Category Archives: Marion’s Favorite Books

Marion’s favorite books that he has reviewed.

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 60: Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

What if your family tried to keep their connection to a powerful magic away from you?

What happens when you find out that your family is connected to that magic for years?

Sierra Santiago learns about her family’s connection to a powerful magic in Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older, the first book of the Shadowshaper Cypher Series. She is a normal teenager from Brooklyn that loves making art murals and hanging out with her friends.  However, she goes to a party and a corpse was there. Sierra finds out that corpse was not there by accident and is pulled into a world that has family ties.

Sierra gets connected another artist named Robbie and he brings her into the world of the Shadowshapers. Also, her grandfather shows remorse in an unusual manner and Sierra discovers the deep family connection to this magic. With the help of her friends, Sierra faces Wick, an anthropologist that wants to harness the Shadowshaper magic for himself.

Older created an interesting and likable protagonist with Sierra Santiago and provided a excellent setting with Brooklyn that adds a lot to the story.  However, I did not find Wick as a compelling antagonist for Sierra.  I wanted to know more about him and his motivations for pursuing the Shadowshaper magic.  I realized this is the first book of the series and has a lot of room for further development.

I plan to read Shadowhouse Fall and Shadowshaper Legacy to get the full picture of Sierra’s story.  Older has written a love letter to Brooklyn and Boricuan culture that is much needed in contemporary fiction.

 

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 59: How To Be An Artist by Jerry Saltz

Podcasts have become my other favorite platform for content alongside books.  I can listen to a podcast on various subjects and the long form interview from 30 minutes up to 2 hours is an excellent way to go deep on a topic. The Dave Chang Show is one of my favorite podcasts and a regular… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 58: Alburquerque by Rudolfo Anaya

One of the great joys of reading fiction is when you get a novel that makes want to read on after you finished it.  There are a lot of novels I have enjoyed reading, but once I close the book or eBook (these days) then I’m done with it.  Well, Alburquerque by Rudolfo Anaya is… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 56: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

It’s okay to be imperfect. It’s okay to not do everything just right. It’s okay to be who you are….imperfections included. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown brings the importance of imperfection home in this book.  I read Brown’s Daring Greatly last month and it was recommend that I read The Gifts of Imperfection… Continue Reading

Marion’s 31 Favorite Books of All Time

2020 has been a challenging year.  Dealing with a worldwide pandemic, political unrest here in America, and high profile celebrity deaths like Kobe Bryant and Chadwick Boseman have made it a year that no one saw coming.  However, I have reached August 31st and another birthday. Birthdays are always a big deal to me.  It… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Review 51: Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson is one of the science fiction writers I have read throughout my reading life.  He joins Octavia Butler, Greg Bear, and Robert Silverberg as the science fiction writers I have found interesting and thought provoking to read. Pacific Edge is the third book of The Three Californias Trilogy and a book that… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 50: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

I want to update a review from 2012 for one of my all-time favorite novels, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. Parable of the Sower is the story of Lauren Olamina, a teenager growing up in a grim LA suburb where their gated community provided a semblance of a normal life while anarchy reigned… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 49: Woven In Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez

There are books that make you want to turn the page to find out what happens next.  However, there are a few books that turns the page for you and invites the reader into the story.  Very few novels make you feel the latter.  Little Country by Charles de Lint is one of those novels. … Continue Reading