Sunday, May 5, 2019

#ARCREVIEW: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia #wyrdandwonder

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Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: August 6th, 2019
Format: egalley*
My Rating: ★ 1/2
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
The Mayan God of Death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore, for readers of The Song of Achilles and Uprooted.

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.
I LOVE Silvia Moreno-Garcia, so I was pretty pumped when I was approved for an eARC of her latest novel on Netgalley. SMG has a way of writing books in different genres, but also blending genres, and that's what she accomplishes with her latest. Gods of Jade and Shadow blends a period piece with a mythological quest narrative that made my heart ache for our protagonist Casiopea.

I'll admit, it felt like it did take a minute to get into the crux of the story and into the fantasy elements. I think maybe the pacing in the beginning could have been tightened up. It felt like it took a bit establishing just how droll and terrible Casiopea's life is. I think Casiopea is a little bit different than the other characters SMG has written. She still has fire and a rebellious spirit, but she feels a little bit more timid and reserved than the protagonists in her other books. I didn't think it was an issue, I think it actually makes a lot of sense for the time period. Especially when she gets into all the things that are drilled into her head by the priests in her small town. So once she sees the world of the city and is experiencing different things, it's really hard for her to know how to feel about it.

I know next to nothing about Mayan mythology, but the struggle between Hun-Kamé and Vucub-Kamé was a lot of fun to read about. Especially since I love a good quest story, and the book is basically that with Hun-Kamé and Casiopea traveling around to collect all the pieces of his body that were taken from him. It's sounds gross, but it's really not. 

There's a little bit of a romance element in this book, which I wasn't really expecting in this book, but it was a nice surprise. The romance is written in this very subtle quiet way, that it kind of broke my heart in the end. Like be still my beating heart, the emotions that SMG writes into these small quiet moments in this book are amazing. It's very mild heat, and more focuses on the emotions of the characters, if you are wondering how much it gets into.

I think if you love a good book based on mythology, or if you are fan of this author's work already, you would really enjoy this book!

This book doesn't come out until August (at least in the US), but you can pre-order your copy using my amazon affiliate links below:

Happy Reads Everyone!

*I received an eARC copy of this book via the publisher and netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Many thanks to Del Ray for sending me an eARC for my honest review! Quotes are taken from an unfinished ARC and may not match final publication.

This is my Review of the Month for the review collection on
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