Second Sister

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: Not set

Member Reviews

Chan Ho-Kei has crafted an engrossing page turner of a read in Second Sister. Well worth the time of the read!
Was this review helpful?
This was my first time getting to know Asian crime fiction, so I really had to get used to the somewhat messy looking style of this book for a while. On the other hand, I enjoyed books with a more chaotic plot or seemingly without a plot at all, so when I got into this book and realized it is the way it is, and it is meant to be this choppy, I soon was hooked.

I loved the emotional depth of 'Second Sister'. It was easy to let myself be taken in by the waves, to be angry together with Nga-Yee, and to feel conflicted as she did further into the story. I love how strong her emotions were, and how she tried too hard to show her strength.

One thing I did not love is, how a smart person like Nga-Yee, in a world and city where technology is so important, was portrayed as totally digitally inept. I see how this was used to make her look to the world she would discover with fresh eyes, but to me as a reader it made her look not all there. Especially at the start, when N had to explain the most basic, common things to her. I hadn't been surprised if he had started explaining what a mouse was to her at some point. I think this book would have started more strongly if she was just a bit more adept, like most people are: using message boards etc. herself, and realizing everything that could happen behind them. It would also have stopped her having a bit of 'moral high ground' for not using it, while most readers of the book probably do.

That said, I very, very much enjoyed 'Second Sister'.
Was this review helpful?
I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed this book. I felt it was a quick and easy read. I really enjoyed the characters and the plot! I did think it moved a littler slower than I particularly like a book to be. 

Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to review this title.
Was this review helpful?
Second Sister by Chan Ho-Kei is a fascinating crime-thriller novel in so many respects. The cultural descriptions of Hong Kong and its digitized population creates an almost dystopian ambiance. 

It covers themes ranging from crime and punishment (what is suitable and who should determine who’s guilty?) to internet piracy and privacy (are we all journalists now that we can post what we want, went we want, no matter the truth or fake news?) to pedophiles and their victims. 

Online bullying, trolls, sexual harassment, corporate greed and suicide are rife in our current day culture worldwide and this novel handles these themes in-depth. I particularly liked this quote: “The data that ought to help us find the truth becomes a mental drug that keeps us in a state of foolishness.”

But don’t let the seriousness of these themes detract from what is a brilliant crime story. The premise is simple: a girl dies and her sister sets out to find the person responsible. What ensues is a complex mix of lies, half-truths, shady characters and a few “Oh. My. Word!” revelations that you don’t see coming!

I loved this novel!

#netgalley #secondsister #chanho-kei #groveatlantic
Was this review helpful?
When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

Chan Ho-Kei’sThe Borrowed was one of the most acclaimed international crime novels of recent years, a vivid and compelling tale of power, corruption, and the law spanning five decades of the history of Hong Kong. Now he delivers "Second Sister", an up-to-the-minute tale of a Darwinian digital city where everyone from tech entrepreneurs to teenagers is struggling for the top.

A schoolgirl—Siu-Man—has committed suicide, leaping from her twenty-second-floor window to the pavement below. Siu-Man is an orphan and the librarian older sister who’s been raising her refuses to believe there was no foul play—nothing seemed amiss. She contacts a man known only as N.—a hacker, and an expert in cybersecurity and manipulating human behaviour. But can Nga-Yee interest him sufficiently to take her case, and can she afford it if he says yes?

What follows is a cat and mouse game through the city of Hong Kong and its digital underground, especially an online gossip platform, where someone has been slandering Siu-Man. The novel is also populated by a man harassing girls on mass transit; high school kids, with their competing agendas and social dramas; a Hong Kong digital company courting an American venture capitalist; and the Triads, market women and noodle shop proprietors who frequent N.’s neighbourhood of Sai Wan. In the end, it all comes together to tell us who caused Siu-Man’s death and why, and to ask, in a world where online and offline dialogue has increasingly forgotten about the real people on the other end, what the proper punishment is.

With all that is going on in Hong Kong right not with riots, it was interesting to read a book about the city. State? Island? (Whatever.) I was utterly fascinated reading about the different parts of Hong Kong and its inhabitants - they are decidedly not all Edison Chengs from "Crazy Rich Asians"! The characters were engaging and fascinating and the story tight and tense, just like a mystery should be. It is just a WONDERFUL crime read/mystery that makes me want to order in "real" Chinese food ... that does not include 99.99% of what my husband considers to be Chinese food.  

If you are looking for a great read, this is a perfect book to choose ... as always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter..get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉
Was this review helpful?
Ambientazione interessante, ma sebbene mi renda conto della necessità di fornire informazioni su tecnologia, privacy, mercati digitali ho trovato le pagine e pagine che si accumulavano francamente eccessive.
Was this review helpful?