The Tea Master and the Detective by

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The new client sat in the chair reserved for customers, levelly gazing at The Shadow’s Child—hands apart, legs crossed under the jade-green fabric of her tunic.
–Aliette de Bodard - The tea master and the detective - c.2018

A book in the The Universe of Xuya

I do love the idea of ships as people. I really enjoyed Anne McCaffrey’s The Ship Who series way back in the way off times when I read it. It’s just a fascinating idea, a space ship with all the computing power of an AI, but still a person, grown in a womb and birthed, part of a family and yet long lived. Imagine being that ship and having other people inside you! Or being one of those people, and walking around inside the ship that is another being’s body.

I just love the whole idea.

A woman stands with her back to the viewer looking out of a window into space. Bots and candles and brews on a table in front of her.
The team master and the detective
So when I knew this was going to feature a mindship I knew I’d be reading it. And then it was revealed that it was a Sherlock Holmes inspired story, with Watson played by the mindship… Awesome! Completely sold on the premise of that.

And the book didn’t disappoint in the slightest. I loved it all, I loved Long Chau as the Holmes-esque character, but the real star of the book for me is The Shadow’s Child, the mindship Watson. Suffering from PTSD and struggling to make a living, she becomes entangled with Long Chau, reluctantly at first but as they both grow to know more about each other a definite understanding develops.

The only problem is that it is a novella, so it ends far too quickly! I want to learn more about the characters and ‘verse they inhabit. I know, there other Xuya stories out there, and I’ve read some and will read more, but I’d love a big fat book starring these two characters in particular.

Post Author: Fence

2 thoughts on “The Tea Master and the Detective

    Caroline

    (22 April 2018 - 1:16 pm)

    Such a great premise. I think I’d enjoy this as well. Lauren Oliver’s Rooms is based on a similar idea, not a shio but a house being – it haunts the inhabitants. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by the book. And then there’s Sherlock Holmes as well here.
    Caroline´s last blog post ..Devotion – Die Widmung by Botho Strauss – A 1977 Club Review

      Fence

      (22 April 2018 - 7:28 pm)

      I’m only familiar with Lauren Oliver as a young adult author as the books pass through my hands at work, I’ve never read any, although I do like that idea of a house haunting its inhabitants, pity you didn’t enjoy it too much. I do like the premise though, so I may look for it at some point.

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