BLOG TOUR: Enlightenment by Reno Ursal | Filipino Urban Fantasy

Alright! It’s my turn to talk about Reno Ursal’s Enlightenment, the first book of the Bathala series and, boy, do I have a lot to talk about. At the risk of sounding cliche, I was pretty enlightened after reading this book and I can’t thank the author and Kate for giving me this opportunity.

About Enlightenment

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First and foremost, let me tell you a little bit about the book. Enlightenment is the first book of The Bathala series. Set in the weird and dry desert lands of Las Vegas, United States, the book is about a young second generation Fil-Am (Filipino-American) girl Dorothy Dizon who despite seemingly having it all – straight A’s, an athletic build, a loyal and loving best friend – is actually slowly losing everything she knows about her life. Her mother is dying of cancer, her father has gone and left them years ago, and, to top it all off, Dorothy realizes that she actually knows very little about her mother’s home country and even less about her bloodline. Things get weirder when the new kid, a Filipino transfer student named Adrian, befriends her. Dorothy starts having paranormal experiences around the mysterious Adrian and the more she tries to look for answers, the more her life is at risk.

Some reviewers have likened this book with Rick Riordan’s mythology adventure series since Enlightenment brings Filipino myths and creatures in modern times but if you’re a veteran reader of young adult books, you’ll recognize that this book feels more like a YA paranormal/fantasy romance a la Melissa dela Cruz. Secret magical society, chosen ones, mystic dream sequences, inexplicable magical elements, and, most importantly, a hunky male main character that’s destined to protect the female lead – the recipe for a lot of YA paranormal romance in the past decade.

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Blog Tour | Book Review: Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz

The most striking childhood memory I have of going to a cemetery was when I was eight or nine, cajoled to tag along with my family to visit my grandmother’s gravesite on All Soul’s Day.¬†Eight-year-old me clutched my mother’s hand, afraid of getting lost in the maze of tombs. In those days, my grandmother’s grave was in the public cemetery where you had to navigate through block after block of “apartment tombs,” the path in between only just barely wide enough for the onslaught of visitors on the busiest day of the cemetery.

Traversing such a crowded place, tombs literally on all sides, really made me realize how claustrophobic I actually was and I had to make an extra effort to clamp down my complaints. My mother promised us that we wouldn’t be there for more than ten minutes, fifteen tops. That at least was a comfort. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could stay at such a grim and dismal place for more than a day.¬†

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