2 out of 4 stars
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This is one story that captivated me right from the start to the finish. I absolutely loved Lee J Mavin's style of writing and the many different techniques he has tactfully employed in this novel.
To begin with, the characterization is exceptional. The novel is not traditionally divided into chapters as in other novels, but is just a collection of entries giving the reader a glimpse into the minds of the main characters, namely, Caitlin, Steven, Li Bai and Susan. In short, all the events in the novel are conveyed through the thoughts of these characters. There is no omniscient author who narrates the story; this gives us a deeper understanding of each characters’ mindset and thought processes. The author has done a marvelous job by giving a subtle change in his writing style for each character, making it easier to form a reader-character bond.
The story is wonderfully absurd and unique. Caitlin initially seems like a child suffering from severe OCD and hence constantly talks to an imaginary character by the name of Li Bai, who was a great poet during the Tang dynasty. But one begins to question the real existence of this imaginary character when the author writes about his thoughts and feelings as well. Towards the end of the novel, it is safe to say that Li Bai is not simply a figment of Caitlin’s imagination, but has some sort of spiritual/mystical bond with her, until he eventually let's her go.
I love that the author has made a brilliant mix between the highly practical world along with the magical. On one hand, we have Susan and Steven, two Australians trying to fight their way through the many cultural hurdles they face in China to rescue Caitlin, while on the other hand we have Caitlin and Li Bai, encountering emperors and palaces and having the most amazing adventure of their lives.
Though I absolutely loved the book and found it incredibly entertaining, it broke my heart to find the editing horrendous. There were a minimum of three typographical errors in each page and that ruined the overall rating of the book. I was also surprised to find that every now and then, the name of the character speaking was not mentioned and the reader had to guess using the tone of the character. This was also a rather huge error that went unnoticed while the novel was edited. Therefore, I am forced to give the book two out of four stars, only because of this reason.
Apart from the mistakes mentioned above, I absolutely loved Li Bais Shadow and will definitely give it another read in the future!
Li Bais shadow
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