The Undertaking of Lily Chen — Danica Novgorodoff

April 29, 2017

Ancient Chinese custom demands that each unwed man to pass away, must be found a wife – preferably also deceased – to be buried alongside him. After all, eternity is a big place, and no man should be forced to enter it alone.

When Deshi Li accidentally causes the death of his own brother, his family places the weight upon him to find a beautiful bride. In a world ruled by tradition, merchants can be hired to assist one in exhuming graves to seek out lovely women, but when Deshi Li meets Lily Chen, he decides she’s the one – too bad she isn’t dead yet.


Let me preface this review by admitting that my disappointment was, in part, due to the artwork. I really try hard to focus on the story in a graphic novel, allowing the artwork to be icing on the proverbial cake, but the cover for this novel is stunning. I insisted on pointing it out to everyone – the librarian, my boyfriend, my mother… this thing is a damn work of art.

On the outside.

The inside does not match the cover at all. I positively hated the artwork inside. There is still some watercolor usage, but it doesn’t save the novel from the fact that the art is hideous, inconsistent, and just… I’m sorry, I couldn’t stand it.

That would’ve only been enough to knock this review down to 4 stars, if it weren’t for the fact that the characters were SO. FUCKING. HORRIBLE. There is not a single likable character in the entire goddamn novel. No, scratch that, Deshi Li’s brother was probably a decent guy, but considering HE’S DEAD, I get to err on the side of believing that every single character is awful. Deshi Li is a piece of shit, his parents don’t deserve to have a family, Lily Chen is a whining, entitled, rude brat, and every side character highlighted throughout the duration of the story is just gruesomely selfish, pathetic, and terrible. I seriously cannot say enough negative things about the character creation and/or development (lol jk, what development?) in this story.

As far as the plot goes, it made no sense. Deshi Li constantly alternates between wanting to fuck Lily Chen and wanting to murder her in her sleep, and she has no interest in him whatsoever until he whips his dick out. I didn’t feel like the story ever actually went anywhere noteworthy, and by the time I reached the back cover, I literally just dumped the book on the floor, saying, “The fuck?”

I would not recommend this book to anyone, except maybe some poor sap who wants to waste precious time that they could spend reading something better, as in almost ANYTHING ELSE.

More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

Leave a comment
    1. What a great review lol. Totally hilarious. I don’t like it when books have only have unlikeable characters. It ruins the experience for me. I feel like if an author can at least give you a “oh if a car was to hit you I would check up on your recovery” type character then the book has a chance of not ending up on the lower end of the star rating spectrum. Hope your next read is better.

      1. Haha thanks for the comment! Glad you enjoyed. I hate giving one-star reviews because they’re so rare for me, but I had to with this one.

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