M. H. Boroson’s debut novel, The Girl With Ghost Eyes, does not waste any time getting to the action. Within the first few pages, the title character Li-lin is projecting herself out of her body to enter the realm of ghosts, where she must fight off possession with kung fu and a magic sword. A few pages later, she’s looking for help from demons parading through Chinatown, and bribing a two-tailed cat spirit with fish oil and paper mice. The pace never slows, offering a constant stream of strange characters, dire threats, and heroic actions that makes the book a compelling page-turner.
Set in 19th-century San Francisco, the story follows Li-lin as she attempts to save her father and entire community from the machinations of the bitter son of a local gang leader and a sorcerer who specializes in forbidden rituals. Boroson lists Buffy The Vampire Slayer as an influence on his work. In many ways the book follows the structure of a season of Joss Whedon’s show: A heroine facing the possibility of an apocalyptic event has to take her own powers to the limit while getting by with a lot of help from her friends.
Unfortunately, Li-lin, like Buffy, is a badass who spends too much time whining about……..