Title: Elysium Girls
Author: Kate Pentecost
Release Date: April 14th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
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.)
“I had been chosen, after all, and despite my reputation, despite Mother Morevna, despite everyone, I was the Successor. And I was going to be ready for that role if it killed me.”
Elysium Girls is a wildly fun and magical adventure filled with dazzling prose and wicked gods. Dipped with rich world building and beautifully crafted characters, this is story readers will easily love. I could not put this book down; I loved the characters, the world, the unforgiving gods and the dangers hidden outside Elysium’s doors.
Everything about this book was breathtaking. The unique play on the Dust Bowl, the gods pitting humanity in an unearthly battle, and wickedly fearful creatures hidden in plain sight and in the shadows. I was blown away by this story and its fascinating world. It’s nothing like I expected it to be – it’s even better. Mixing witches, gods, and demons together during the Dust Bowl is fascinating and vividly imaginable – it truly makes for a great story.
One of the things about this book that blew me away was the author’s writing. The writing was beautiful, with luscious prose and captivating scenery. Pentecost brought this unique story to life with exquisite world building. Her writing was, all in all, phenomenal. Pentecost also does a wonderful job with the characters and character development. There’s multiple point of views, but that really provides an in-depth analysis of the two main characters and even the secondary characters, who turn out to play a major role in the story.
“If they catch me, he thought, they’re not going home without a nightmare.”
For those readers wondering, there’s very little romance in this story, not enough to make it a huge focal point. But, surprisingly, I thought it worked. I’m huge on having romance in fantasy books, and even though this book simmered low on romance, I felt it was the perfect amount for this story. Elysium Girls is more centered on magic and saving the world, that if romance played a bigger role, I believe it would have taken away from the overall story. In my opinion, this is easily a story one can get lost in without the need of romance.
Overall, this is a refreshing and strong debut, perfect for readers looking for a new fantasy standalone. It’s a story unlike most I’ve read, and it’s one that introduced me to a new voice in the YA world. And I have no doubt that I will be reading her next novel once it comes out.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Check out the amazing bloggers on this tour!
Prize: Win a copy of ELYSIUM GIRLS by Kate Pentecost (US Only)
Starts: 8th April 2020
Ends: 22nd April 2020
Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!