xiran, they deserve all the good things coming for them.
Zachary Ying just wants to be a normal American boy. He doesn't want to think about his heritage, wanting to blend in and play his favorite game, Mythrealm. But everything changes when Zachary is attacked by spirits. upon returning home, more spirits appear this time running off with his mother's spirit.
Now Zach has limited time to get her spirit back before it's too late. If he wants to save his mother's life, he's going to have to go to China, team up with a couple of kids possessed by former emperors of China, and deal with the first emperor of china breathing down his neck from his VR headset.
I wish I could read it for the first time all over again...but I guess Ill have to wait for book 2.