Review: “The Great Wall” by Z. Allora

TITLE: The Great Wall
AUTHOR: Z. Allora
SERIES: Made in China
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 280 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 9, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback


Jun “Styx” Wong’s heart and mind battle to determine his destiny. His mind tells him to be a good Chinese son and marry the girl his parents chose, but his heart longs for his best friend, Jin, and life with their new band. “Jun” means honesty, but he’s not even honest with himself. A quest to eradicate his feelings for Jin nearly ends his life. Styx’s near death serves as a wake-up call for Jin, whose blond hair–legacy of his German father–marks him as different. Jin harbors secrets of his own. His experiences prepare him to take the drastic measures needed to help Jun overcome the walls surrounding them.
Because there is no gay in China…

The Great Wall is the first book in the Made in China series by Z. Allora. The book takes place in China, and so we do get quite a bit of background into Chinese culture with this first book. It was a real eye-opener for me who lives in the USA. I was aware that in some places you couldn’t be as open about your sexuality but this is the first book that I have read about the Chinese culture and I was kind of sad at how repressed it was. That in order to be a good son you have to do whatever your parents want you to do and marry whoever they want you to marry whether you want to or not.

Like the concept that there aren’t any homes to take care of old people and so having a child is their insurance that somebody will take care of them as they get older. And in order to have a child, you have to get married which must lead to a lot of unhappy marriages. It’s all so very backward from what I am used to reading and how the world works in the USA. Not that the book wasn’t entertaining because it was, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series when it comes out.

I did sometimes have a hard time feeling the connection between Jun Tai “Styx” and his best friend, Jin. But I did enjoy watching both of them get more comfortable being a gay couple and being comfortable to show affection to each other in their apartment in front of their friends and fellow band members, Li and Indigo. And later their new singer, Tian Di. I do have to say that Li and Indigo stole the spotlight on more than one occasion and I was intrigued by their relationship, and I can’t wait to find out what happens to their relationship.

I also can’t wait to see who their singer, Tian Di, ends up with. I did like getting to see all of the different places that were visited in the book and with the way they were described I felt like I was there with the guys while they explored the Great Wall and other tourist places.

Overall, a good start to a new series, and I can’t wait to see where the series goes from here.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***


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