Book review: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Waterstones listing


Synopsis

Casiopea and her mother are servants in their own family home, with the loss of her father who dreamt of stars and wrote poetry, they are under Casiopea’s grandfather’s control. He has a secret past in helping the ancient Mayan god of death Yacub- Kamé with a quest to entrap his brother, Hun-Kamé, the true ruler of Xibalba (the underworld), to a lifetime locked in a treasure chest. Casiopea unwittingly frees Hun-Kamé and is tethered to him, she is becoming more godly and he is becoming more human. They go on a magical journey to save the world from Yacub-Kamé, who wants to increase his power by sacrificing humanity. Can they regain him his throne and give Casiopea a life of wonder even the stars would be jealous of?

What I Thought

I really liked the premise of this book, Casiopea was at war with her cousin and with him being a man, he had the respect of the family and she was blamed for everything. She had a lot of strength and sass from the offset and I was so excited for her journey. When we met Hun-Kamé it was amazing, they left Yucatán and started an adventure. As the story went on, I couldn’t help but think it was slow and missed a lot of opportunity for more magic. When we met Loray, the devil, he handed over what Casiopea and Hun-Kamé sought, they moved on to the next place and the next person and the same situation happened, their encounters seemed brief. I wanted to get lost in the mythology of this, I think I definitely amped it up in my mind when in reality it was more of a tale of adventure. I haven’t read a lot of mythology fiction before and I thought it would be a lot more fantastical and dripped in magic.

For the first time in my reading history, I was really into the romance element of this book. I usually hate romance storylines, but the story here was a more will-they-won’t-they storyline and I stuck with this book mainly to see this out because it was a really lovely element to the book.

What I Appreciated

Learning more about Mayan mythology was amazing, I had only ever read Greek mythology before and was excited to meet these gods. There was a lot of travelling around Mexico in this story, I loved to learn more about the cities and the culture. If I wasn’t so scared of flying this is somewhere where I would love to visit!

It was very interesting how the main characters were linked together, the brothers were at war with each other and Casiopea was at war with her cousin. As the story progressed, Hun-Kamé became more human, Casiopea was turning into a goddess, there was a pull between humanity and diety and a duality betweeen love and hate which was amazing to read.


Overall, the premise of this book was good but I felt frustrated a lot of the time reading this because I was greedy and just wanted so much more magic. I would highly recommend this book if you like adventures and Mayan mythology!

Thanks for reading,

Charlon ♦︎

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick

My rating: ★★☆☆☆

The opening themes in this book were top tier;

  • Dystopian
  • Colonies on Mars
  • Owning an animal as a class symbol
  • Androids passing as humans
  • Androids passing as animals
  • Bounty Hunter on a Android killing rampage to buy a real live ostrich to impress his neighbour

What more could you want?

The first two thirds of this book were fantastic but it all ended so weird. It’s like the author lost track and gave up. It descended into the main character describing android tits, cheating on his wife and becoming the god of human empathy. I was so disappointed. It all became very muddled at the end and it made no sense, I can’t even remember if he bought his ostrich.

I definitely got caught up on the opening themes and didnt let it go, maybe someone else can make more sense out of this one! It’s a shame for me because I love to read dystopian novels. I love that when all is gone, humans are still awful. The imagery of high rises, class systems, survival and money are all interesting and were still present in this novel but the ending has ruined it for me.

I feel like we’ve been spoilt with dystopian fiction such as 1984 and Farenheit 451 and have set the bar too high for novels like this to match up to. Although, I’m glad I read this because it was sat looking at me on my bookshelf for about 2 years.

Thanks for reading,

Charlon ♦︎


Featured image by ThisIsEngineering RAEng on unsplash.com

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

My rating ★★★★★

“There are so many pieces to a person. So many small stories and so few opportunies to read them.”

I rarely pick up fantasies but each time I do I never regret it and always think ‘I need to read more’.

I got lost in this beautifully golden, honey dripped world of a magical underworld library. Time and Fate fought to be together, the Sun and the Moon ran away each month to be with their lovers and all of this was tied into an epic story of young Zachary and his journey to finding the starless sea.

The imagery in this book is enthralling, the concept is brilliant and I loved every page. It is a very lucid, magical story with lots of intertwining characters which I loved getting lost in and for this same reason, I did get confused towards the end of this book. It became difficult to keep up with the story and a lot of detail was lost for me. Although, I think that may be a contribution to how lucid it was.

I’m glad that I read this beautiful book and would recommend it to anyone who would love to get lost in all the stars and seas.

Thanks for reading,

Charlon 🐝