I really liked this book, not only because Mulan is one of my favorite Disney movies (sorry, Frozen, you didn't make it), but also because it's a really good book! There is a lot of Chinese culture in it (duh), but what I liked about it was that it was written by an Asian author, so the mythology doesn't seem... forced. (The other Disney Twisted Tales were written by Liz Braswell)
PLOT: Mulan makes a deal with King Yama of Diyu (THE UNDERWORLD) in order to save Captain Li Shang from certain death after an encounter with the Huns. This book picks up with the snow/avalanche scene from the movie, then moves into the dramatic world of the dead. A highly entertaining plot, with TWISTS (ha, ha, get it? No? Hmm..) and turns, and where nothing is exactly what it seems. A good look into what might have happened should Shang have died (the whole movie would have been totally different!), and a re-imagining of the moment where Shang learns that Ping is Mulan.
CHARACTERS: I love Mulan even more, now. Not only is she totally awesome, but she kicks serious demon butt in this book! "Reflection" is told in the first-person perspective, from Mulan's point of view, something that is difficult to do in a movie, and it was really fun and interesting to read her thoughts. The title of the book REFLECTS (Ha, h-- Okay, I'll stop now.)
the internal confusion Mulan is experiencing. She is faced with many faces and many decisions, and self-doubt along the way.
ACCURACY: Lots of Chinese mythology and terms, such as "lao lao" and "nai nai," which both mean Grandmother (but in different places and on different sides of the family, as per Chinese, and yes, I know that "Chinese" does not really exist, I'm just using that term so that I don't have to go into the inter-relatedness of the mainland Asian languages --> "Chinese") It also helps to solidify the gender roles that were expected from men and women during that time, something that was part of the movie, as well.
RECOMMENDATION: Movies + Books are always iffy, but I suggest this book to you if you like Mulan or Disney in general. "Reflection" doesn't change the course of the movie, but only adds to it and tweaks it in tiny ways. The events in "Reflection" happen over the course of one action-packed night, and makes for an engaging and exciting read. I would recommend seeing the movie if you haven't already, though, because although references are made (i.e. quotes from the movie) it helps to understand where the references are from. Five out of Five. 100% Double thumbs up.
I thoroughly enjoyed returning to Mulan's world in this inventive re-telling. Mulan has been one of my favorite characters (and my favorite Disney movie) for a long time, and I particularly love her relationship with Shang. This installment just increased that admiration, while educating me on Chinese mythology in a fun and entertaining way. It was fast-paced and easy to read.
sarahbru17 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over
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