Genre: Tween, fantasy
Published: Levine Querido, August 2020
My Rating: 5/5 stars
"Maybe, sometimes, wants feel like needs because the alternative hurt too bad."
Elatsoe was one of my 2020-5-star-predictions, that I didn’t get around to until now. Luckily, it was absolutely worth the wait.
We follow the story of Ellie, a Lipan Apache girl from an America just like our own. Except this America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these powers are as every-day to Ellie as walking the ghost of her deceased dog Kirby. Others pose a real thread to her safety, as well as that of her community… When her cousin is murdered in a nearby town that wants no prying eyes, Ellie must navigate this strange world to find out the truth.
There was so much I loved about Elatsoe; from its beautifully imagined world where the lines between life and death are a little blurrier than normal, to its memorable character and their adventure that balances the line between grim and whimsically perfectly. My only critique would be towards the marketing-team for maybe not targeting the most ideal audience. This book is perfect for “tweens” (between the older end of middle-grade and the younger end of YA), yet it’s marketing solely focussed on YA. Thus throwing this hidden gem in possibly the hardest to please audience and possibly keeping it away from younger readers who may have also enjoyed it.
Personally, I highly recommend Elatsoe: I loved every second I spend in this world and look forward to reading more from Darcie Little Badger in her new upcoming release A Snake Falls to Earth that is due to release in August of this year.
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