Saturday 22 July 2023

Book Review: The Girl from Wudang by PJ Caldas (Sci-Fi)

Title: The Girl from Wudang
Author: PJ Caldas
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Publication Date: 17 October 2023
Pages: 352
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Sci-Fi
Source: ARC via NetGalley

"My Name is Tigress and I am immortal. This is my story."

When she's in the cage--fighting, that is--she's called Tigress. But for everyday, she is Claudia--for clouds, so soft and elusive that not even the mountains can stop them. In China, for the same reason, she was called Yinyin.

But, in reality, Claudia was born without much Yin--the soft energy of the universe--and too much Yang--the hardest force. Which made her a beast. Hence the nickname, Tigress, that she brought with her to America, just before her Shifu passed. He told her that her imbalance would kill her someday. Of course that same nature caused her not to listen.

Whenever Tigress had the chance, she would jump into the cage again and fight. Usually the big men had no idea what was coming at them. Until it was too late!

When Claudia is invited to a high tech lab full of nerd types she despises, they ask her to let them install weird little robots inside her head, so her mind can be linked to a super brain. It's the ultimate AI experiment. If the connection is good, she will become the smartest fighter who ever lived. And she thinks, why not? Especially since they promise the experiment will also help her condition--Suicidal Headaches, as she called it. Incurable, until that day.

Then, robots in and…headaches gone! What nobody expects however is that these connections, this super brain, will allow Claudia to uncover an old family skill. One hidden in what she always thought to be a silly fable about a tigress, a beehive and a monkey. In China, they refer to it as The Shadow Leap . In the West, there was a much better name for it… Teleportation.


The Girl from Wudang was a book with an intriguing premise and I enjoyed the blending of sci-fi and martial arts, the author's love of which you can definitely feel throughout the story. It started strongly and I was interested in Claudia and her narrative arc. I thought things got a little bogged down with the science in the middle, but once that eased out, I was happy enough with the ending. I did find the footnotes a bit too distracting though. Yes, it helped at times to have some explanation of the science or the mythology, but I think I would have preferred them as end notes. Having footnotes kept pulling me out of the story and the action every time I paused to read them. I am giving this book 4 stars. Worth a read if you like genre-bending fiction.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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