Musings on Alina Starkov from a Fellow Half-Asian

Just like many other YA fantasy book fans, I’ve been eagerly looking forward to the debut of the Netflix adaptation of Shadow and Bone. A few years back, I’d devoured and adored the Six of Crow duology and then, more recently, tore through the original Shadow and Bone trilogy in a single day earlier this year. My excitement doubled once I heard they’d cast a biracial actress in the lead role because it always means a lot to me to see fellow half-Chinese actresses like Jessie Mei Li in lead roles especially when it’s for a big production like this one. The point is… I was ready and eager to consume this show when it dropped on Friday. And for the most part, by the time the credits of the final episode started playing, I really dug most of what the show did and especially adored the brilliant cast but at the same time… oh boy did their handling of Alina being mixed race make me feel a lot of things in my hapa heart. And not all of them were good. Continue reading