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Interesting premise, uneven execution
on February 2, 2014
The best way to describe this book is a YA historical paranormal romance -- it's unlike anything else I've ever read. Eva has been raised as a devotee of Artemis by her pagan mother. When her Catholic father finds out, the family leaves America to return to Portugal, but a shipwreck leaves her an orphan in the Azore Islands. Her entire life, her mother has told her that she is fated for the incarnation of a certain god. As a love triangle (or quadrangle, I guess) forms between her, a fellow survivor of the shipwreck, and two other orphans, Eva must decide to what extent myths will control her life.
Lasota does a capable job of bringing the setting to life, but as more and more myths are layered into the story, it begins to slow down, especially as there is no clear connection between the different myths (I was hoping this would be resolved at the end, but it never was). There are also some plot developments that, frankly, depend on major coincidence and were difficult to accept. The resolution depends, in an unsatisfying way, on the reader both believing the power of myth and somehow rejecting the myths.
It's a beautiful book, though often too slow moving. It's just too hampered by the mythological structure the author decided to build the story around.