Now 2019 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts


Month in review

Reviews
Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir and Sarah Andersen
Devils in Daylight by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki
Dragonfell by Sarah Prineas
Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish
Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley
Gideon Falls, Volume 2: Original Sins by Jeff Lemire
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Great Shelby Holmes and the Haunted Hound by Elizabeth Eulberg
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Internment by Samira Ahmed
A Killer Edition by Lorna Barrett
Midnight Radio by Iolanda Zanfardino
My Fate According to the Butterfly by Gail D. Villanueva
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi
Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert
A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong
Runaways, Volume 3: That Was Yesterday by Rainbow Rowell
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman
Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell
The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glaser
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum
What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein
When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman and Peter Sís
Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

Miscellaneous
August 2019 Sources
August 2019 Summary
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 02)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 09)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 16)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 23)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 30)

Road Essays
Road Narrative Update for August 2019

Previous month


Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2019-2020



Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.


Gods of Jade and Shadow: 09/07/19

Gods of Jade and Shadow

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is Mayan urban fantasy set in 1927. It's a great read for anyone who has enjoyed Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper and Raúl the Third (2015), Labyrinth Lost (2017) by Zoraida Córdova or the animé, The Ancient Magus Bride (2018) but want something more. Although I'm listing a middle grade and a YA book as thematic reads, Moreno-Garcia's novel is written for adults.

Casiopea Tun lives in the small Yucatan village a tram's ride away from the city of Merida. She's trapped being the servant to her cousin, aunt, uncle, and grandfather. One day, left alone with the house to herself, she decides to investigate her grandfather's forbidden trunk. Expecting gold, she's surprised to find bones. When she pricks herself on a bone shard, she's further shocked to find the bones rebuilding themselves into a very handsome and dangerous god — Hun-Kamé. He's been ousted by his brother and her grandfather from Xibalba and needs Casiopea's help to undo this injustice.

Before they can travel to the underworld for the final confrontation, he must find the remaining parts that his brother has hidden across Mexico: his ear, his finger, his eye. To do that, requires a road trip!

I didn't read this book for the road narrative project but it fits solidly in the spectrum. While Casiopea and Hun-Kamé aren't lovers in this book (even if he is lust-worthy), they are connected magically via the bone shard in her thumb. They are coupled by his magic and her blood. Therefore they have to travel together (33).

The destination is ultimately Xibalba, or more specifically, the Jade Palace. Going there as a living person is impossible without magical help. Thus, the destination is utopia — a no place (FF).

But the route to Xibalba won't open until all of the god's parts are found. As this is a modern, twentieth century setting, the most efficient way for the two to travel (save for the brief boat route from Progresso to Veracruz) is via tram and train. Like The Inn Between by Marina Cohen (2016), we have another "safe" / detour-free route to the underworld, albeit different ones.

One side note on the route, while I said his parts were scattered across Mexico — I should say "old Mexico" as the novel in 1927 after Mexico lost some of its land to the United States. The last half of their route takes the across the border.

Put all together, The Gods of Jade and Shadow is the tale of a magically entwined couple traveling to utopia via the railroad. Following along on their journey, it helps to know Mexican geography, although one can also use Google Maps.

While this book is a standalone, it does end with a hook, with Casiopea deciding to explore more of the world alongside a supernatural being she meets on her journey. At this time, per the author's blog, there is no plan to make any more books in this world. But there's enough of a hook for us to imagine her in the world traveling along the edge of the mundane and the supernatural. We'll leave those adventures to the fanfic writers.

Five stars

Comments (0)


Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment:

Twitter Tumblr Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2019 Sarah Sammis