#PrideLibrary21 · Blog · Book Reviews · LGBTQIA+ Books · Reviews · Young Adult Books

Black Water Sister Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I will earn a small amount of commission on any purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.
I was sent a copy of this novel by the publishers to review, however this has no bearing on my rating or review.

As Jessamyn packs for Malaysia, it’s not a good time to start hearing a bossy voice in her head. Broke, jobless and just graduated, she’s abandoning America to return ‘home’. But she last saw Malaysia as a toddler – and is completely unprepared for its ghosts, gods and her eccentric family’s shenanigans.
Jess soon learns her ‘voice’ belongs to Ah Ma, her late grandmother. She worshipped the Black Water Sister, a local deity. And when a business magnate dared to offend her goddess, Ah Ma swore revenge. Now she’s decided Jess will help, whether she wants to or not.
As Ah Ma blackmails Jess into compliance, Jess fights to retain control. But her irrepressible relative isn’t going to let a little thing like death stop her, when she can simply borrow Jess’s body to make mischief. As Jess is drawn ever deeper into a world of peril and family secrets, getting a job becomes the least of her worries.

Add Black Water Sister on: Goodreads

Buy Black Water Sister : Blackwell’s  | Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones

Black Water Sister is the beautiful and haunting story of female rage and revenge. The story is set in Malaysia and the detailed and evocative writing brought the setting to life. The use of dialect and language added an element of realism to the story and immersed the reader further into the rich culture of Malaysia. Zen Cho has explored Malaysian religion and culture within the story by incorporating various gods and spirits and their relevance to the characters of Black Water Sister.

The main character Jess has plenty of problems, she’s had to move to Malaysia after living in the US for nineteen years, she’s hiding her identity as a lesbian and her long distance relationship from her parents and she’s also unemployed, but her problems don’t end there as her dead grandmother, Ah Ma, is seeking vengeance and has decided to use Jess to get it. I loved the pairing of Ah Ma and Jess, they argued constantly but they each also formed a grudging respect for the other. Jess is the floundering twenty-something year old character that I desperately need in books, Black Water Sister is a coming of age story of sorts at a more realistic age and I love it.

A lesbian heroine fighting gods, ghosts and gangsters while being haunted by her grandmother in a beautiful modern Malaysian setting, what more could you possibly want in a story?

Ways to support me and my work;
Support me by liking, commenting on and/or sharing my blog posts.
Join Scribd for free audiobooks and eBooks for 2 months and I receive a month free as well!
Follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter. Support me on Kofi.
Support me by using my affiliate links when purchasing books: Blackwell’s | Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones.
Support me through my Amazon Wishlist to enable me to keep reading and reviewing books.

You might also like the following posts:
#PrideLibrary21 announcement
What Planet Can I Blame This On? – Book Review
June ’21 TBR


6 thoughts on “Black Water Sister Review

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s