Publisher: P in C Publishing
Summary: “I had three visitors during that awful time of helplessness: the first was my enemy, the second a goddess with child and, finally, my only friend, a Djinni.”
No longer a celestial, Hotsuka must quickly adapt to life as a human if he’s to save his newborn son. Things go from bad to worse when he learns that he’s at the centre of a cosmic plan to change the universe forever. Not everyone, however, wants change…
Hotsuka’s Story is the first of six novellas in the epic fantasy Dragon Pearl series. Set in a world that borrows from Asian and Middle Eastern mythologies, and where gods and humans exist alongside one another, each novella describes the events that culminate in the Takeo Sura Pearl novels: Tamuda Rising and The Four-Day War.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an open and honest review
Hotsuka’s Story follows Hostuka, a celestial being who’s been forced to wander Earth as a human after certain events that displeased his superiors. Hotsuka starts off pretty arrogant, with little consideration for human emotions, as expected for an immortal godlike being who observes the universe for fun. After Hostuka is turned into a human, we watch his slow journey as he learns humility and to understand why humans do what they do. This story is very character driven and while the pacing is pretty quick, the plot is rather slow. Large portions of the book felt very slice-of-life-y, and while that isn’t a bad thing, it just wasn’t something I was in the mood for when I read it.
This book’s strengths are really in the world building and Hotsuka’s character development. The world is based influenced by Asian culture and Asian mythology, and I thought it was done very well. Being Chinese myself, I felt like I could really identify with the settings and the characters. I also really enjoyed the depth the author goes into Hotsuka’s character development. We see him go from uncaring celestial who’s merely using humans to suit his own curiosity, to temporarily playing surrogate dad to three orphaned boys.
Overall, I give this book a 3/5. While I enjoyed the character development and the worldbuilding, I really could have used some more plot. The true consequences don’t get revealed til the very end, and while I understand this is a collection of 6 novellas, it made this book feel like a protracted prologue.
/r/Fantasy Bingo Squares
- Novel Featuring a Non-Western Setting
- Novel with Fewer than 2500 Goodreads Ratings
- Novel Featuring a God as a Character