Black Water Sister
‘A sharp and bittersweet story of past and future, ghosts and gods and family, that kept me turning pages into the dark hours of the night’ – Naomi Novik, author of Uprooted
This mischievous Malaysian-set novel is an adventure featuring family, ghosts and local gods – from Hugo Award winning novelist Zen Cho.
Her grandmother may be dead, but she’s not done with life . . . yet.
As Jessamyn packs for Malaysia, it’s not a good time to start hearing a bossy voice in her head. Broke, jobless and just graduated, she’s abandoning America to return ‘home’. But she last saw Malaysia as a toddler – and is completely unprepared for its ghosts, gods and her eccentric family’s shenanigans.
Jess soon learns her ‘voice’ belongs to Ah Ma, her late grandmother. She worshipped the Black Water Sister, a local deity. And when a business magnate dared to offend her goddess, Ah Ma swore revenge. Now she’s decided Jess will help, whether she wants to or not.
As Ah Ma blackmails Jess into compliance, Jess fights to retain control. But her irrepressible relative isn’t going to let a little thing like death stop her, when she can simply borrow Jess’s body to make mischief. As Jess is drawn ever deeper into a world of peril and family secrets, getting a job becomes the least of her worries.
‘This may be Zen Cho’s best work yet’ – Karen Lord, author of The Best of All Possible Worlds
‘A compelling and deftly written ghost story’ – Kate Elliott, author of Cold Magic
Zen Cho's brilliant and distinct voice brings worlds to life on the page. A sharp and bittersweet story of past and future, ghosts and gods and family, that kept me turning pages into the dark hours of the night -- Naomi Novik, author of Uprooted Told with love and humour, Black Water Sister is both ode and accusation to all the ties that bind - to family, duty and home. Thrilling and terrifying, honest and hopeful, this may be Zen Cho's best work yet -- Karen Lord, author of The Best of All Possible Worlds A creepily atmospheric and surprisingly heartwarming tale of gangsters, family, and spirits -- Aliette de Bodard, author of The House of Shattered Wings Zen Cho's Black Water Sister is a perfect blend of ghosts, gods, and the eternal bonds of family ties. Set in the gorgeous backdrop of Penang, Jess reunites with her extended family and navigate the world of spirits and gangsters. This novel is perfect for readers craving an otherworldly, atmospheric fantasy -- Roselle Lim, author of Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune Zen Cho's Black Water Sister is the diaspora fantasy of my dreams - funny, creepy, and heartfelt. Jessamyn Teoh never wanted to be haunted by her sassy, score-settling grandmother, but when she moves from America to her parents' hometown in Malaysia, she must navigate family, gods, ghosts and old grudges in this compelling and heartwarming ghost story -- Vanessa Len, author of Only a Monster A thrilling modern fantasy tale packed to the brim with deliciously petty spirits, intriguing family secrets, and an achingly tender personal journey for our thoroughly relatable heroine. I absolutely loved it -- Sarah Kuhn, author of the Heroine Complex series A compelling and deftly written ghost story of a young woman's passage through the grudges and tragedies of her family's past to find a path into a future she chooses for herself -- Kate Elliott, author of Cold Magic Ghosts, gods, and supernatural vengeance collide in vividly-depicted modern day Malaysia to create a contemporary fantasy story that's full of voice and heart. At turns suspenseful, poignant and hilarious, Black Water Sister is an addictive tale of personal identity, family secrets, and culture clash -- Fonda Lee, author of Jade City Cho's multifaceted characters, like her masterful plot, are never quite what they first appear. Unpredictable twists keep the pages turning while the comic but endearing relationship between Jess and her sassy grandmother provides the story's heart. This is must-read fantasy -- Publishers Weekly Clever, funny and compulsively readable - I loved it! -- Lavie Tidhar on The True Queen An enchanting cross between Georgette Heyer and Susannah Clarke, full of delights and surprises. Zen Cho unpins the edges of the canvas and throws them wide -- Naomi Novik on Sorcerer to the Crown A captivating debut . . . tells an entertaining story with wit and consummate skill -- Guardian on Sorcerer to the Crown
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