Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Read August 2020
 ★     ★    ★     ★   1/2

“‘Of course, but do you understand what is at stake,’ he asked?
She had no idea… She was, however, curious.
‘Tell me,’ she said,  knowing a story lay ahead, as fine as any of the legends and tall tales her father had spun for her.”

Gods of Jade and Shadow is like reading modern mythology–mythology set in the 1920s in Mexico, that is. Though it is also a coming-of-age tale, Moreno-Garcia gives those conventions her own twist, paralleling it with a mythological hero’s journey. I highly recommend it, even for those who don’t normally enjoy the young adult journey (me).

I’m going to do something I rarely do, and be quite lazy in my review, pointing you onward to better places. I mean, I’m often quite lazy, but in this case, I think you should go read jade’s review, which is both beautiful and informative.

The story does do a few curious things with narrative. Although told largely from Casiopea’s point of view, it occasionally calls out both Casiopea’s and Hun-Kamé’s actions for what they are, an overt commentary that points the reader in interpretive directions. Structurally, it also felt somewhat formal, like a translation. I found that curious; certainly appropriate for a mythological tale, although not entirely sure it wasn’t also just me. I’ve been working diligently at improving my Spanish.

The pre-ending is extremely non-American, which was fascinating and appropriate when involving Mayan gods, and then continued to become extremely emotionally satisfying, so I’d just call that well done all around.

About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
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