Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost

Elysium Girls
Author: Kate Pentecost
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
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.

Elysium Girls is a really interesting and unique story. A part of the world becomes a game board for the Goddess of Life and Death and winning becomes a matter of life and death.

I really liked the plot and the way things progress in the game. Nothing was too overwhelming and the characters felt like they were mostly on equal footing. Even though you got perspectives from Sal, Asa and even Lucy. It didn’t feel like characters were standing out as the main ones. It felt like everyone was a main character in their own way. It’s hard to explain but when you read it you find different people standing out for different reasons.

I did like Sala and Asa as a team though. They form this kind of loose friendship that turns into a real friendship as they have a little more advantage in the game. Knowing that there are other things at play working against them. They did not overshadow other peoples accomplishments and value you though. I really liked Lucy and Olvia as characters, they have important threads in the story as well.

Of course I loved the band of Elysium Girls that we find in the desert. Plus the mechanical horses!! I’ve always loved the idea of them. Although for some reason I kept thinking of the four horsemen with these. We are talking the end of the world here. I like that they are a close knit family looking out for one another.

There is no overpowering love story and you don’t really need one because it’s more about people coming together and supporting each other. That kind of love as opposed to romantic love. I didn’t mind, it didn’t really need one. Not saying this isn’t anything it’s just not the focus at all.

The story has many threads that come together at the end in a whirlwind. Some things you might suspect. Some things you might not. I do kind of want to know beyond the ending but it was a good ending for the story.

I did really enjoy the story and that it’s a standalone that is well paced. It’s a great book if you need a break from long trilogies.

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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Prize: Win a copy of ELYSIUM GIRLS by Kate Pentecost (US Only)
Starts: 8th April 2020
Ends: 22nd April 2020
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