Tag Archives: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 89: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I’ve had my eye on Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s work over the past several years. I downloaded her first novel, Signal to Noise, on my Kindle a couple of years ago and her fourth novel, Mexican Gothic, I have seen throughout social media recently.  Moreno-Garcia’s work has been popular for some time.

Gods of Jade and Shadow tell the story of Casiopea Tun, a young woman from Southern Mexico who dreams of a better life. Casiopea is beholden to her overbearing grandfather and ridiculed by her vain cousin, Martin as they try to keep her in line.  However, she discovers a wooden box in her grandfather’s room and opens it.  Casiopea frees the spirit of a Mayan god named Hun-Kame.  The god requests Casiopea’s help in returning him to his throne in the land of Xibalba. Hun-Kame’s brother, Vucub-Kame, occupies the throne and is determined to keep it at all costs.

Casiopea travels with Hun-Kame across Mexico as they attempt to regain the lost elements that will restore him to the throne. But, Vucub-Kame has placed traps along their journey to keep his brother from regaining his rightful place. The journey ends with Casiopea having to face her cousin while the gods watch them.  Even though Moreno-Garcia draws on Mayan mythology and folklore to tell the story, I believe this novel is really about family relationships and one’s place within a family structure. Also, the story is about a young woman’s longing into becoming the person she is meant to be.

I totally enjoyed reading this novel and Moreno-Garcia told a good story.  I liked the relationship between Casiopea and Hun-Kame.  The two had a genuine connection despite the fate that would befall each of them.  Gods of Jade and Shadow has leaped on to my favorite reads list of 2021.  Bravo Silvia Moreno-Garcia!

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 31: Ascending by Meg Pechenick

What if you were the only person on a spaceship with an alien race? You were the person groomed to speak an alien language and take part in an intercultural exchange between planets? You would want to do it in the first place? If you did, how you feel about it? Excited? Optimistic? Groundbreaking? Or… Continue Reading

RIP Gene Wolfe (1931-2019)

            I found out last night that author Gene Wolfe had died over the weekend. Wolfe has been considered by many in the Science-Fiction and Fantasy Community to be its greatest writer. Many in that community believed his body of work deserved to be mentioned in the same breath with… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 4: Nightwings by Robert Silverberg

Robert Silverberg has become my favorite old school SF writer and I have read 6 books during his most prolific period of 1967-1976, beginning with A Time of Changes, Downward to the Earth, Tower of Glass, To Open the Sky, The Man in the Maze, and Nightwings. Nightwings is a short, mournful novel that follows… Continue Reading

Book Review 137: Lord Valentine’s Castle by Robert Silverberg

With the most popular fantasy series discussed, I have always heard about  The Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire, Wheel of Time series and so on. However, I have never heard the Majipoor Cycle by Robert Silverberg being discussed. The Majipoor Cycle is Silverberg’s most commercially successful… Continue Reading

Book Review 114: To Open The Sky by Robert Silverberg

Can human beings live forever? Of course, we all know the answer to that question.  One death per person.  However, science fiction has tackled the immortality theme throughout its history as a genre and Robert Silverberg addresses it in several of his books during his most prolific period of 1967-1976. To Open The Sky presents… Continue Reading