Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Taste of Opal, by Yukimi Ogawa

★★★☆☆ Average

(Japanese Fantasy) Kei’s parents sell her at age 14 to merchants who know how to make the most of her precious, glowing, opal blood, which can make valuable medicines or more valuable narcotics. (9,310 words; Time: 31m)

"Taste of Opal," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 09-10|18, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2018.484 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s interesting that at the end Kei chooses to keep doing what she’d been doing. Instead of escaping, she decides that her work is valuable and important enough to continue.

The blood magic is interesting in its own right.

Con: The ending turns Kei’s situation from an unfair bondage to exploit her magical ability into just a job. That's a bit of a let-down.

When Ko appears, it’s the first clue that Kei ever had a sister. It’s very hard to believe that Ko knew all about Kei but not vice versa. It’s also hard to believe that Kei simply trusted and believed Ko right off the bat.

The technology level is a little odd. The merchants measure her “blood pressure, hormones, and other things,” which suggests 20th-century-level technology, but everything else suggests something more like 1600s Japan.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 09-10|18)
Yukimi Ogawa Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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