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  • Writer's pictureTheLittLibrarian

Blood Scion - Review

*I received a finished copy for the Colored Pages Book Tour tour via HarperTeen. All reviews are my own.*

Again as I peruse through the review section of another AOC's debut release, I'm baffled by what people took out of this book. To be more direct, I'm baffled by white people's conclusions. First, I'd like to know how many people requested an ARC copy of an African mythology-inspired story – knowing that they are not the target audience? The number of comparisons to their Grisha Universe as if Orisha Gods is an unoriginal idea is mind-boggling. The rise of Nigerian writers and talks of Yoruba mythology has been on an incline recently, and though it's still very new to the masses, come on. Not everything is a rip-off of ACOTAR. The same people who hinted at the carbon copy story also speak as if they had never heard the term" child soldiers" before. As if these real-life horrors are exaggerated just for fantasy perks. *sigh* I wish publishers would do a better job sending arcs to the hands it's meant for. That way, I won't have to write introductions to an epic story like this one.

"Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.
Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.
Sloane rises through the ranks and gains strength but, in doing so, risks something greater: losing herself entirely, and becoming the very monster that she ahbors."

Author Deborah Falaye comes swinging out the gate with Blood Scion's debut efforts. When I tell you that this book is not for the weak-hearted, I mean that! Seriously, if you have a sensitive palate for severe violence and abuse, put this book down. The dark theme is inspired by the unfortunate 2014 hashtag movement, #BringOurGirlsBack; A social-media campaign to free teenage girls kidnapped by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram. With stories of children getting kidnapped from their homes to either become child brides or soldiers for a regime, Falaye brings awareness to the lack of human rights and how broken the world can be. But on a lighter note, Blood Scion also shows us hope. Hope is still the shining beacon people gravitate to even in the darkest hour. Plus, it doesn't hurt that you have an Orisha God's essence swirling in your blood.

As much as I want to say I enjoyed the book, I can't. Let me explain. I liked the book. It reminded me of Namina Forna's The Gilded Ones. There's girl power thrumming throughout the text, waiting to be released. I liked the thought of the power of the Orisha Gods trickling down to the next generation. It teaches that we are still kings and queens, no matter the circumstances. But here's the catch: Once you learn that this story is based on real-life child abductions from Africa, it's hard to announce that you love the story. These children are real people. So I can't say the tale brings me joy because it's not meant to bring joy. If anything, it made me aware of the cruelty humans have for each other. Blood Scion is a book of what would you do or what can you do? Die or survive?

There were a few minor details I couldn't look past. For somebody who grew up as a street brawler, the main character, Sloane, got her ass kicked up and down these pages. I don't know if it's the "I'm the best in my small town" mentality or if she just wasn't as good as a fighter she thought she was, but it was painful watching her failure. I needed her to have a win. It was also painful reading that she had to force down her bile multiple times – I equated this to the reader's favorite hair pulling line, "I released the breath I didn't know I was holding ."I understand now. I also found Sloane to be too trusting. While reading, you're waiting for the shoe to drop every time she spills out a secret. While being held hostage in a war camp, I would think you would keep your cards tightly against your chest. But that wouldn't make for a good story, would it?

Overall I rated this 4-stars. What bumped the rating was the plot twist towards the end. I saw it coming until I didn't. It definitely will have me on the lookout for book two. Mrs. Falaye did a hell of a job telling the story of Sloane Folishade, and I hope to be one of the first to ride out her final journey in the sequel.

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