Genre: Mythology


Friday, August 23, 2019

An Adventure Worth Reading: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Posted by 2 Comments

An Adventure Worth Reading: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Gods of Jade and Shadow
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Genre: Adult, Adventure, Fantasy, Mythology
Publication date: July 23rd, 2019
by Del Rey

GoodreadsPurchase
The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own. 

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.
-A copy was provided by Del Rey for review-

It’s been a while since I finished Gods of Jade and Shadow and yet its managed to linger in my mind. I start every single review I’ve written this year of a fantasy book by stating that I’ve been struggling with fantasy lately but I don’t think that statement truly encompasses how much I’ve been struggling. Part of it is my mood but I think a huge part of it is that fantasy these days is just not the kind of fantasy I grew up loving? I love journeys and adventures through foreign lands. I love fantasies that have strong plots driving them forward. I love fantasies that are fairy-tale-esque. 

When Casiopea’s father died, her mother and her were forced to move in with relatives. Of course, in exchange for their ‘generosity,’ Casiopea’s grandfather expects them to take on a large portion of the household chores and thinks it is perfectly acceptable to demean them. One day, Casiopea opens a chest she shouldn’t have, and finds that it contains a God. The God of Death to be precise. She ends up getting roped into a centuries old battle between two brothers (who happen to be Gods) and is forced onto a journey she was neither expecting nor asked for.

I am struggling with words right now and trying not to summarize this book but oh my god, I love this book so much. Several years ago, I read A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms which I adored and Gods of Jade and Shadow is reminiscent of it in all the best ways. 

Casiopea cannot be cowed. Not by her horrible relatives who have mistreated her her entire life and not by the God of Death. She might not truly have a choice about accompanying Hun-Kame but she is out on a journey to embrace the world and find happiness. ANYWAY, I LOVE CASIOPEA. She is such a well-written and well-rounded and all the wells of the world character. I love the way her strength is portrayed. I love seeing her assimilate into a world she hasn’t had access to before. I love her excitement about the tiniest things. She isn’t just a cardboard ‘badass female lead,’ she has depth. She is scared, excited, nervous and also falling in love for the first time.

There is a romance and it is absolutely delightful. I love how much the romance is written as sort of Casiopea’s coming of age rather than something that happens by accident. It affords so much control to Casiopea who has had none before. Hun-Kame is also a delightful grump who I love with all my heart. These two kids work very well together.

The pacing of the plot is great and just right so that my attention did not drift as I was reading. I love that while they are on this journey to recover body parts and also take revenge, there is room for them to explore the world and come across things they hadn’t before. Casiopea trying new things, haircuts, styles in general is so much fun to witness. Mayan mythology is weaved throughout this book and the way it makes the world come to life was fantastic.

If I did a command + f right now, I’d probably come across a lot of repetition of certain adjectives but I am sorry, I just have a lot of love and excitement for this book and a very limited vocabulary. The Gods of Jade and Shadow is truly a delightful read and not one worth missing. 100/10 would recommend.

4.5 Stars
4.5 Hot Espressos

The Anthology We Have Been Waiting For: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

The Anthology We Have Been Waiting For: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Posted by on 07/04/2018 • 2 Comments

There have been so MANY amazing anthologies on my radar this year but A Thousand Beginnings and Endings might have been my most anticipated for the year. 

I’ve talked this about a lot so I sometimes feel like a broken record, but it is an important point and a huge part of my love and excitement for this anthology so it is worth repeating. I grew up without much rep which was weird and confusing. Obviously, this review is not meant to be an analysis of my trauma but even as a teen, this was so evident when I’d open all those angel/vampire books that were soaked in Christian and western myth. Myths I grew up on, or other people grew up where never part of mainstream media even though they…

The Book I Wish I Had When I Was in Middle School: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

The Book I Wish I Had When I Was in Middle School: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Posted by on 03/14/2018 • 7 Comments

I never read Rick Riordan’s books. The short story is that there was no real reason to why I didn’t pick the books up. The longer (and a little pointless) story is that when The Lightning Thief first came out, it had a completely different cover then what it has now. I was in the middle school and our librarian told us all about it. I grew older but it stayed in the corner of my mind, I was in eternal search of the book with the white cover and never realized until a year ago (seriously!!!) that that book was the same one written by Rick Riordan that was so beloved now. Anyway, long pointless story short, I am weird and specific about what I read.

So I missed Rick…

Not really memorable: Freya by Matthew Laurence

Not really memorable: Freya by Matthew Laurence

Posted by on 03/29/2017 • 1 Comment

I feel pretty let down by Freya? The question mark is there because I am not even entirely sure how I feel, just that Freya wasn’t what I wanted it to be when I was looking for a book with norse myth in it. I love books that are set in the modern world and feature heavy doses of mythology and yet, while Freya-the book-was absolutely adorable at times, Freya as a character was kind of annoying. She was obnoxious and while it sometimes made sense since she was a goddess, it could also get really annoying.

I like the contrast the author attempts with her being badass and feminine at the same time, but I also feel like he wasn’t entirely successful with crafting Freya’s character as a blend of those characteristics. She…

Arthurian Myth Meets World War II: The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman

Arthurian Myth Meets World War II: The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman

Posted by on 03/24/2017 • 1 Comment

If you’ve been following along with discussions surrounding World War II books in the community, you will already know this but there aren’t many World War II books out there with Jewish main characters. Not only does The Metropolitans have a (German-American) Jewish main character, it also has Japanese-American, first nations & Irish-American main characters. The page space is split up b/w the four characters and while I cannot accurately speak for any of the rep since I am not from any of those groups, I did feel that it was done pretty well. (If you are from any of those groups and feel differently, I’d be eternally grateful if you choose to let me know so I may edit this review to reflect that!)

One of my favorite childhood books…

ARC Review: Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

ARC Review: Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

Posted by on 12/02/2016 • 10 Comments

I am not entirely sure what I was expecting when I dove into Poison’s Kiss. I was hoping to like it because I was intrigued by the premise but even when I was excited to read it, a small part of me was worried that it would not do justice to my culture. As a story, Poison’s Kiss is fine. The romance is way too insta but it is engaging, there aren’t many plot holes and the characters are relatable. The world building is EXTREMELY lacking though. From the small things to the bigger, general things, the world building needs work and this book would have benefited from some Indian beta-readers who might have been able to help fine-tune some of those issues.

The rest of this review will…

Review: Reawakened by Colleen Houck

Review: Reawakened by Colleen Houck

Posted by on 07/17/2015 • 10 Comments

One word: WOW.

I seriously didn’t expect this to be so good. I thought I’d get an everyday run-of-the-mill mythology story featuring some unlucky ancient Egyptian schmuck, but what I got instead was an entertaining, refreshing, action-packed adventure that left me not only at the edge of my seat but also in tears and in stitches.

By the end of the book, I thought of one thing and one thing only: where’s the next book, I need an ancient Egyptian prince for a boyfriend, maybe if I get lucky I can enter some tomb and magically find a handsome mummy, this is what the mummy movies should have been (oops, I’m not committing some sort of heresy with that statement, am I?)

I’ve always been interested in Ancient Egypt – their culture, their values,…

Series Spotlight : Thrones & Bones Series by Lou Anders

Series Spotlight : Thrones & Bones Series by Lou Anders

Posted by on 05/26/2015 • 2 Comments

Today I am spotlighting the Thrones & Bones series by Lou Anders. It is getting closer to the publish date for the second book in the series, Nightborn. This is a fantastic MG series that I think many people will enjoy. I have not yet read the second book yet, but I am almost done with the first one, Frostborn, and am really enjoying it.

Frostborn is the first in the series, and so far it is great! The characters are interesting, but more than that, I love the visual imagery that I get from it. I can imagine the lands and the Giants, and everything that is going on. The story is wonderful and I am excited to continue on the adventure and see where…