About the Book:
The day after Karina’s sixteenth birthday, supernatural things start to happen around her and she has no idea why. Her mother, who disappeared soon after they migrated from the Philippines to America, speaks to her in prophetic dreams. Stranger still is the old man who turns up at her house one day and claims to be her grandfather, even though Karina’s mother had told her he died a long time ago.
Karina discovers that her mother is an engkanto princess who ran away from Engkantasia. Karina is now of age to take the throne and must do so to prevent a war between Engkantasia and the human world. She must learn to control her powers and fight a range of weird creatures trying to kill her and her family. To make matters worse, she finally meets a boy she likes and there’s something about him she can’t quite figure out.
Publisher: Anvil Publishing
The first few chapters already made me think that it is gonna be a unique book. Not just because it is written by a Filipina, but also because it talked about Philippine myths which we often see in young adult fantasy fiction. I also thought that the start of each chapter (news articles, journal entries) are cool and made me understand things more.
Firstly, I like how simple but hooking the writing style is. It has the characteristic that always gets me focused on a book: chapter cliffhangers that would make me want to read further. When I was reading it, I didn’t notice the time passing by. It is just so interesting to read something that has both the perspectives of a human and a mythical creature. Of course, what’s a book I love without it being FAST PACED? Yasss, this book is definitely fast paced!!!
The story was developed exactly the way I wanted it to be. BUT IT ENDED REALLY UNEXPECTEDLY!!! Man, that ending just got me shouting “WHAAAAAT??!??!?!?! WHY??!?!??!!!”
Speaking of development, I ABSOLUTEFREAKINGLY LOVE HOW KARINA WAS ABLE TO FIND HER PURPOSE IN LIFE even at a young age. She was so brave to take the risks and leave her teenage life and do her responsibilities. She is an inspiration, young people, she truly is.
This is the book that made me remember the saying, “Maturity does not come with age, but rather it comes with the acceptance of responsibility.” Ever since her mother disappeared, she has been the one of full responsibility in their house wherein her dad was the only other person in there. She was the one who decides what to eat, what to buy for grocery, and other “adult” stuff that a teenager girl like her was not supposed to be worrying about. Take note: she was only around 13 years old when her mother disappeared and she started being the decision-maker in her family.
I can totally see the similarity of this situation in the real-life situation of some families wherein a child has to act as a parent just to make the family stick together and for them to be able to survive.
I was just a bit disappointed with how the romance in the story has built up. I am really hoping for a Karina-Mark love story, eh? Also, it was not quite explained enough how Karina and Jason had feelings for each other…
About the Author:
Born in the Philippines and based in Sydney, Australia, Kristyn Maslog-Levis has been working as a journalist both internationally and locally for over 13 years. Her work has been published in various publications, including The New York Times and Al Jazeera. She’s also an award winning photographer and an avid mummy blogger. In 2011, Kristyn self-published her first children’s picture book based on a story her mother used to tell them when they were kids. In 2013, Kristyn self-published her second children’s picture book based on their life as little kids in the Philippines.
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