Today, I’m reviewing Goddess Chosen, the first book in the Goddess Rising series by Jay Hartlove. I really liked this book, especially because it couldn’t really be pigeon-holed into one specific genre. It’s fantasy. No, it’s magical realism! No, it’s historical fiction! You get the idea…:) I plan to read the second, Goddess Rising, and am looking forward to the third in the series, coming later in 2020. The series is published by Paper Angel Press, and you can learn more about the series here and learn more about Jay at his website: Jay Writes
Here’s the book blurb:
The man who would beat the devil isn’t a hero, but a ruthless madman.
Running from his dark past, former Duvalier hit man Charles Redmond is forced to take sides in a battle that has been raging since Exodus: between a power-mad magician named Silas Alverado and Sammael, the Demon Prince of Liars.
When Charles’ beloved Voodou is threatened with extinction, he must wager his life between pure evil and the man who could destroy the world.
Charles’ psychiatrist, Sanantha Mauwad, steps into this maelstrom of nightmares, violence and insanity to help Charles find his strength. She tries to save Charles’ mind, but can she save his soul?
And here’s my review. 5 stars!
What a great ride! This multi-genre read will take you across the globe, from Egypt to Washington D.C. to Haiti, as well as across time, traveling from ancient Egypt to modern day. Along the way, you’ll be immersed in the religious beliefs of the pharaohs and Santeria.
The book starts off with a captivating scene at dusk, in the sandy plains of Egypt, with the Sphinx looming in the foreground. Next chapter — cut to a psychiatrist’s office in 2001 and a discussion about Zoloft and religion. Ritual, gods, magicians, and demons play a major role in the story, along with the themes of friendships and loyalty. As the chapters shift in time, genre, and perspective, you’re kept off-balance, in a good way.
The character of psychiatrist Dr. Sanantha Mauwad resonated with me. She’s a well-drawn character who’s carried through the series. She’s emphatic, principled, and a great therapist. Her questions are thoughtful and pointed and non-judgmental, just like you wish for in a therapist. As she tries to sort through the quandaries and secrets her client, Charles Redmond brings her, and tease out his paranoia from his truths, she becomes his friend. And once she figures out what’s really happening, she uses her skills as a therapist to sort through it all and make sense of something that defies logical explanation.
I highly recommend this book to folks who like history, magic, drama, horror, or suspense — there’s something for readers of all stripes in this book!
My favorite sentences: “The sun was just below the horizon and the Sphinx’s enormous painted face cast a looming black silhouette on the darkening blue sky. The image of man’s place in the universe, both master over, and yet only a part of the forces of nature: the human head of knowledge, the lion claws of courage, the bull body of will, and the falcon wings of patience.”
Hope you try it!
Until next time,