Welcome to my stop on the FFBC Blog Tour for Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost! I am so excited to share with you my thoughts on this fabulous book and give you a chance to win your own copy!!

Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost
Published by Disney-Hyperion on April 14, 2020
Pages: 400
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley

In this sweeping Dust Bowl-inspired fantasy, a ten-year game between Life and Death pits the walled Oklahoma city of Elysium-including a girl gang of witches and a demon who longs for humanity-against the supernatural in order to judge mankind.

When Sal is named Successor to Mother Morevna, a powerful witch and leader of Elysium, she jumps at the chance to prove herself to the town. Ever since she was a kid, Sal has been plagued by false visions of rain, and though people think she's a liar, she knows she's a leader. Even the arrival of enigmatic outsider Asa-a human-obsessed demon in disguise-doesn't shake her confidence in her ability. Until a terrible mistake results in both Sal and Asa's exile into the Desert of Dust and Steel.

Face-to-face with a brutal, unforgiving landscape, Sal and Asa join a gang of girls headed by another Elysium exile-and young witch herself-Olivia Rosales. In order to atone for their mistake, they create a cavalry of magic powered, scrap metal horses to save Elysium from the coming apocalypse. But Sal, Asa, and Olivia must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium's favor-only by reinventing the rules can they beat the Life and Death at their own game.

Not going to lie here, friends, I had some sky-high expectations from this book. Because come on, did you see the synopsis? It sounds amazing! And I am here with some great news! It fully delivered (in fact, I think it exceeded my expectations, woo)! And now, I am going to tell you all the reasons that Elysium Girls hits it out of the park!

  • The setting was so on point! When I read “Dust Bowl Inspired”, I figured it may be just… a vague feeling of similarity. But NOPE. It is in the actual Dust Bowl! Right smack in the middle of Depression-era Oklahoma, you will feel how dire of a situation this book is set in. Because yes, it’s set in a real place and time, but in an alternate situation. It’ll all be explained to you, which is also greatly appreciated. The author provides a lot of world-building along the way. In fact, it’s kind of a big part of the plot, in essence!
  • Sal is an incredibly relatable and sympathetic character. Gosh, girl cannot catch a break! If it wasn’t bad enough that she’s stuck in Elysium, her mom is dead, and she’s kind of the town pariah after a bout of magic that didn’t turn out as she’d planned. She has a handful of allies, but none that are willing to really go to bat for her. At the start, anyway.
  • When Sal finds her people, it is absolute perfection. Look, I am not telling you the who, where, when, etc, because I think you’re better off finding that out on your own, but the people who Sal eventually finds/chooses are kind of a perfect fit and they elevate the book so much.
  • I actually enjoyed the magic system! I know you guys, this is a big rarity for me, but here I am, liking me some magic! The author describes it really well in a way that didn’t go over my head or feel convoluted. And considering the situation, it worked without requiring any suspension of disbelief.
  • The author absolutely nails the descriptions of the events. And make no mistake, this was not an easy feat! I mean, some things happen in the book that are kind of bananas, so you can imagine that it’s a tricky thing to truly make the reader visualize. But she did it! I was able to fully understand what was happening, even when there was a lot of action and excitement. I could picture and sense what was happening with our characters. It stood out for me so much that I kept making Kindle notes about it, which is why I am sharing with you!
  • It’s thought provoking, very morally gray, and asks the tough questions. I mean, is there anything I love more than a book that forces its characters to make some terrible decisions and figure out the least of evils? No there is not, and this book absolutely features ALL of that!

Bottom Line: So atmospheric with fabulous characters and a ton of heart and hope in the darkest of situations, Elysium Girls is one you cannot miss.

About Kate Pentecost

Kate Pentecost was born and raised on the Texas/Louisiana border, where ghosts and rural legends lurk in the pines and nothing is completely as it seems.
She holds an MFA in Writing for Children &Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was recently nominated for a Rhysling award for her poem "Small Town Witches."
Her debut novel, Elysium Girls, is forthcoming from Disney Hyperion in 2020 in print and audio formats.
She is obsessed with the Romantic Poets and can be identified by the enormous tattoo of Percy Bysshe Shelley on her arm. She lives in Houston (H-Town, Space City, etc.)

Win Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost (US Only)

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What would you do if you found yourself stuck in a bad situation? Try to escape? Try to defeat it? Or, resign yourself to your fate?

Posted April 13, 2020 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review / 14 Comments

14 responses to “Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost: Review & Giveaway!

  1. This is a bit outside my realm, but I love that the author chose such a different setting, and that she was able to really capture and covey it so well.

  2. You had me worried there for a second. When you said you had sky-high expectations I fully thought you were gonna say it was a letdown. What a relief that it totally delivered because you’re right, that synopsis sounds brilliant and it has such a good cover. It would have been a total bummer for it to not to live up to expectations. I definitely had this on my radar but you’ve confirmed I really need to check this book out.

  3. This is me totally not being jealous that you were able to get on this blog tour. xD This is one of my most anticipated books this year, and I’m so excited to pick it up! I’m glad that to see that you enjoyed it. I actually bought a book box that I should be getting in the next couple weeks that has this book, so it shouldn’t be too long before i get to read it!

    Ahhhh, I’m so glad to see that the setting lived up! The Dust Bowl inspired is definitely one of the things that piqued my interest, because how often do you come across something like that? So much yes for the morally gray! I want aaall the morally gray. 😀 Now it feels like I have to wait even longer, because I want to read this book NOW, darn it. xD Thanks for the great review!

  4. I usually don’t read books that are set during a post-apocalyptic or dystopic time but when I was this compared to Mad Max: Fury Road, I just had to pick it and I’m so glad I did! The setting was so unique and the magic system made me want to know more! Should I end up in a bad situation similar to in the book, I really hope I have a friend like Asa to help me out!

  5. Sandy Klocinski

    It’s awesome to know that you enjoyed this book! Love the Dust Bowl setting. Great to know that you think it’s a keeper

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