Do you see this freaking cover?! Oh my gosh I was immediately lit with this cover and man that was an interesting plot. Thank you again so much to the team at FFBC for hosting this blog tour and having me on this. Click on the banner for the rest of the schedule!
In this sweeping Dust Bowl-inspired fantasy, a ten-year game between Life and Death pits the walled Oklahoma city of Elysium-including a girl gang of witches and a demon who longs for humanity-against the supernatural in order to judge mankind.
When Sal is named Successor to Mother Morevna, a powerful witch and leader of Elysium, she jumps at the chance to prove herself to the town. Ever since she was a kid, Sal has been plagued by false visions of rain, and though people think she’s a liar, she knows she’s a leader. Even the arrival of enigmatic outsider Asa-a human-obsessed demon in disguise-doesn’t shake her confidence in her ability. Until a terrible mistake results in both Sal and Asa’s exile into the Desert of Dust and Steel.
Face-to-face with a brutal, unforgiving landscape, Sal and Asa join a gang of girls headed by another Elysium exile-and young witch herself-Olivia Rosales. In order to atone for their mistake, they create a cavalry of magic powered, scrap metal horses to save Elysium from the coming apocalypse. But Sal, Asa, and Olivia must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium’s favor-only by reinventing the rules can they beat the Life and Death at their own game.
Kate Pentecost was born and raised on the Texas/Louisiana border, where ghosts and rural legends lurk in the pines and nothing is completely as it seems.
She holds an MFA in Writing for Children &Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was recently nominated for a Rhysling award for her poem “Small Town Witches.”
Her debut novel, Elysium Girls, is forthcoming from Disney Hyperion in 2020 in print and audio formats.
She is obsessed with the Romantic Poets and can be identified by the enormous tattoo of Percy Bysshe Shelley on her arm. She lives in Houston (H-Town, Space City, etc.)
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club, Netgalley, and Disney-Hyperion for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
I feel like this concept was very interesting, and never thought about how it would be to isolate an entire town from the rest of society and make them basically build their city into something that is supposed to be great. We think about how a lot of the world ended up developing their infrastructure and civilizations more when they interacted with other civilizations since there were different points of view to pull from. Could a single town – especially during the 1800s like this book is set in – come up with pretty much some sort of Utopia in ten years in order to stay alive? And then, if they don’t develop their city based on the Goddess of Life’s standards – whatever that may be – does that mean they all die? Just like that?
I think I got the shivers just thinking about that.
At first things seemed to be going well, even though there were white people, black people, Mexican people… for this time period, I’m actually surprised that they were able to get along at first. But of course, something goes down and then the racial tension builds up and doesn’t go away. MONTHS before the time is up and these people are still being apprehensive about the “others” because of some murder that somehow happened where they ended up exiling a Mexican girl that they THOUGHT murdered the dude, Olivia Rosales. Sure, she had the bloody weapon in her hands, but that doesn’t mean she really did it, does it?
Then you have people giving our main character Sal a hard time because she had a dream about rain – this city hasn’t had natural rain since the game began – and they called her a liar. IT WAS A DREAM and yet these people are going to pretty much ostracize her and not want to help take care of her even though her mother was killed and she’s basically an orphan. The people in this town, my gosh.
Okay clearly I had some thoughts about that part because both of those irritated me. BUT, the plot and the rest of the novel was very, very cool. I liked that there was this whole group of girls outside of the wall that surrounded this city that were kicking butt and taking names and just surviving out there on their own. They somehow are able to pull together enough magic to create these metal horses and come together to try to prevent the apocalypse from happening, even though their very own people kicked them out to the curb. Maybe this is the pessimist in me talking, but would I really want to help the people that rejected me and had me live or die outside of the city? I don’t know, but that’s what these girls are trying to do. And even though they have a daemon in their midst – and this daemon is human-obsessed to a high level that’s pretty interesting – it’s interesting to see how they are able to work together to get out of this crazy game that Life and Death created. Out of fun, is what it looks like.
I’m still irritated at Life and Death but when you’re bored, you come up with some crazy stuff to keep you occupied.
Making this short and sweet again, but hey! I’m okay with that.
Do you know that it’s literally like 1:30AM EST as I write this post right now, and it’s not like I don’t have school and work today in a few hours. What’s wrong with me. Enjoy my playlists though.
Okay legit, writing this review made me end up buying Bandidas on Amazon Prime because I missed this movie so much. Don’t ask me why. I have a weird thought process.
Ugh I need to sleep, fam. Too bad I scheduled two meetings with people at work tomorrow like I don’t want to just relax. But hey, gotta make that money, honey!
No, I need to sleep.