YA Urban Fantasy Review: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo #1)

bought on kindle

Synopsis from Goodreads

Genie Lo is one among droves of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in her sleepy Bay Area suburb. You know, the type who wins. When she’s not crushing it at volleyball or hitting the books, Genie is typically working on how to crack the elusive Harvard entry code.

But when her hometown comes under siege from hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid in class who becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons. While Genie knows Quentin only as an attractive transfer student with an oddly formal command of the English language, in another reality he is Sun Wukong, the mythological Monkey King incarnate—right down to the furry tail and penchant for peaches.

Suddenly, acing the SATs is the least of Genie’s worries. The fates of her friends, family, and the entire Bay Area all depend on her summoning an inner power that Quentin assures her is strong enough to level the very gates of Heaven. But every second Genie spends tapping into the secret of her true nature is a second in which the lives of her loved ones hang in the balance.

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The last time I enjoyed reading a superhero book this much must have been The She-Hulk Diaries by Marta Acosta. Buffy-Esque fun and non-stop pounding of all the enemies!

I vaguely remember starting to watch one of the many versions of Journey to The West and not caring enough to continue, so this book filled a lot of blanks. Monkey King is this mischievous, fast, inventive, full of himself and razor-sharp Chinese boy Quentin, who comes to find Genie Lo, a studious Chinese girl living in the Bay area because she is, take that, his reincarnated weapon who accumulated enough spiritual energy to become human.

Of course, Genie doesn't remember any of it but has to get to grips with her new reality and remember her skills fast, because Monkey King finding her means a lot of demons coming their way attracted to their juicy irresistible energy. It's like Journey to The West all over again, but this time there are only two of them and she still needs to do well in school exams.

They are sometimes helped to mitigate the damage by a female Boddhisattwa, Guanyin, and Erlang Shen, nephew of the Jade Emperor of Heaven, both of whom you can say coach Genie in her times of identity crisis.

"People like Xuanzang and the Jade Emperor are free to do as they please. People like you and me are not."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that Xuanzang was free to bumble across a continent and fail upward into sainthood. The Jade Emperor is free to sit on his ass and ignore the world screaming for his help. You and I are not free. You and I have a duty."

That's some powerful words, folks, and I loved how approachable and humanized these beings were, and so were the demons. Running their mouths and being all snarky. It added wonderful dimensions to them all. 

This is a pretty formulaic and super-fast read which does not detract from its entertainment value. And it doesn't take itself seriously. Much recommended.

* * *

Я по-моему так хорошо не веселилась с супергероями со времён "Дневников Ши-Халки". Очень в духе Баффи, где главные герои нон-стоп колбасят злодеев. И язвительно на это комментируют.

Я смутно помню, что как-то пыталась смотреть одну из многочисленных версий Путешествия на Запад, и мне не пошло, так что эта книга хорошо восполнила мои пробелы.

Царь Обезьян Сунь Укун - это очень озорной, изобретательный и остроумный китайский парень Квентин, который прибывает в Калифорнию, чтобы найти прилежную старшеклассницу Джени Ло, которая оказывается его бывшим оружием, которое набрало достаточно духовной энергии, чтобы реинкарнироваться в человека.

Джени, конечно, ничего не знает и не помнит, однако учиться ей  выживать и адаптироваться приходится очень быстро, так как их с Сунь Укуном общая энергия привлекает орду демонов, которым очень хочется полакомиться буфетом. А ведь и уроки ей никто не отменял.

И Джени и Квентин, и помогающие им с кризисом личности Эрланг Шен и Гуаньинь, и даже демоны мне очень понравились. Живо, стебно, человечно и очень современно. Книга хоть и формулаичная, но читается на одном духу и полна экшна. Так что, рекомендую.


  1. Oh I didn't know about this one but I like the idea!

  2. This was such a fun book! I need to read the sequel one day (soon).

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. Me too! I usually stalk the ebook until it goes on sale and then nab it 😜

  3. Ahh I just read a good superhero novel that completely floored me. It's queer so doubly fun!

  4. It is the first I am hearing of this book. Love the premise.


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