StoryGraph Saturday: Black Water Sister

StoryGraph Saturday is a weekly thing where I randomly choose a book from my To Read pile on StoryGraph and show it off to both remind myself that it’s there and to show it to you, Dear Reader, in case you might find it interesting, too.


Black Water Sister
by Zen Cho
Fantasy
384 pages
Published in 2021

From The StoryGraph:

A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.

When Jessamyn Teoh starts hearing a voice in her head, she chalks it up to stress. Closeted, broke and jobless, she’s moving back to Malaysia with her parents – a country she last saw when she was a toddler.

She soon learns the new voice isn’t even hers, it’s the ghost of her estranged grandmother. In life, Ah Ma was a spirit medium, avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a business magnate who has offended the god–and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it, whether Jess wants to or not.

Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business, but dealing with her grandmother is just as complicated. Especially when Ah Ma tries to spy on her personal life, threatens to spill her secrets to her family and uses her body to commit felonies. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny – or the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.


Having recently read Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown and enjoying the heck out of it, my interest in her latest book is higher than ever. Plus, Rachel from Kalanadi recently reviewed it and gave it five stars, and as many of my tastes align with hers, it sounds like I will like this one, too. My library has it, so I hope to check it out sometime soon.

5 thoughts on “StoryGraph Saturday: Black Water Sister

  1. This sounds like a really interesting story, especially the bit about the possession of her grandmother! I don’t think we see that that often, grandparents are usually always the good guys in YA I think. Thanks for highlighting!

  2. Oh thanks for pointing out that it’s Adult and not YA! I’ve been more interested in trying to read Adult novels so that’s great to know! I also think the Malaysian setting sounds really interesting, I don’t hear a lot about it expect on Twitter!

  3. This sounds fascinating, both the Malaysian setting, which I don’t think I’ve encountered in a book before, and a grandmother who seems willing to manipulate and sacrifice her grandchild. Quite a family drama! I checked my collection and found a novella and short story collection by Zen Cho so I’m going to try to start with those before buying any more. I like your idea of checking the library, very smart. 🙂

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