In Search of Rohan Chang

Young Adult - Coming of Age
572 Pages
Reviewed on 05/16/2023
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Author Biography

Lincoln Lee received his Bachelor's degree in computer science from Queens College and his Doctorate in pharmacy from Long Island University. Born in New York, Lincoln often spent his days in the Bronx, exploring urban art during his misspent youth. As an Asian American, Lincoln advocates strongly for increased awareness of the Asian American community, whose diverse members have made countless significant contributions throughout America's history. From atomic science to labor rights, from inventing the USB to YouTube, Asian Americans have positively impacted America. Still, most have never made it into textbooks. When not writing or reading, working in the pharmaceutical industry, and drinking too much coffee, Lincoln enjoys exploring the outdoors in New Jersey with his dog, Licky, and spending time with family and friends.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

In Search of Rohan Chang is a work of fiction in the Christian sci-fi and fantasy, adventure, and cross-cultural writing subgenres. It is intended for the young adult reading audience but can be enjoyed by adult readers and mature middle-grade readers too. Penned by author Lincoln Lee, this immersive and accomplished work follows an Asian-American teenager, the titular Rohan Chang, as a series of mysterious murders sends his world into disarray. Rohan begins to hear mysterious voices in his head, a serial killer stalks New York, and high school sweetheart drama rears its head at the most inopportune times in this incredibly magical and spiritual tale of self-discovery.

Author Lincoln Lee has penned an incredible work of young adult fiction that will quickly become a favorite read for so many young people and also adults that appreciate accomplished adventure works with plenty of depth and poignant themes. One of the major highlights of the work for me was the exploration of the immigrant experience and the clashing and melding of cultures that Rohan experiences as an Asian-American. This is penned in an emotive and natural way that makes the experience so accessible to readers and would be a fantastic talking point in any classroom or youth group. Beyond this, the mystery, suspense, and crime elements of the tale blend seamlessly into the magical realism and fantasy plotlines, giving an immersive and entertaining reading experience grounded in a core emotional concept. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend In Search of Rohan Chang to any reader anywhere, as it offers so much to so many different audiences.

Asher Syed

In Search of Rohan Chang by Lincoln Lee is a Christian fantasy novel that revolves around the titular character, a high school kid named Rohan Chang who discovers he's kind of a bigger deal than he or anyone else could have dreamed. Rohan is an Asian-American teen with a lot on his plate. At school, he is a bit of a nobody, an existence reinforced by the feelings of his crush Amayah gravitating toward more popular somebodies. Rohan also has to deal with the realities of family expectations and bigotry, set against a backdrop of New York City and its crime. Rohan's life changes when he begins to hear a voice that is matched by superpowers, which he wields to catapult his popularity profile at school and to manage issues at home. When a second voice begins to tempt Rohan with more sinister guidance, who Rohan really wants to be, when there isn't much holding him back between paths of good and evil, comes into play.

As an Asian man who grew up not seeing anyone who felt like they could be me in literature, I will always pick up a book where the protagonist is someone my children might be able to relate to. It's a mixed bag quality wise so when I started reading In Search of Rohan Chang by Lincoln Lee, my hope that engaging novels that represent Asian protags do exist was restored, big time. Despite all the action that weaves through Lee's storyline, and there is a lot to keep the pages turning, there is little doubt that this is a character-driven story with a character arc that is unmistakable. Rohan goes from relative invisibility to the guy everyone wants to hang out with, which is where a less skilled author would likely finish the journey. It's satisfying and easy even if it is clichéd. Instead, Lee goes further, incorporates time hops and a familiar theme of an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other fighting for the soul of a boy, and melds them into a coming-of-age tale that is all things physical, emotional, and spiritual. The Christian elements hinge on the power of prayer and the strength of faith, but for me, the growth was cemented when the formerly introverted Rohan goes into a bar and embarks on a battle of wits with racist patrons and a condescending bartender with possible links to the mafia. It's a riot and overall this is a great piece of literature. Very highly recommended.

Jamie Michele

Lincoln Lee's theological fantasy In Search of Rohan Chang illuminates the quest of a young protagonist, Rohan Chang, as he navigates a complex but unextraordinary life. A high school student of Asian-American heritage, Rohan is beset by a multiplicity of challenges, from family demands to unrequited love for a classmate named Amayah that borders on obsession. In a New York minute, Rohan is imbued with a mystical voice that endows him with power beyond his wildest dreams. With his newfound abilities and confidence, his social status is elevated and he is ready to take the world and his family head-on...until the malevolent whisperings of a second voice cast a shadow over his decision-making process. As Rohan embarks on a journey of self-discovery, he must confront his inner demons and the external obstacles that assail him and New York City at large.

I once bought a battery-operated lightsaber from a dollar store and came home the next evening to find my daughter swirling it around, telling me if I needed her that she'd be out fighting crime. I suppose there is a little bit of the desire to be a superhero in all of us and In Search of Rohan Chang by Lincoln Lee gives us a dose of what it might look like. Lee presents a compelling coming-of-age narrative that poignantly captures the myriad of tribulations experienced by a contemporary teenager in America, amplified by the weight of a city with a serial killer on the loose and racism that is, unfortunately, a fact of life for people of color. I empathized with Rohan on the family front and have first-hand experience with the generational divide between the immigrant journey of parents and their American-born and bred children. I grew up with a bonafide Tiger Mom and, as a parent, now opted for the polar opposite: an ultra-soft and fluffy parenting philosophy. Rohan bucks the trend, gets the girl, saves a lot of people from terrible harm, and becomes a hero. Still, his salvation and balance come from meditation and the power of prayer, grounding a great story and a spectacularly written novel into a relatable tale.

Rosie Malezer

In Search of Rohan Chang is a coming-of-age tale by Lincoln Lee. Incorporating a multitude of genres, it tells the story of a boy from New York who goes from being a favorite target of bullies to a superhero overnight. As Rohan comes to terms with the new and unique powers within him, he also tries hard to live up to his parents' high expectations of him. He is also often compared to his brother who seems to do no wrong in their eyes. One day when trying to escape the police, Rohan teleports while running, coming upon a woman's dead body which had also been mutilated. Scared, he keeps the gruesome discovery a secret until it overwhelms him, and Rohan finally reveals what happened that night to two people - one, a stranger at school, and the other, his crush and best friend, Amayah. Between gang attacks, being bullied, finding a love of volunteering, helping those in need, and developing a new respect for his faith, Rohan (and Amayah) accidentally travel through time to right the wrongs done to others, changing history in their wake. Many lives are changed after two time jumps, creating a better tomorrow, but one thing is still desperately in need of remedying - the serial killer in New York has upped his kill count. Rohan is now able to see into the murderer's mind, which in turn makes him the new focus of the killer. If only Rohan can survive what is coming while keeping safe those he loves most in this world.

As this is the first book I have come across by Lincoln Lee, I was unsure what to expect as I began reading but quickly became quite captivated by this most unusual tale. What started as a story of an awkward teen living out a 'religious Back to the Future'-themed tale, suddenly transformed into a romance filled with action, social awkwardness, emotional growth, and more. I loved how Lee was able to meld such immense variety seamlessly, entwining each storyline with the next. The changes that each time jump carried forward to the future were remarkable. I loved how detailed and accurate each era was, and wish all books gave this amount of factual recall with books dealing in backward time travel. In Search of Rohan Chang introduces readers to a boy who is not sure of himself, of what is important, or how to reach his own goals during this incredible journey of self-discovery. I felt every thrill as Rohan defeated his bullies and his own demons while learning how to love others and accept himself by channeling his strengths. As complex as this book might seem, I can honestly say it is one of the most gripping, touching, humorous yet scary tales I have ever read, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to readers aged 15 and over who like their heroes to reach outside the box.

Rabia Tanveer

In Search of Rohan Chang by Lincoln Lee follows the story of our titular hero Rohan Chang as he experiences upheavals and turbulent teenage years as a serial killer runs rampant across New York City. Of course, he should only focus on winning Amayah’s heart, but things are far more complicated than Rohan anticipated. As if battling anxiety wasn’t enough, Rohan starts to hear voices in his head. Add a sprinkle of powers, a dead body, and bullies, and we have the perfect young adult coming-of-age novel. Before he knows it, Rohan is fighting a losing battle with himself. One part of him wants power while the other shies away from it. Is Rohan going to find the answers to his questions? Or will the voices consume him?

In Search of Rohan Chang is set in the fast-paced environment of New York City and its five boroughs and features a richly descriptive narrative with well-drawn characters. An engaging plot and strong character development are the highlights of the story. The dialogues are fantastic. The descriptions of New York City as Rohan wandered through the different areas were transportive and made me feel I was beside him. Lincoln Lee crafted the narrative with perfection in mind, and he succeeded. He adds just the right amount of religion, family drama, and teenage angst to make us fall in love with Rohan. I was rooting for him until the end. I loved the world-building and the imagery created with well-chosen words. I have already recommended this novel to many friends and will continue until the libraries in my area have at least one copy.

Grant Leishman

In Search of Rohan Chang by Lincoln Lee is a magical coming-of-age novel with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers fixed on the story. Asian-American teenager Rohan Chang desperately wants to find his place in the madness of high school life in New York City. A top student, Rohan is determined to escape the drudgery and struggle that has plagued his parents since their move from Taiwan to the United States. A secret graffiti artist by night, Rohan finds painting walls and landmarks around his neighborhood allows him the freedom to express the self-doubts, anxieties, and fear of being a minority and a “good kid” in the crazy, gang-ridden, racially divided, and crime-infested area he lives. He secretly longs for more than friendship from his good friend, Amayah, but lacks the courage to make the first move. With a crazed serial killer roaming the streets of New York, nobody is safe, and when Rohan hears voices in his head, he fears for his sanity. When he discovers strange, unbelievable powers also accompany the voices, he starts an adventure that defies the imagination, not to mention time and space.

In Search of Rohan Chang was fresh air for me. Long enough to allow wonderful character development and a never-ending sequence of action, this was a truly satisfying read. Author Lincoln Lee has touched a relatable chord with the characters of Rohan and Amayah, two minority teenagers trying to fit in the melting pot of ethnicities. I appreciated the constant war inside Rohan’s head that encapsulates good versus evil or God versus the Devil. What I particularly loved about this story was the excellent action scenes, which put readers right into the heart of the battles and allowed them to identify with the pain, hopelessness, and tragedy, and yet still offer the faint hope of somehow overcoming the immense odds thrown against the pair. The time travel was a clever literary device to bring home to readers that although the physical aspects of slavery have changed over the centuries, the ingrained attitudes and biases based on a person’s skin color or ethnicity are still there and creating conflict and discord. Counterbalancing the violence and the action, In Search of Rohan Chang is full of introspection, thoughtful questions, situations, and difficulties that allow readers to think and judge their beliefs. The love story between Rohan and Amayah gives the narrative some gentle, sweet, and loving passages to counterbalance the violence. In my opinion, this is a great novel, and I can highly recommend it.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

In Search of Rohan Chang is a YA coming-of-age novel by Lincoln Lee. Raised in the Fresh Ghetto in New York, with idols like Superman and Bruce Lee, graffiti artist Rohan Chang goes to school and hopes to attend an epic party. Rohan is saddened and sickened by racial inequity in his community, especially with the treatment of people of Asian descent. Rohan hears voices as a serial killer who targets young women surfaces. With the help of voices—both good and corrupting—he’s encouraged to enhance his abilities while practicing them. After his hubris catches up with him, Rohan is humbled and focuses his powers on greater things.

Lincoln Lee’s story has a 1990s feel, with sports star references and the dialect of the era. This coming-of-age journey is unique as Lee’s deep descriptions immerse the reader in the feelings his character experiences with each discovered ability. Rohan has several powers, and the discovery of each sends the reader on a more profound journey with him, from combatting street thugs to traveling through time to 1854 and 1980. As with most stories involving supernatural abilities, the reader watches the protagonist develop supernatural skills while attacking immediate threats, only to find they are destined for a greater purpose. The book has a strong Christian undertone, and Lee is an expert at weaving the battle between good and evil into the story. In Search of Rohan Chang is excellent for readers who enjoy young adult heroes and magical realism.

Foluso Falaye

After losing his friend, Rohan Chang hears voices that save him from danger and provide him with supernatural abilities. Socially reserved Rohan finally has a shot at popularity and dating his crush: Amayah. However, he learns that all that glitters is not gold when the voices encourage him to gain power at all costs and lead him into dangerous situations, including the crime scenes of a serial killer. Also, another voice surfaces with a different and more positive message. Where are these voices coming from, and who will Rohan Chang choose to listen to? Lincoln Lee's In Search of Rohan Chang is a thrilling Christian-themed young adult story that centers on a gifted teenager's struggle to choose between two paths and his experience of history, love, modern life, evil, and being a minority in New York.

The book includes several profound opinions about New York from an Asian teen's friendly first-person viewpoint. However, it switches a few times to other characters' perspectives, such as the spine-chilling thoughts of a serial killer. A book perfect for wisdom seekers, In Search of Rohan Chang is brimming with deep messages about valuing closeness to God, true friendship, parents' sacrifices, and social tolerance. The reader is carried along throughout Rohan's highly erratic, immersing journey—from a vain, amateur superhero to a wiser, more experienced one. Lincoln creates a rich, irresistible tale that combines everything you love about various genres, including action, time travel, low fantasy, teenage drama, romance, and Christian fiction. If you love these genres, you must experience the book yourself because words alone cannot fully capture all it has to offer.

Pikasho Deka

In Search of Rohan Chang is an urban superhero fantasy by Lincoln Lee. It's the mid-90s, and Asian American teenager Rohan Chang can't wait to escape from under his strict father's shadow and continue performing as an underground graffiti artist in New York City. But his life turns upside down when he hears voices in his head and develops superpowers that enable him to fight against local gangs. When Rohan and his crush, Amayah, are transported to a slave plantation in Oxford, Mississippi, in 1854, they help their fellow captives to freedom. However, on returning home, they find themselves in 1980s New York, where Rohan and Amayah learn more about their family history. Now, Rohan must prepare for a final confrontation with a notorious serial killer who has Amayah in his grasp.

If you're a fan of young adult superhero stories like Spider-Man or The Flash, author Lincoln Lee's action-packed novel will be right up your alley. In Search of Rohan Chang is epic in scope and ambitious in execution. The plotting is intricate and completely unpredictable. Lee seamlessly switches timelines through a narrative soaked in biblical allegories. As a reader, you spend much time in Rohan's head and are privy to his every action and motive. It makes him relatable as a character, and you find yourself rooting for him until the end. I enjoyed Rohan's romance with Amayah and the vividly described fight sequences. Overall, an absorbing superhero origin story.

Parul Sood

Embark on a mesmerizing journey into the world of Lincoln Lee's In Search of Rohan Chang, where the pursuit of a serial killer intertwines with the mysterious powers bestowed upon a young Asian American protagonist. Set against the vibrant backdrop of New York City, this novel takes readers on a gripping exploration as Rohan Chang confronts his deepest fears and unravels thrilling mysteries. As an unlikely hero grappling with newfound abilities, Rohan's quest for identity and survival becomes an immersive odyssey, further complicated by the enigmatic nature of his powers and the ethereal guidance of the "voice."

In the YA novel In Search of Rohan Chang, Lincoln Lee's prose transcends boundaries, seamlessly traversing themes of bullying, the immigrant experience, and the exhilarating hunt for a serial killer, while expertly infusing political commentary into the characters' lived experiences, evoking a profound sense of depth and relevance. Notably, the incorporation of elements of Christianity into the narrative emerges as a harmonious thread, enhancing the story's overall richness and complexity. Through Rohan Chang's transformative journey, readers are compelled to contemplate morality, family ties, and the intricacies of justice. Lee's descriptive prowess and remarkable scene-building conjure up a truly inventive and captivating murder mystery. In Search of Rohan Chang, as guided by the incisive storytelling of Lincoln Lee, offers readers an immersive and thought-provoking experience, immersing them in a world brimming with suspense, intrigue, and self-discovery. This novel stands as a remarkable testament to Lee's talent, leaving readers eagerly enthralled by Rohan's compelling voyage until the final page.


In Search of Rohan Chang by Lincoln Lee is a well-written and engaging book. The opening pages ooze with the essence of New York City, and the energy it contains. You get a true sense of the city right away. The writing is crisp and eloquent with an undertone of melancholy as the main character is brought into the story. Rohan Chang is a somewhat troubled young Asian American trying to make his way, even though he is literally following around the girl of his dreams. Filled with visions of and the pursuit of the American dream, an interesting amalgamation of Christianity and self-actualization, this is a great book, and certainly worth delving into. Recommended.