Posts Tagged: Adventure

Friday, August 23, 2019

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

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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

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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

Revived My Love for Fantasy: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Revived My Love for Fantasy: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Posted by on 07/23/2019 • 1 Comment

Spin the Dawn is the book I didn’t know I needed and I want to cry from how happy I am that I read it and that it could revolutionize my life. As a baby blogger, I rarely read contemporary. I exclusive read fantasy. These past few years though, fantasy has not really been holding my attention and I find myself avoiding it for the most part except for a few books here and there. Before Spin the Dawn, the last high fantasy I read was Wicked Saints back in April. I rated in 4 stars at the time but in retrospect it was not a 4 star read given that for half the book, my attention wandered. For the first time in literal years, I don’t want to read…

An Emotional Rollercoaster: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

An Emotional Rollercoaster: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Posted by on 03/22/2019 • 0 Comments

Rick Riordan Presents is probably the only imprint I can say I want to read EVERY SINGLE BOOK FROM. I saw the synopsis mentioned a raw chicken inside a locker and was immediately sold. I WANTED IT and I READ IT and YEAH. I am not really sure if Sal and Gabi Break the Universe has mythology vibes??? But what I can say is that it is truly a work of art.

There is a good chance I’ve said that about another book or two before but I don’t know how else to describe how truly well written this book is. Carlos Hernandez knows how to pace a book, he knows how to pull at your emotions and he knows just how to crack and build tension. There were so many…

Ridiculously Awesome and Fun: The Disasters by M.K. England

Ridiculously Awesome and Fun: The Disasters by M.K. England

Posted by on 12/24/2018 • 1 Comment

I dove into The Disasters with almost no expectations. I had grabbed it on a whim and only vaguely remembered it had something to do with space. I’d say I regretted doing this but honestly, it was truly the best way to read this book because I ended up being taken completely by surprise by its awesomeness and just, IT WAS SO GOOD and it’s so GREAT to have a book completely surprise you.

There are many space books out there and it’s likely you’ve read and loved some of them. I am here to tell you The Disasters is better (or at least I think it is.) It’s the space book I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I NEEDED. Are you tired of all those space books that are super…

Adventurous and Swoony: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Adventurous and Swoony: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Posted by on 03/30/2018 • 1 Comment

I’ve been reading Jenn Bennett for half a decade now and she’s been one of those authors I basically just read anything by. I don’t need a summary or acclaim, I JUST NEED BOOKS BY JENN BENNETT. This book had the added advantage of having an enemies-to-lovers/friends-to-lovers romance trope and an survival-esque story so like… yeah.

Unsurprisingly, I loved this book but I also got to buddy-read it with a close friend which made my experience reading it all the more better. But as anyone knows, loving a book doesn’t make writing a review any easier. It probably makes it a lot harder.

Zorie and Lennon used to be the best of friends and were on their way to becoming something more when something goes wrong. Now they go out…

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…

A Fierce Adventure: The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

A Fierce Adventure: The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

Posted by on 03/05/2018 • 0 Comments

I am garbage for a good middle grade adventure so when The Mad Wolf’s Daughter was pitched to me, I was on board and wanted to gobble this book up. Good thing it wasn’t disappointing, amirite?

Here is the thing, among the sea of commercial fiction that dominates Middle Grade books, The Mad Wolf’s Daughter doesn’t necessarily stand out but thats not really a good or bad thing? Familiar tropes and adventures are good things and just because The Mad Wolf’s Daughter isn’t necessarily //different// doesn’t mean that it is a bad book or a mediocre book?

The thing about tropes (at least in my opinion) is that it all comes down to how the author uses them to enhance their story. You’re never going to read a book that is free of tropes…

To Be Savored, Not Devoured: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

To Be Savored, Not Devoured: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

Posted by on 02/20/2018 • 2 Comments

Tess of the Road is not an easy book to read. At 544 pages it is long and those pages don’t fly by. In the traditional sense at least. Here is the thing about Tess though, it is a long book, it is winded and yet, I wouldn’t really have it any other way. The slowness can at times be exhausting but the book isn’t really about a big adventure that Tess takes. It’s about Tess’s character arc and her trauma. This book would NOT work if it was a speedy read you could flip through. It is a painful read but there is so //much// that Tess has internalized that it makes no sense if we could uncover her and her experience in a mere handful pages.

Tess is not…