The Jade Owl is the 1st Book of The Jade Owl Legacy Series and has been recieved by readers . . . in their own words:
The Jade Owl Reviewed by Libby Cone (Philadelphia. PA)
Brilliantly written fantasy for people who don't read fantasy
Sinologist Rowden Gray, reeling from his failure to get a San Francisco museum post, falls in with a seemingly unlikely group of people bent upon achieving a strange coition of sorts of Chinese objets d'art. After taking up with one of the scions of his prolific (in more ways than one) intellectual mentor, John Battle, he joins a one-eyed Native American artist, a Chinese-American martial arts expert, and the scion's faithful drag-queen lover, as they embark on a wild chase to reach their objective. Much of the action takes place in a lovingly-described China. This is fantasy for people who don't read fantasy, adventure for those who avoid adventure books. The little bits of surrealism are a seasoning for the great writing, rather than a substitute for it, as is often the case in so many works of this type. A very enjoyable book.
Review by Libby Cone
The Jade Owl Reviewed by Blue Goddess (CA United States)
I've never been to China . . .
But by the time I finished The Jade Owl, I felt like I had. Lush descriptions make you feel as if you are actually there with these well drawn characters. As the reviews come in, I know the name Simone will pop up again and again as a favorite. The story is rich, complex, exciting, and thankfully, not over when you finish it! I am now onto The Third Peregrination, the sequel to The Jade Owl. Thank heavens there's more!
Review by Blue Goddess
The Jade Owl Reviewed by Frost's Fancy (Rainbow Reviews)
From Rainbow Reviews
Sinologist Professor Rowden Gray receives the opportunity of his professional lifetime, a curator position at the fabled San Francisco East Asian Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture, which houses the collection of his late mentor, "Old China Hand" John Battle. Battle's great work had been discredited due to his insistence on the Jade Owl, a mysterious missing artifact commissioned by China's only Empress. When RG arrives, he immediately discovers the position has been rescinded, he encounters a strange young man who proves to be Battle's prodigal son, and learns the Jade Owl really exists. Plunging into a drama worthy of an Errol Flynn swashbuckler, the soon-boon companions and several others are off on a life-and-death chase through San Francisco and then on to Hong Kong as the portal into China.
The Jade Owl is a nonstop, don't miss page turner and only the first in a quintology, The Jade Owl Legacy series. Readers, run, do not walk to your nearest book outlet and grab this intriguing gay mystery with its fully realized characters, gay and straight and bi, roller-coaster plotting, and paranormal fantasy elements. The Jade Owl is a true winner.
The Jade Owl Reviewed by Annie G. (U.K.)
"I found The Jade Owl Series by Ed Patterson to be a thoroughly enjoyable and a fascinating read. The main characters are well developed in such a way that you soon grow very fond of them and the descriptions of the various China locations are wonderful. The plot moves along at a fast pace as the main protagonists mature and grow into their various roles. I would definitely recommend these books and look forward to reading any further novels in this series."
Annie G, UK
The Jade Owl Reviewed by Mireille Reyns (Belgium)
Thrilling roller coaster ride
I've read and enjoyed several books by Mr. Patterson, Turning Idolator, No Irish need Apply, Surviving an American Gulag to name but a few. With The Jade Owl Mr Patterson takes you on a roller coaster ride all the way to China!
He passionately guides through the country and his history. The arrival at Gui-lin, the snow at Bei-jing, the crowded Shang-hai during the Lantern Festival, his love for China and the Chinese culture pours from every sentence and you can't help but fall in love too.
I truly enjoyed being in the company of Rowden, Nick Battle, and the wonderful and unique Simone. Brilliantly written and highly recommended !
Mireille Reyns (Belgium)
The Jade Owl Reviewed by Jeffry S Hepple (Waco, Texas)
Edward C. Patterson's book will take you on a breathtaking ride from San Francisco to Beijing with a museum curator, his mentor's son, a one-eyed Cherokee brave, a drag queen and, of course, the mystical jade owl.
I must admit that neither Mr. Patterson's characters nor style are like anything I've ever known before but they soon had me laughing out loud and thoroughly entertained. I heartily recommend it to everyone.
Jeffry S Hepple (Waco, Texas)
By Todd A. Fonseca (Minneapolis, MN)
James Clavell meets Indiana Jones in this China Mystery!
After relocating from New York City to take on the position of a lifetime, sinologist Professor Rowden Gray learns upon his arrival that his position at the San Francisco Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture has been eliminated. Furious with the last minute turn of events, Gray stumbles upon Nick Battle who is none other than the son of Gray's long time mentor - John Battle. Gray finds that Nick possesses The Jade Owl an ancient Chinese relic previously believed to be the stuff of legend. They discover that The Jade Owl may open a sister relic The Joy of Finches held captive in the Museum's Asian display. Together they find The Jade Owl to be more than a relic, but the key to finding the lost tomb of the only empress to rule over the middle kingdom - Wu Tze-t'ien.
An eclectic expedition team including Gray, Nick, Nick's life partner and drag queen - Simone, a one-eyed Cherokee - Griffen, and Chinese American martial arts expert - Audrey, set out to return The Jade Owl to the empress. However, the Owl reveals itself to be much more than a relic, but a vessel for controlling, channeling, and altering Chi creating unspeakable power. These China Hands must return the Owl in time or unleash it's dangers to the world.
In The Jade Owl, Edward C. Patterson does a masterful job at taking the reader deep into a journey of China's cultural treasures. The history, foods, people, architecture, politics, even aromas of Hong Kong, Canton, Shanghai, Beijing, Guilin, are carefully and beautifully conveyed and Patterson's expertise in this area shines. He has also created characters so real that one feels they are reading a diary of life experiences as opposed to fictional fantasy. As a result, The Jade Owl has all of the intrigue and interest of an Indiana Jones mystery but is grounded in the reality of true to life characters making it more satisfying in the end.
My only hesitation to giving this novel 5 stars was the lack of conflict and action driving the first half of the book. While the mystery of The Jade Owl is the backbone of the story, it seemed to fade to the background in the first half in favor of the rich cultural excursions the expedition team took as they traveled China. None-the-less, this is a very satisfying read and Patterson is a very accomplished writer.
For those looking for the cultural intrigue of the middle kingdom and a fantastical mystery involving ancient relics of a long forgotten empress, The Jade Owl delivers. It is the first of the five book Jade Owl legacy.
Todd A Fonseca, author of The Time Cavern
Review by Sondi Miller of The Jade Owl
Edward C. Patterson's Characters really come alive for me. I loved Simone. I was happy to buy passage for this adventure and hope to take part in more of Edward C. Patterson's imagination.
Thanks, Ed, for sharing your wonderful stories.
From Aricia's Gay Book Blog
review by Aricia
I was asked a while ago, will I review POD books ... and the answer to that is a resounding yes. I've said this several times before, and it's true : some of the best fiction being published today is coming out in POD form, where it's direct from the writer to the reader.
However, the first thing I need to do is make sure to qualify this statement! "Direct from writer to reader" does not mean the book hasn't been edited, proofread, labored over, illustrated, layout-designed and so on. The best POD books have had every bit as much work as a book issued from a traditional publishing house. Sometimes more.
I applaud when a really talented writer has the courage to go it alone, because it's going to mean work such as a non-writer can't imagine. (Mel Keegan states the case better than me in this post: POD Publishing: why do it? And why not?")
So I'm delighted to be reviewing The Jade Owl by Edward C. Patterson, which is available from Amazon. com as a paperback, and also in Kindle. It's also available from Smashwords in several formats. (I have the PDF for reading on my desktop because I haven't yet saved enough of my pennies to get an ebook gadeget. Soon. Very soon.)
The story falls into the same category as the "urban fantasy" novels of writers like Charles de Lint (Yarrow, Greenmantle and so on) and Jan Siegel (the Prospero's Children series). It takes place in the real world ... but one of the foundation stones of the book is, paranormal artifacts do exist, and the powers are real. (The same foundation stone is holding up everything from Indiana Jones to the Mummy movies. It's come to be a Hollywood staple.)
In this novel, the artifact is an ancient Chinese object, a six inch piece of Jade carved in the likeness of an owl -- and it's actually a key that opens a box known as the Joy of Finches. What's in the box? That would be telling! But everybody wants the key.
The first thing that impressed me about Jade Owl was how knowledgeable about Chinese antiquities the writer is, and about China itself. Shanghai and Beijing are described with the same amount of detail and enthusiasm as San Francisco -- and never having been to either China or the USA myself, I really appreciated the "local color." Many writers, when setting their plots in London, New York, what have you, seem to think that everyone's been there and knows intimately every secret of the city. Not true . So, the first level where Jade Owl succeeds is in "selling me" San Francisco, which is the setting for the first long segment of the book.
Then it's off to China, and in the second half of the novel the adventure really kicks in. The first half is more of an exploration of culture, personality, even history. There's not too much "action" in this part of the story, but I liked having the story built up properly from the ground up, so that all readers are on the same page when the knock-down-drag-out adventure begins.
The characters are, for the most part, excellently drawn, with only one or two of the lesser players falling back on "stock characterization." Edward C. Patterson's dialog is very believable, you can "hear" voices saying these lines. But it was the paranormal aspects of the story that hooked me ... I love this stuff anyway, and the Jade Owl does it well. I know a little bit about things Chinese, since I grew up with a huge crush on Bruce Lee and read/watched everything I could get my hands on over the space of about ten years! Jade Owl is a real treat.
It's a crying shame this book had to be self-published, and you have to ask yourself what the publishing world is coming to, when gifted writers everywhere are having to fly solo. Jade Owl is not just "competently" written -- it's only one thorough, ruthless edit away from being on a par with the top-notch writers who sell in the gajillions. (Trust me on this: I've been a pro "proofie" for decades and have seen the best and worst that professional writers can turn out ... and some long-time professional writers I could name churn out unpunctuated drivel that has to be bashed into shape by line-editors who get paid about $10 an hour!) There was a time, maybe 20 years ago, when a publisher would take in a manuscript from an inspired and gifted writer, and would assign an editor to do the final work, then the book would be jacketed and sent out there with posters and hype galore. (Doesn't happen now. A manuscript can be received that is absolutely gem-perfect, and it'll still get turned around and sent back unread ... sad to say, I've worked in the industry and seen what happens: it'd shock you).
But -- I digress! The Jade Owl is an extremely good read. It gets off to a slightly shaky start, but the style settles right down after a few pages and is very readable. You'll like the central characters of "Rowdy" Gray, Nick Battle and his partner, Simone. In fact, you ought to love Simone, who's a drag queen from the Castro, indomitable, very human, very "real." There's enough gay content to keep GLBTI readers reading -- and more than enough action of other kinds (sensual, paranormal, cultural, comedic) to keep straight readers reading.
It's also hellaciously good value for money, at $15.45 for the paperback, $3.19 in Kindle, and $3.99 from Smashwords ... and this is a major novel, over 200,000 words. And here is one of the great things about getting a book direct from the writer: because there's no publisher to accommodate, the price can afford to be much lower than you'd think.
Does the book have a downside? Well ... maybe, but it depends who you are, and what your "ear" is like! The writing style can be a little erratic at times, but many readers would also call this one of the book's charms. So there you are -- as with so many facets of so many books -- it's actually your call. I found the PDF ebook easy to read, but halfway through I longed for a "proper" ebook reader to get away from the PC -- not the author's fault! When I get myself an iLiad, or Bebook or something similar, I shall be reading Jade Owl a second time in the comfort of a hammock chair at the bottom of the garden.
I should also note that there are two more books following on from The Jade Owl , the first one of which is available now, the second, on its way. I still have to get to the second, so can't talk about it here.
Recommended on many levels. AG's rating: 4 out of five stars -- with a "gold star" added for incredibly good value for money.
Review of The Jade Owl - 4-stars.
Review by Lily Mackay
"Edward C Patterson has written what can be called a supernatural suspense/horror story. At the same time it gives a colorful description of the gay and drag culture of San Francisco and is a loving portrait of the land and people of East Asia, with a good dose of China's cultural and temporal history tossed in for good measure.
In spite of it's size (almost 600 pages)the story is fast-paced. It begins in San Francisco where Professor Rowden Gray, an expert in China's Sung dynasty, is first offered, then denied, a position at the San Francisco Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture. Professor Gray had been especially keen on working at the museum because of its housing the collection of artifacts from deceased archeologist John Battle, his former mentor. Shortly after being told that the position he had been offered is no longer available, Professor Gray meets a free-spirited, smart-mouthed, gay, twenty-something man named Nick, whom he eventually discovers is John Battle's son.
From here on the story gets complicated. Professor Gray (Nick calls him Rowdy) is introduced to several people who will either help or hinder him and Nick when they try to return the Jade Owl, a John Battle artifact, to a secret tomb in China. The Jade Owl, it turns out, is more than just an artifact; it has sinister abilities of its own. It can shred the curtain between the material and spiritual worlds, and create portals in time through which visions can be seen and items passed. Not to mention what it can do to people who touch it!
Throughout the book, Patterson's strength is in his ability to describe his characters, and there are many, without turning them into caricatures. His evocation of place--landscapes, cities, hotels--is equally as impressive; so, too his telling of the supernatural shenanigans of the Jade Owl."
"Make That Five Snaps Up and a Circle Round the World, Honey!!!
Review by NYWriter (New York, NY)
That's for you, Simone DeFleurry!! Who's Simone DeFleurry? Well, she's actually Simon Geldfarb, the S-I-G-N-I-F-I-C-A-N-T `significant other' of John Battle's son. Who's John Battle? John Battle was Rowden Gray's professor at Columbia University and someone that claimed to have held The Jade Owl in his very own his hands. Who's Rowden Gray and what's The Jade Owl? Rowden Gray is the protagonist that's just had the position of working at the San Francisco Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture yanked out from underneath him and if you're asking these questions, it's clear you haven't read The Jade Owl. Now I have a question for you? Why not?!!
The Jade Owl is a wonderful read! It's full of myth and legend -fact and fantasy. It crosses between historical reference to fun-filled fiction and back again as easily as Simone picks out an ensemble! It's as big and expansive as the country the infamous owl originated - and just as enigmatic! Mr. Edward Patterson does a fabulous job of weaving and holding his story together with that most special of glues - imagination! The result is a pleasurable read. It's as easy as gliding down the Yangtze in a Dragon boat under the brilliance of a full moonl! You just don't want it to end and wish it could go on forever!!!
There's a whole host of interesting characters acting as some magical crazy glue catalysts. They drive each other - and the story -forward. Then there's The Jade Owl itself. Will it ever be found? Will it ever be reunited with its rightful owner? Who is its rightful owner? And is there a grander scheme behind it all? Most importantly, will the blasted bird ever stop hooting at the least opportune moments? All these questions are answered in their own time and we are there to witness history! ... well, invented history! And isn't that the best kind? Especially when the outcome is safely in the expert hands of Edward C. Patterson!!!
A toast to Mr. Patterson, China, a drag queen that knows how to run in heels and hooty owls everywhere!!!"
Edward C. Patterson
The Jade Owl http://www.amazon.com/dp/1440447977 (Paperback)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001J54AWO (Kindle - only $3.19)
The Jade Owl http://www.amazon.com/dp/1440447977 (Trade Paper)
Edward C. Patterson
A rollercoaster adventure