Title: The Iron Will of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo #2)
Author: F.C. Yee
Publisher: Amulet Books
Review Copy: Library
Availability: Available now!
Summary: The fate of the heavens is at stake in this hilarious and highly-anticipated sequel to the The Epic Crush of Genie Lo.
Genie Lo thought she was busy protecting the Bay Area from demons. But now, as a Heaven- appointed Guardian, even the well-being of demons is her responsibility—and their numbers are multiplying. Guanyin and Quentin are doing their best to help; but what they really need is for the Jade Emperor to get off his butt and deal with the crisis. While he’s AWOL, Genie nominates Guanyin to fill in his shoes, unaware that the role will go to the god who can defeat a mysterious threat to the supernatural order. Along with a few other contenders for the throne, including a former enemy, Genie and her friends embark on a Heavenly quest to an in-between world. But when faced with true danger, the group realizes that what will save the universe this time is sacrifice, not strength. [Review and summary via Goodreads]
Review: First up, if you haven’t read The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (review here), do that first. It’s absolutely a must-read for fantasy fans, especially if you’re also an Asian American superfan of Monkey King like me. And for extra reading, check out our interview with F.C. Yee back in 2017!
Now, let’s get down to business (cue the Mulan track!)… The Iron Will of Genie Lo is the equally epic sequel to The Epic Crush of Genie Lo. Genie Lo is still saving the world, and specifically the Bay Area, from demons and other supernatural threats, alongside Quentin (aka Sun Wukong, aka the Monkey King). But of course, Genie has to contend with her family, her future college plans, and a crisis that may just be too big for her to handle — even if she’s got an iron will and an iron punch.
As expected of a sequel, this time around, Genie Lo’s troubles have scaled up in size, both in her personal life and just in general. It isn’t easy being Genie. While it’s not the clear-cut story of girl-meets-monkey-king, it’s still a ton of fun, and will hold particular resonance for high schoolers heading off to college. There’s romance (and naturally, trouble in paradise), family conflicts, and so much more. While the story takes some time to gain speed, once it does, you won’t want to put it down. Genie’s no-nonsense voice and sharp observational humor is a delight.
For fans of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, its sequel is one that you should order right this second (we’re ordering online from indie bookstores during this time of social distancing, ‘kay?). And if you haven’t read the first book, put it at the top of your TBR pile.
Recommendation: Get it soon!