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Elatsoe

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Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across th Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.


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Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across th Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

30 review for Elatsoe

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    Author has confirmed that the mc is asexual!! This sounds amazing!

  2. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    You know that moment when you read a blurb and whisper, "Oh this is going to be the best"...and then IT IS THE BEST?! I just had that moment. I'm very pleased. Elatsoe is such a brilliant delight of a book, that is both whimsical and lovely, and also has darkness and thoughtful themes to untangle. It's #ownvoices Lipan Apache rep and I so loved that. Plus Ellie is asexual (doesn't talk about aromanticism but seems likely too!) and my little ace heart just leaped for joy. Then it has magic and gh You know that moment when you read a blurb and whisper, "Oh this is going to be the best"...and then IT IS THE BEST?! I just had that moment. I'm very pleased. Elatsoe is such a brilliant delight of a book, that is both whimsical and lovely, and also has darkness and thoughtful themes to untangle. It's #ownvoices Lipan Apache rep and I so loved that. Plus Ellie is asexual (doesn't talk about aromanticism but seems likely too!) and my little ace heart just leaped for joy. Then it has magic and ghosts and the absolute bestest best of doggos and ice cream and OH also murder so. It has it all. ...let's tell a story of magic... I really loved the emphasis on storytelling throughout the pages. There's lots love for indigenous traditions, and a lot of Ellie's life lessons come in the form of stories from her parents. Ellie is also a huge fan of her (six) greats grandmother, who had the same power as Ellie: the ability to ask ghosts of animals to return from the afterlife. Okay this magic is super fascinating (and Ellie sort of toes the line between using it safely and not) and Ellie's companion the whole way through is her little ghost dog Kirby, who died of old age but she brought back so she'd never have to miss him. 🥺💛💛 My heart just got soft and flopped all over the place. The world is also our world but...not. Just our world, but this slight alternate realty where there's magic and vampires and ghosts. Ellie's still dealing with racism and white men who think they're better than everyone else. But there's dark magical secrets and mysteries to unravel and oh, Ellie sort of wakens a thousand year old trillobite too. Just everyday things YOU KNOW. This is such deft and beautifully crafted magical realism. I loved the world!! ...what goes down... So the premise is that Ellie's cousin dies unexpectedly, but the facts of his "car accident" don't add up, and Ellie knows it's foul play. She ends up investigating this odd little town where people don't stop staring at strangers, and when her cousin's ghost names his murderer in a dream, Ellie will stop at nothing to figure out WHAT happened. The have the culprit, but not the why or how. It did get creepy in one stage and I was reading at night and was just sort of shivering. The writing is excellent like that. ...the characters... So Ellie is amazing, she has such a dry, wry voice and humour, and she's so sure of herself. She's never unsure about being ace and she'll crack jokes about it. There's no romance! Her best friend is Jay who is, look I'm going to say it, a himbo. 😂 He is a tall blonde cheerleading dumbass and he's just lovely?! The whole way through he is LOVELY. Supportive of Ellie and there to help her look into the mystery of her cousin's murder. Ellie's family is amazing (she loves her parents!! Talks to her parents!!) and there's such a motley of side characters who are interesting and strange and dynamic. So you know what?! Just read this. It's brilliant. The whole world felt fresh and different, catching my attention from the first page with its engaging writing and characters I just want to adore forever. (There are also little illustrations!!)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    If she concentrated, Ellie could feel her consciousness brush countless others; they were ghosts in the underworld Below. She wondered if she could wake them all up. How long would they play in the dark until they drifted off to sleep again? I'd been hanging out for this book since I read the synopsis - it's finally here and it is so good! At the most basic level, we've got a murder mystery - always a good start - but there's so much more. Ellie (Elatsoe) lives in a United States very similar to If she concentrated, Ellie could feel her consciousness brush countless others; they were ghosts in the underworld Below. She wondered if she could wake them all up. How long would they play in the dark until they drifted off to sleep again? I'd been hanging out for this book since I read the synopsis - it's finally here and it is so good! At the most basic level, we've got a murder mystery - always a good start - but there's so much more. Ellie (Elatsoe) lives in a United States very similar to our own, though magic, fairies, and vampires (at least) exist. She's got the family gift of calling to the dead, one passed down through the women of the family as they reach their teens (just wait til you get to the one who uses a mammoth for help with her weekly grocery shop!). But it's not all helpful prehistory - it's made clear that there's big risks involved if you overreach or don't think your calling through. The illustrations are lovely, and the writing is straightforward and simple, but so readable. It almost skews it a little younger to me, and the protagonists are an ambiguous teen age (though I'd guess 15-16) which furthered that impression. That is, until the stakes (heh) started to raise, and some of the horror elements came to the front more - they were delightfully creepy, too! I would maybe have liked a tad more worldbuilding, but you're definitely not left without enough information for the story. It's just that this world sounds absolutely fascinating, and after what we were shown, I definitely want more. Despite the potentially ghoulish themes, overall this book was an absolute delight. When the world is falling apart, it's always nice to have an uplifting escape.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Leo

    Apparently the main character is asexual and this book is written by an Apache author. This is the book I didn’t know I needed in my life

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rishika Aggarwal

    culture was the most important part of belonging It's been a while since I read a YA that sang to me in the way that this book did. In a world similar to our own, but shaped by magic as much as by technology, Elatsoe can raise the ghosts of the dead. Knowledge says that her skill should be limited to animals, and human ghosts are less the people they once were and more vengeful spirits that cannot be controlled. But when her cousin dies in a suspicious hit-and-run, and his ghost visits her d culture was the most important part of belonging It's been a while since I read a YA that sang to me in the way that this book did. In a world similar to our own, but shaped by magic as much as by technology, Elatsoe can raise the ghosts of the dead. Knowledge says that her skill should be limited to animals, and human ghosts are less the people they once were and more vengeful spirits that cannot be controlled. But when her cousin dies in a suspicious hit-and-run, and his ghost visits her dreams to tell her he was murdered, Ellie finds herself entangled in a mystery that will have her facing not only a centuries-old secret, but also the depths of her own abilities. Ellie wanted to meet every species on the tree of life. Witness the ghosts of its oldest branches. Velociraptors. Giant sloths. Megalodon sharks. I loved Ellie so much. She's an amazingly developed character, and she felt real. She's confident in who she is and her abilities, and she never doubts that she'll be able to solve the murder mystery she's been thrown into. She's dry, a little sarcastic, and a lot loyal. But what sells the book and the character for me is that she's never not a 17-year old girl. i was never left feeling like she was acting too old for her age, and one of the best written scenes, in my opinion, is towards the end, when her mother accompanies her and her friends on their way to the 'climactic battle.' She is still a child, and the reader never forgets it - which is something I think is sorely lacking in YA. To her, Six-Great was immortal; the stories made her that way. They carried her personality through the generations. The one thing I really liked in this book was the importance of storytelling and history. As Lipan Apache, Ellie's powers have been passed down her family line for generations. The strongest among the ones who came before her was her Six Great-Grandmother, and Ellie's understanding of her powers are couched in the stories of her heroic ancestor. At the same time, the book does not shy away from the painful history of Native Americans, instead choosing to confront that history of discrimination and genocide first hand. Even in this alternate world, some events remain unchanged, and Ellie's is always painfully aware of the history of persecution and death that she and hers have faced at the hand of white people. “My grandmother found a woolly mammoth tusk ages ago. It took, like, four decades, but the mammoth is now her best friend.” . “Fairy rings. That’s such a cute term for wormholes that slice through reality.” I really enjoyed the magic system in this book. There's SO MUCH to explore and dig into that i don't even know what to say, but I found the way that Ellie and her family have a history of ghost pets - from dogs to GHOST MAMMOTHS!!!! - utterly adorable. I'd love to see this system explored more, and I'm SO hopeful for more books in this universe. As much as Ellie loathed romantic relationship talk—she’d never been on a date, didn’t plan to go on a date, and didn’t know how to counsel or console friends about the whole “dating” thing—she couldn’t leave a puppy in the rain. I also loved the unashamed, unflinching display of Ellie's asexuality. It's never a fact that is questioned - either by her or by any other character, including ones she's only just met - and it's never used as a source of angst. It's an amazing way to write a character, from Ellie's confidence in it to the fact that no one else doubts it either. I loved it so much. It should have been a proud moment, but Ellie also felt profoundly sad. The Leech was the last of its kind. The monsters of her ancestors had been replaced by different threats. There's just so, so much more in this book that I want to mention: • Ellie's relationship with her parents - actually functional! They talk! And discuss things! And trust each other! More of this trend in YA tbh • The rest of the characters - each and every one of the relevant characters felt fleshed out, even Ronnie and the starting lineup, and Aunt Bell, all of whom only appear for short moments. (As an aside, I love for Ronnie and the starting lineup and want a book about them). • Kirby the ghost dog !!!!!!!!! • The revived ghost trilobite !!!!! • The ancient sea of ghosts !!!!! Honestly, just read this book yesterday. It's amazing and you need it in your life. 4.5/5 stars, rounded up to 5 stars for me, of the "She just rides the mammoth to town when she needs groceries" variety. INSTAGRAM

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brody (ettubrody)

    Thanks to both Darcie Little Badger and Levine Querido for providing me with an ARC of this book. "Don't rush stories. That's sacrilegious." ELATSOE is one of my most anticipated releases of 2020, and it did not disappoint. Every chapter draws you deeper into this world where humans walk side by side with the beings from lore. This book strikes the perfect balance of humor, action, loss, and nerdiness that I was expecting from it. I think what I appreciated the most about ELATSOE is that while Ell Thanks to both Darcie Little Badger and Levine Querido for providing me with an ARC of this book. "Don't rush stories. That's sacrilegious." ELATSOE is one of my most anticipated releases of 2020, and it did not disappoint. Every chapter draws you deeper into this world where humans walk side by side with the beings from lore. This book strikes the perfect balance of humor, action, loss, and nerdiness that I was expecting from it. I think what I appreciated the most about ELATSOE is that while Ellie is definitely the hero of the story, she isn't alone and never acts like she is. Her friends, family, and the best damn ghost dog in the world rally around her as she tries to bring her cousin's murderer to justice. It's refreshing to read about in a genre that often falls into the "I have to do this alone" trope. I also really enjoyed the way that Ellie's family history, particularly that of her six-great grandmother, is so integrated into the story. As a Native reviewer myself, my history is something that's very important to me, and I was grateful to see that represented. Big love for Kirby the Ghost Dog, Native vampires, and an unexpected heist scene as well! Make sure you get your hands on this one, folks.

  7. 4 out of 5

    leah

    TW: death, murder, blood, ghosts & monsters, racism, grief, gore, abuse towards Indigenous people ❝ Maybe, sometimes, wants felt like needs. Because the alternative hurt too bad. 4 stars | That was SO enjoyable, oh my goodness. Darcie Little Badger is a debut voice that I cannot wait to see grow, and I swear I will buy anything she puts out. We have so many fantastic elements to this story. A strong female protagonist who was nerdy and resilient and funny and super genuine and loyal? Chec TW: death, murder, blood, ghosts & monsters, racism, grief, gore, abuse towards Indigenous people ❝ Maybe, sometimes, wants felt like needs. Because the alternative hurt too bad. 4 stars | That was SO enjoyable, oh my goodness. Darcie Little Badger is a debut voice that I cannot wait to see grow, and I swear I will buy anything she puts out. We have so many fantastic elements to this story. A strong female protagonist who was nerdy and resilient and funny and super genuine and loyal? Check. She was also asexual and aromantic and gah! I loved Ellie so much. The platonic friendship she had with Jay was SO refreshing to see and I need more YA books that don’t revolve around romance because BRO THIS REALLY HITS DIFFERENT. Speaking of refreshing though, I absolutely loved how Darcie Little Badger took concepts we YA readers see far too often in plots and just went “nah” and pulled a full 180 on us. For example, I’m so used to reading about a main character having some kind of prophetic dream and needing to spend 50% of the book convincing the people around them that they’re not lying and it was SO NICE to see that NOT happen here. Ellie is immediately trusted by her parents, and that parental support continues throughout the book which was so beautiful and comforting to see. My favorite scene—which I won’t spoil, don’t worry—has to do with vampires and a car chase and that’s all I’ll say. If you read this (which you should, ASAP) you’ll immediately know what scene I’m referencing. And must I just say: how BADASS was that???? Anyway I can rave about this book for hours, but I do want to say that the final conflict and general climax of this story felt a bit too comedic for my taste. I thought it could have been much more tense and scary, and for being in a YA mystery I really wanted more from it. But still, I did enjoy it plenty and I was obviously hooked. All in all, a fantastic book that needs to be on EVERYONE’S radar. Seriously, read this.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    Main character is asexual? Ghost? Monsters? Scary things? Please, for the love of all things good.... give me this book. Right. Now.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    This is exceptional, I hope Darcie writes for a thousand years, this is such a good book. Illustrated! Ghosts! Family! Very Good Ghost Dogs! Ace main character! Storytelling! Ghost Whales! Vampires! Ghost Mosquitos! Friendship!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erin || erins_library

    (Review copy provided by the publisher) Elatsoe is a young adult novel set in a world close to our own, but with magical abilities and mythical creatures that are commonplace enough that no one bats an eye at it. The main character, Ellie, is Lipan Apache, asexual, and has the ability to raise ghosts of the dead. Ellie’s ability is passed down through lessons and stories in her family. It’s a responsibility they carry to remember it and keep it out of the hands of the wrong people. What I enjoyed (Review copy provided by the publisher) Elatsoe is a young adult novel set in a world close to our own, but with magical abilities and mythical creatures that are commonplace enough that no one bats an eye at it. The main character, Ellie, is Lipan Apache, asexual, and has the ability to raise ghosts of the dead. Ellie’s ability is passed down through lessons and stories in her family. It’s a responsibility they carry to remember it and keep it out of the hands of the wrong people. What I enjoyed about this book was the strong family relationships and the friendship. I could feel how much they all loved each other. And I was left thinking a lot about the importance of stories - how they carry our history and shape us. This is a wonderful book with a great world and characters. I wholeheartedly recommend if you’re looking for urban/low fantasy with a side of murder mystery. There’s a conversation to be had about white people and the exploitation of Indigenous people’s lands, resources, bodies... and thinking throwing money at it will make it fine. The perception is that their lives have more value than those of BIPOC people. CW: grief, mourning, death

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Elatsoe did so many elements well that I'm not quite sure where to start. The characters were captivating, particularly the friendship between Ellie and Jay. I'm not always a huge magical realism fan but I really liked how Elatsoe did it -- from vampirism as a curse that's monitored by the government to Ellie's ability to summon ghosts. The world felt very similar to ours in a lot of ways, including the racism that Ellie experiences for being Lipan Apache. It took me a little bit to get into the Elatsoe did so many elements well that I'm not quite sure where to start. The characters were captivating, particularly the friendship between Ellie and Jay. I'm not always a huge magical realism fan but I really liked how Elatsoe did it -- from vampirism as a curse that's monitored by the government to Ellie's ability to summon ghosts. The world felt very similar to ours in a lot of ways, including the racism that Ellie experiences for being Lipan Apache. It took me a little bit to get into the story but once I did, I found Elatsoe hard to put down as I became desperate to know how things were going to play out. C/W:(view spoiler)[racism, murder, death of a pet, death of a loved one (hide spoiler)]

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lynette Floyd

    Elatsoe is a beautiful book inside and out. Darcie Little Badger and Rovina Cai bring together such a beautiful, and also bittersweet, story that touches on so many topics. From grief and family, to how the impacts of colonialism and genocide are still being felt by Indigenous Americans, despite the world, and the United States, wanting to forget. I cannot recommend this book enough.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger

    it's illustrated by rovina cai, that's all i need to know

  14. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    What a beautiful book. There's so much about history and about colonization and the way Indigenous people are treated. The world is so richly built and full of paranormal creatures and activity that are recognizable to most readers, but there's also a lot of Lipan Apache lore. Elatsoe has a wonderful, supportive family and builds up a fantastic friend group. The plot twists and turns. And there is ZERO romance!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Madeline (The Bookish Mutant)

    Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Levine Querido/Chronicle Books for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review! The premise already excited me, but in all respects, Elatsoe is a fantastic, paranormal murder mystery! First off, REPRESENTATION! Elatsoe is an incredible #OwnVoices story–both the author and the protagonist are Lipan Apache, and the protagonist is also confirmed to be asexual. I hardly ever see asexual representation in literature, and so I’m so excited to see that such stories ar Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Levine Querido/Chronicle Books for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review! The premise already excited me, but in all respects, Elatsoe is a fantastic, paranormal murder mystery! First off, REPRESENTATION! Elatsoe is an incredible #OwnVoices story–both the author and the protagonist are Lipan Apache, and the protagonist is also confirmed to be asexual. I hardly ever see asexual representation in literature, and so I’m so excited to see that such stories are coming into the spotlight. This novel strikes the perfect balance between the spooky paranormal and a murder mystery. The worldbuilding of this alternate America is absolutely stellar as well; most aspects of it are deftly explained without an excess of info-dumping. Darcie Little Badger introduces all sorts of fascinating creatures, and weaves them seamlessly into alternate America. Going off of this, my favorite aspects–and my favorite scene–was that of the ghosts. Not only is Kirby adorable, but there’s a beautiful scene in which Ellie stumbles into a ghost sea, filled with trilobites, whales, and all manner of prehistoric creatures. The writing is lush and gorgeous, beautiful and immersive. And I’m a sucker for prehistoric critters and marine life, so of course you have my attention with the scene, even if it was fairly brief. At times, some of the dialogue felt flat, causing a bit of a lull at the halfway mark, but I’m glad to say that it quickly picked up from there. I found myself completely immersed in the supernatural murder mystery, and after said dull spot, I enjoyed it from start to finish. Darcie Little Badger made so many creative choices that made Elatsoe all the more original, making for a supernatural story unlike any other. All in all, a brilliant and creative #OwnVoices paranormal murder mystery. 4 stars!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adeel

    The story takes place in America which although similar to how it currently is, monsters, vampires, fairies, and magic are the norm. The stories main character is seventeen year old Elatsoe aka Ellie who is of Lipan Apache descent. The origin of her name in my mind is just perfection. She is named "Elatsoe" after her ancestor Six-Great which means hummingbird. Through her families bloodline and specifically the women in her family, Ellie has the abillity to raise ghosts from the dead in order. Sh The story takes place in America which although similar to how it currently is, monsters, vampires, fairies, and magic are the norm. The stories main character is seventeen year old Elatsoe aka Ellie who is of Lipan Apache descent. The origin of her name in my mind is just perfection. She is named "Elatsoe" after her ancestor Six-Great which means hummingbird. Through her families bloodline and specifically the women in her family, Ellie has the abillity to raise ghosts from the dead in order. She like many of her ancestors gained this abillity once they are in their teens. Ellie has used her powers to raise her dog Kirby from the dead. "Ellie could feel her consciousness brush countless others; they were ghosts in the underworld Below. She wondered if she could wake them all up." Rules do apply however when it comes to bringing back the souls of dead human beings. If returned they comeback much more aggressive and angry. Like missing puzzles of their former selves Things are turned upside down for her Ellie and her family when her cousin Trevor dies as a result of a car crash. However, soon her cousin visits Ellie in a dream to tell her that his family needs protection and also the fact that he murdered by a man in Willowbee called Abe Allerton. Through Google, her best friend Jay uncovers that on the surface Abe appears to be a good charitable man who is well liked by the community, so the question is why would he kill her cousin Trevor. Thus, along with her parents and her best friend Jay, Ellie sets off to Willowbee in order to find out what really happened to her cousin and the dark truth Abe Allerton has been hiding. Soon Ellie will uncover that there are dark forces waiting to fully erupt and an enemy of old that must be vanquished once and for all. Elatsoe for me was an absolutely magical read right from the beginning. This was the first time I had read a book that focused on the Indigenous culture and its traditions. Much of these traditions play a key part in the life of Ellie and her family. Through out much of the story Ellie is taught many life lessons by parents regarding her indigenous bloodline which I found so so interesting and enlightening. As a character I thought Ellie was brilliant. She was hilarious without even trying and I loved her self confidence. The other thing I felt Darcie does really well was to make Ellie feel like a 17 year old. The language and dialogue between Ellie and her family and friends at no point drifts towards Ellie coming across as older than she is. This for me allowed Ellie to feel more real. “I hope you’re good at opening pickle jars,” Ellie said, as she started twisting one of the fasteners. “I don’t like pickles.” He started working on another. “Do you eat anything in a jar?” “Oh, sure! Marmalade.” “I hope you’re good at opening marmalade jars.” I also loved the supporting characters of Jay who is Ellie's best friend and her parents. Jay like Ellie adds a lot of humour to the story. Both of them are such goofballs. I loved how supportive of Ellie everyone was considering her dead cousin came to her dreams to tell her he had been murdered. At no point did Ellie's mother or father get spooked or think she was lying. Instead they trusted her and throughout the whole story stayed by her side. You really feel the bond and trust Ellie has with her parents and she can always always count on them when she needs to discuss anything no matter how weird. "You believe Allerton is a murderer?” Ellie asked. “I . . . believe in you, Ellie, and your dream.” “Thanks, Dad. I’ll try my best.” Going back to the native culture of Ellie, I also enjoyed the stories Ellie's parents would tell her about her Six Great Grandmother. The Six was well known among her peers for her power and her adventures. "To her, Six-Great was immortal; the stories made her made her that way. They her personality through the generations" Without spoiling, there was one story in particular about a strange creature in a sinkhole that I found really funny. Her grandmother even had a wooly Mammoth as a best friend! Who doesn't want a wooly Mammoth as a best friend! Finally in terms of the world building, I thought it was a really interesting and fun world. I enjoyed the inclusion of vampires, fairies, and paranormal elements. The paranormal elements made a lot more darker than I anticipated which worked well during those parts. There are also fairy portals which I found so cool! "Simply put, fairy rings were portals powered by fae-realm magic and composed of fungi and flowers." Overall, this is definitely being added as one of my favourite reads this year! It was so refreshing and enlightening to read about the Native/Indigenous culture. It's very much new to me but I would like to read more books by Native authors. This novel was enriched with native history and mythology. I also have high praise for the characters of Ellie her parents, and Jay. I loved their bond and it reminded me a lot of the bond I have with my parents. I truly feel that this is a book everyone will love once they've read it. It's not only a fun read but a fantastic learning experience. Thank you so much to Levine Querido and the brilliant Alexandra for sending me an ebook copy. Also, shout out to Rovina Cai for again acing it with the beautiful illustrations! Never get tired of her artwork 😊

  17. 5 out of 5

    Josie

    Okay y'all, believe the hype, believe the hype. This book was absolutely incredible. It's going on my all-time favorite books list, it's that good. Elatsoe is everything I love about books.The world in the book is magical and everyone is aware that vampires, coyote-people, fairies, magic, and ghosts exist. We have a strong, beautifully written main character, Ellie aka Elatsoe, her awesome ghost-pup Kirby, her loving parents and their family relationships, her best friend Jay and a few well thou Okay y'all, believe the hype, believe the hype. This book was absolutely incredible. It's going on my all-time favorite books list, it's that good. Elatsoe is everything I love about books.The world in the book is magical and everyone is aware that vampires, coyote-people, fairies, magic, and ghosts exist. We have a strong, beautifully written main character, Ellie aka Elatsoe, her awesome ghost-pup Kirby, her loving parents and their family relationships, her best friend Jay and a few well thought-out side characters. Ellie is Lipan-Apache and we quickly find out that she has the ability to bring back the dead. In fact, all of the women in Ellie's family have this gift and pass it down to their daughters. One day, Kirby starts acting weird and Elatsoe knows something is wrong. She rushes to make sure her parents are okay and soon finds out that her cousin, Trevor, was in a horrible accident. That night while she is sleeping, her cousin comes to her in a dream and tells her a man murdered him and that she needed to protect his family. The next day she and her family drive out to Texas to help Trevor's family. I love how close Ellie is with her parents and how trusting they are with her. They support her and believe her from the beginning when she tells them her concerns about what really happened to Trevor. From there, Ellie plans on investigating this potential murder, along with her best friend Jay, and uncovers something. A secret that has been hidden for centuries. One that will test her and potentially put her family and friends in danger... I really enjoyed the stories that were scattered throughout the book. It allowed the reader to learn more about Ellie's family, her ability, ancestors and culture. The way Little Badger ties small details into different parts of the story is masterful. I really enjoyed the way colonization was discussed as well. I never felt like the author was trying too hard to tell the reader what was happening, it was natural and flowed effortlessly. I cannot wait to see what else Darcie Little Badger has in that brilliant mind! Maybe a sequel? I highly, highly recommend!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    I really enjoyed this ownvoices, speculative fiction novel. I have read that this is considered a YA book, but as an elementary teacher, I am thinking about considering it upper MG and adding it to my classroom/school library. The setting and the character's approach to the supernatural is what first made me think of this as speculative fiction, rather than fantasy. Our main character, Ellie, is a Lipan Apache teen who has the ability to raise the dead. Her best friend is a dog that has been dea I really enjoyed this ownvoices, speculative fiction novel. I have read that this is considered a YA book, but as an elementary teacher, I am thinking about considering it upper MG and adding it to my classroom/school library. The setting and the character's approach to the supernatural is what first made me think of this as speculative fiction, rather than fantasy. Our main character, Ellie, is a Lipan Apache teen who has the ability to raise the dead. Her best friend is a dog that has been dead for years. The way this was so casually mentioned made me think this America (Texas, actually) is slightly different than the one we know. These types of powers are passed down in a family and seem to be accepted as part of normal life. This America is impacted by monsters, ghosts, magic, and it seems more impacted by stories, including the stories of Ellie's people. Being Lipan Apache is different in Darcy Little Badger's America, but there were some scenes that show that racism was still very much a force in this America, present and past. One scene in particular when Ellie is in a store is great for white people to read about how Indigenous peoples are often treated. When Ellie's cousin is murdered, her instincts tell her that she needs to investigate. She travels to a small town in Texas to help her Mom look after the grieving family and begins to find out that something is very wrong. Ellie uses her powers, and knowledge passed on through her ancestors as well as the support of an elder, her friends and family to learn more about her cousin's death. What is going on turns out to be even bigger than a murder investigation, and I am hoping this turns out to be more than one standalone book. I would read more books set in this world, with Ellie as the MC, or not, although the way that Lipan Apache traditions and ways of knowing are interspersed is also something I would read more of.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura Hoffman Brauman

    Solid young reader/young adult read. Elatsoe is a 17 year old girl who is able to raise the dead -- it's an unusual skill but not unheard of in her world where magic and the supernatural are a part of everyday life (vampires are an accepted part of society, people descended from fairies can use fairy rings of mushrooms to transport themselves from one location to another, etc). When her cousin dies, he visits her as a vision telling her he was murdered. She enlists the help of some friends and h Solid young reader/young adult read. Elatsoe is a 17 year old girl who is able to raise the dead -- it's an unusual skill but not unheard of in her world where magic and the supernatural are a part of everyday life (vampires are an accepted part of society, people descended from fairies can use fairy rings of mushrooms to transport themselves from one location to another, etc). When her cousin dies, he visits her as a vision telling her he was murdered. She enlists the help of some friends and her family and searches for the truth. I loved the elements of Apache folklore in here, but there were times when I wished the author would have spent a little more time on the world building. It felt like various mythologies and folklore were just added in to contemporary society.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    This was tons of fun. Seriously, I read this book in one sitting, and was amazed at basically the whole thing. I love when in books, the world is the same as ours except for a few things just being different, so the way that this version of America was constructed was perfect for me. The way that myths, magical lineages, and even more popular fantasy creatures like mothmans, and vampires are just a common, excepted fact of life, was so well done, and I loved every minute of it. For the setting a This was tons of fun. Seriously, I read this book in one sitting, and was amazed at basically the whole thing. I love when in books, the world is the same as ours except for a few things just being different, so the way that this version of America was constructed was perfect for me. The way that myths, magical lineages, and even more popular fantasy creatures like mothmans, and vampires are just a common, excepted fact of life, was so well done, and I loved every minute of it. For the setting and the atmosphere of this book, I'd likely give it a 4.5 or even a 5 star. What brought this down a star or two for me was the writing and the dialoge. I didnt love how the characters spoke. Sometimes it felt forced, and just really out of place for me. To me the Elatsoe and Jay felt way younger then they should have for being 17 years old. I did really like their friendship otherwise. Its rare in YA books that you have 2 opposite sex protaganists, that at no pount have romantic feelings for eachother. They've known eachother for basically their whole lives, are best friends and that is that. Another thing to note is that Elatsoe is asexual which is awesome to see in YA, and she is never treated any differently or poorly by anyone. Her asexuality is almost a footnote, and I really liked seeing that. Another thing that bugged me was the info dumping. It didnt really surprise me, given how this is about a world only slightly different then ours, with a mythology most of us readers probably don't know much about, but there was just sooo much of it. There were times where characters would be brought in to explain things happening to Elatsoe, to her, in a way that felt real forced to me, and this in general is not a narrative style I much enjoy. So overall, I did like this book. It is a solid debut, with a story I overall quite enjoyed. There were just a few things that I didnt like so much, so I wasn't able to rate this as highly as I anticipated. I still think that this is really worth reading. Its really interesting for the most part, and was pretty easy to read. This is a book that could probably be recommended to anyone, its easy to follow, nothing to gorey or upsetting. This is just a good time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elise - ABook&ACup

    4.5 I loved everything about this book!The world building ( our world, but with magical elements included in the daily life), the fact that it's an Ownvoices Indigenous and ace story, allowing us to discover Elatsoe, and her Lipan Apache family, the legends and powers passed down through generation, it was all so captivating. thank you to Darcy Little Badger to inviting us into this world! And there are ghosts and a very old and dark secret to solve, what else can you expect from the perfect Fall 4.5 I loved everything about this book!The world building ( our world, but with magical elements included in the daily life), the fact that it's an Ownvoices Indigenous and ace story, allowing us to discover Elatsoe, and her Lipan Apache family, the legends and powers passed down through generation, it was all so captivating. thank you to Darcy Little Badger to inviting us into this world! And there are ghosts and a very old and dark secret to solve, what else can you expect from the perfect Fall read?

  22. 4 out of 5

    Seth Turner

    Wonderfully written. Darcie Little Badger knows how to weave a tale for sure. Loved the spunk and tenacity of Ellie. Ellie is just a kick-ass character that comes of age because of the gift that is passed to her not in spite of it. She becomes stronger and more defined with the help of her family and her loyal Kirby. A must-read for anyone loves voices like Tommy Orange and Rebecca Roanhorse.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michaela Raschilla

    It takes a lot of skill to weave stories within stories, especially while interupting high tension moments of action, this is perhaps the most skillfully done example of that I have seen. Good story, representation I appreciated, culture that was rich as well as inviting. Well, worth a read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    KSE

    Such a fun take on Indigenous magic realism, horror, fantasy, and murder mystery, all woven together in a YA novel.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I read an amazing short story by Darcie Little Badger in an anthology and had been eagerly awaiting reading more. Elatsoe did not disappoint! I highly recommend, especially for dog lovers!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gretal

    Wow. This was a beautiful book, and one more people should read. I know I'm going to keep thinking about Ellie and the rest of the characters and this story for a long time.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    This was a really fun read! The world was so vivid and interesting and I hope the author writes more in it because I'd definitely be interested in reading more of Ellie's adventures!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nora

    This was a nice surprise and a fun read. Both the author and main character are Lipan Apache, and I loved seeing the familiar fantasy/spec-fic trappings from that perspective. This may also be one of the first times that a specially gifted teen has gotten involved with a dangerous secret - with the loving support and belief of her parents!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This sounds so gooooood.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Monet

    "She’d heard whispers about clans of teenage-bodied vampires, carnivorous mothmen, immortal serial killers, devil cults, cannibal families, and slenderpeople. Even if most of the urban legends were fictitious, Ellie had a ghost dog companion. When it came to strange stuff, she could not be too open-minded." ~ Elatsoe There are unlimited reasons to love this book: - Native American representation - asexual representation - the author is a badass scientist! I originally picked up this book because I wa "She’d heard whispers about clans of teenage-bodied vampires, carnivorous mothmen, immortal serial killers, devil cults, cannibal families, and slenderpeople. Even if most of the urban legends were fictitious, Ellie had a ghost dog companion. When it came to strange stuff, she could not be too open-minded." ~ Elatsoe There are unlimited reasons to love this book: - Native American representation - asexual representation - the author is a badass scientist! I originally picked up this book because I was excited about a Native American girl being the main character of a novel! The maternal side of my family is Chippewa Indian and, since my grandparents are no longer around for me to ask them questions, I search for novels that feature characters that remind me of them. I don't talk about this a lot because I'm white and I don't want anyone questioning my identity. However, I love reading about Native history, and recently, Native American characters in YA novels. I loved everything about Ellie's character. She's so relatable! Like me, she has a close relationship with her parents and family. Plus, I love my dog Lulu as much as Ellie loves Kirby! I didn't know going into this book that there was asexual representation. It was such a wonderful surprise! I identify as asexual and there needs to be more representation out there, not only in novels like this but tv shows, movies, etc. It's so comforting to relate to a character who shares your same identity. A pet peeve of mine is when a novel is publicized as being "about an asexual character..." Sure Ellie is asexual, but there is more to her personality! She is a complex woman and that is so realistic. She also has a strong sense of justice, she's curious, and she's loyal to her best friend. I would recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read: - POC authors - paranormal mystery stories - heartwarming family tales Final thoughts: - Can I just say, I want to meet Kirby so bad! He sounds adorable. - I love the worldbuilding in this novel. The concept is so unique: a world similar to ours but fully integrated with magical creatures! - The whole time I was reading I pictured Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs as Ellie. If a movie is ever made inspired by this novel (which I would LOVE) I hope Jacobs gets cast. Some of my favorite quotes: "'You can bring a guest to the wedding, but nobody too weird. I get that you’re asexual, so, like, it can be a friend or zucchini or …' She trailed off, sounding a bit uncertain. 'Yeah. Just. Nobody my parents would hate. They already don’t like the groom.' 'Cool. Does my dog count as too weird?'" "'One reason I struggle with exams,' he said. 'Anxiety wipes my brain clean.'"

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