April 10, 2020

Elysium Girls Blog Tour: Review


Elysium Girls
Author: Kate Pentecost 
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: April 14, 2020
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
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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.
Elysium Girls is an amazing new YA fantasy that is like nothing I've read before. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect from the description. There are so many different variables that sound like they shouldn't match up right but I was very pleasantly surprised. Everything about this novel was incredibly well done - from the writing to the characters, the story line to the setting, and everything in between. 

Sal was a strong main character for the story and I connected with her right away. She's kind of the town outcast who's an unwanted burden to most. She puts up with a lot of crap from other people but tries to take the high road, stay out of trouble and be invisible. I found her to be incredibly realistic and I was definitely rooting for her throughout the story. She has her strengths - she's a gifted witch, she's smart, strong, brave, determined, and honest. She has her flaws like everyone else though - she doesn't believe in herself and her potential for one thing. I loved getting to know her throughout the story and seeing her character change and grow. 

One major plus for me was the writing style. The author wrote the book in the first person point of view - from Sal's perspective. This is by far my favorite writing style and I love that the book was done this way. We really get to know Sal on a deep and personal level - the kind that only this writing style can provide (in my opinion). We're privy to her innermost thoughts, hopes and dreams, fears and uncertainties, memories, and everything in between. I can't emphasize enough how much I love that the story is written this way.

The plot was fantastic and an interesting mix of several genres. There's fantasy, paranormal, historical, and western. It doesn't seem like they should fit together but the author did a wonderful job of interweaving them and creating something completely fresh and original. I'm really glad I gave this one a chance and will definitely be re-reading it again soon. Very highly recommended for fans of all genres and readers looking for something unique and exciting.
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.)

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