Hello Gemmies! I have a fantastic new book review to share with you today. Please note: I received a digital ARC of this book (via NetGalley) from its publisher in exchange for an honest and fair review.
This was such an enjoyable read! Maya and the Rising Dark is a fun mythology/urban fantasy full of great characters and action. Let's start with the cover...GORGEOUS! Maya is super cute and I love the bright and dusky color scheme. I wish I had a book like this to read when I was in middle grade, with a protagonist I can identify with, and a mythology I grew up with. Orishas are not only in African mythology but also Latinx mythology, specifically the Afro-Latinx community. I was really excited to see them represented in this story. The pacing was good, but sometimes felt a little rushed.
This world Rena Barron has created is absolutely brilliant. There are beautifully detailed alternate worlds, a complex magical system, scary creatures, and fierce gods! It feels real and totally unique. If you love fantasies, epic adventures, stories about friendship, and believe in kick ass heroines, then this book is for you!
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers, this gem set to release on September 22nd, and is available for pre-order from all major booksellers. I give Maya and the Rising Dark 4 out of 5 gems. I cannot wait to read more stories set in this universe. Happy Reading!