Audiobook Review: A Temple of Forgotten Spirits

Author: William F. Wu

Narrator: Anthony Lee

Length: 7 hours and 41 minutes

Publisher: Moira Nelligar

Released: July 6, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

A young guy named Jack Hong hitchhikes throughout America following the keilin, a mystical unicorn out of Chinese mythology. The keilin leads him to ten adventures with ghosts and other supernatural figures. These experiences reveal to him not only parts of American history he never knew, but also his own identity and the role he will choose for his life.

William F. Wu may be best known for his contemporary fantasy short stories, such as “Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium,” a multiple award nominee that was adapted into an episode of the Twilight Zone in 1985. When he started his career, he decided that he would write some stories on universal issues and some about Chinese American ethnic matters. All of his novels and short stories have a character of East Asian descent, usually the protagonist.

When he was young, he did some long-distance hitchhiking throughout the nation, though he makes no claim to experiencing the supernatural.

He has had thirteen novels, one short story collection, one book of literary criticism, and over sixty short stories published by traditional publishers and is in the process of bringing out much of his backlog through Boruma Publishing. Wu has spoken for over thirty years on panels at science fiction conventions, and he has also been guest of honor and toastmaster. He has participated in and hosted writers’ workshops frequently over the years and taught fiction at the college level.

A 5-time finalist (and a sixth time as part of the group of Wild Cards authors) for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards, Wu is also a finalist for the Sidewise Award for alternate history and for Canada’s Aurora award. He’s the author of the six-volume young adult science fiction series titled Isaac Asimov’s Robots in Time, the first series in Asimov’s universe licensed by his estate after his death. His novel Hong on the Range was based on another Hugo and Nebula Award nominee, the short story “Hong’s Bluff.” Hong on the Range was chosen for the Wilson Library Bulletin’s list of science fiction “Books Too Good to Miss, 1980 – 1989,” and was a 1990 selection for the American Library Association list of Best Books for Young People, for the New York Public Library’s recommended Books for the Teen Age, and was a Young Adult Editor’s Choice by Booklist Magazine. Wu adapted the novel for a three-issue comic book series brought out by Image Comics and Flypaper Press in 1996.

He has upcoming stories in Texas Hold’em: A Wild Cards Novel, edited by George R.R. Martin, due out in the fall, and in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine.

Wu was born and raised in the Kansas City area, and educated at the University of Michigan, where as a student he represented the third generation in his family. He has an A.B. in East Asian Studies and an A.M. and Ph.D. in American Culture; his dissertation was published as The Yellow Peril: Chinese Americans in American Fiction, 1850 – 1940. He and his wife live in Southern California.

WebsiteNarrator Bio

Anthony Lee has been told that his voice is deep, resonant, smooth, and clear. Yet, it would be years before he would finally embrace that gift and start using it artistically.

A native of California, Anthony grew up with an equal fascination for knowledge and leisure. He would enjoy studying various subjects in school as well as doing fun things in his spare time. His motivation for success and happiness helped him achieve a solid education, a successful job, and a new life to live as his reward for years of hard work.

His decision to try voice acting came after receiving plenty of compliments about his vocal quality over a short amount of time. Whether those words came from friends or strangers, he could no longer deny the possibility that there may be something special about his voice. Hence, from October 2015 to June 2016, Anthony enrolled in night and weekend classes at Elaine Clark’s Voice One academy in San Francisco, where he trained in the art of voiceover for narrations, commercials, and characters. He thoroughly enjoyed honing his voice for things like audiobooks, technical materials, corporate narrations, e-learning modules, documentaries, commercials, promos, animations, video games, and talking products. Overall, he considers his journey into voiceover to be very rewarding, not just for what he learned but also for the great instructors and classmates he met along the way.

Now with professional voice training, Anthony is stepping out into the world to lend his voice. He loves to take virtually any kind of script and work to deliver the message in a suitable way. His enthusiasm for voiceover makes him strive to be a versatile actor in the craft. Every time he is given an opportunity to provide a voice, he hopes to leave a lasting positive impact.

When he is not doing voice work, Anthony enjoys playing chess, ice hockey, pool, Sudoku, and video games, as well as watching movies, reading about random topics on the Internet, and traveling. He lives in Northern California.

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I am one of those boring readers, afraid of reading things outside their comfort zone. I like my Romance above all else and I am all in when it comes to criticizing the romance in a novel. This is why I was so so happy to have taken the opportunity to listen to this audiobook. Because sometimes, the outside of my shell can bring me something beautiful!

William Wu’s book contains Jack Hong ‘s adventures, while pursuing  the keilin – a Chinese mythical creature, whom he still has to figure out. Not knowing what to expect, not having any idea about his family ties, he throws himself in this search, all the while affecting other destinies in his path.

The book is written as a collection of stories, that can be read as stand-alone, but together they create a complete picture of what it’s all about. I think this is the best option, even if there are some repetitive paragraphs here and there. Jack is a very likeable character. I felt sorry for the guy at some point, since in every short part, he has something to face – prison, ghosts, angry spirits ad so much more. While he has his own objective, he learns a lot along the way and by the end of the book, we have traveled through time and with our main characters to so many interesting places.

The narration was great, even if I would have wanted a little more emphasis on some emotions here and there. It was a clear narration, with great voice acting. I am all in for the audiobook.

All in all, I loved this book quite a lot. I loved the opportunity it gave me to travel to unknown territories. I was happy to dive right into this great adventure with our main character. 4 stars and my congratulations to the author and narrator for this wonderful story!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Anthony Lee. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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3 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: A Temple of Forgotten Spirits

  1. Thanks for the wonderful review, Lilly.

    Like you, I was pleased to have experienced something out of the ordinary. What’s unique is the genre combination here. There are already plenty of contemporary supernatural fantasy stories. There are also plenty of Asian-American stories. But how often do you come across ghost stories connected to Chinese history? Not a whole lot, I imagine.

    As for the main character, Jack Hong is a young guy who is a bit sarcastic and perhaps doesn’t care all that much, but he ultimately has a good heart. He starts out as someone with no defined direction in life, but the journey to chase down the keilin ultimately gives him one. On the way, he is given opportunity to provide good fortune and salvation for those with unfulfilled wishes. This physical journey across America is ultimately a spiritual journey to become a more caring person.

    Of the audiobooks I’ve narrated so far, this is one of my favorites, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for fiction that is not only entertaining, but also out of the ordinary.

    Anthony Lee
    Narrator of A Temple of Forgotten Spirits

    Website: http://www.anthonyleevoice.com
    Facebook and Twitter: AnthonyLeeVoice

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for your comment 🙂 you are completely right in your description. It is q very interesting journey that will captivate the reader 🙂

      Like

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