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Book Review

Book reviews

8/4/2021

By Rebecca Roanhorse
6/29/21
496pp
$16.99
Gallery/Saga

‘Black Sun’ 

I have been aching for a vacation lately. A universal feeling, it seems these days. If you’re like me and can’t get away just now, then I have the book for you. Reading “Black Sun” is an experience. Filled with heart-stealing characters and writing that is so lush and vivid, it took my breath away. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

Loosely based on ancient indigenous cultures, author Rebecca Roanhorse builds a world of magic, turmoil and everything expected in a fantasy novel, but from an entirely new perspective. Xiala is an unlucky pirate captain who has been given a job she doesn’t know will literally change the world. Then there’s Nara, a Sun Priest with a chip on her shoulder and a vision for the future that directly collides with the coming storm. Finally there’s Serapio — well, he is that coming storm. All three will meet under an eclipse, hence the title, and the world they inhabit will never be the same. 

This is a book to get lost in, the kind of book that swallows you whole and spits you back out to the “real world” feeling disoriented, delighted and desperate for the next book in the series. This is storytelling at its finest. ♦ — Review by Julie Goodrich


By Shing Yin Khor
6/15/21
304pp
$12.99
Kokila

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‘The Legend of Auntie Po’ 

I love it when I stumble across a book that not only entertains me, but teaches me something I didn’t even know that I didn’t know. Set in a logging camp in the Sierra Nevadas in 1885, this beautiful book tells the story of Mei, the 13-year-old daughter of the camp cook. Tensions between Chinese immigrants and white settlers form a backdrop to a timeless story of growing up, learning who you are, and deciding what really matters. 

Mei’s gift for story-telling goes to new heights when she combines the tradition of Paul Bunyan tales with the magical Auntie Po — forming a unique myth that encompasses her dual natures as Chinese-American but also spawning something a bit more real than Mei expected. 

The art in this beautiful graphic novel is both simple and stunning with bright colors, vivid expressions and the dreamy quality that just fits a good fairy tale. The author clearly did some incredible research on this era of history, and it shows on every page. This is the kind of historical fiction I long to read — personal, compelling and unforgettable. ♦ — Review by Julie Goodrich

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