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BLOG TOUR --- This Eternity of Masks and Shadows by Karsten Knight --- YOUNG ADULT/NEW ADULT FICTION [Review + Giveaway]

Title: This Eternity of Masks and Shadows
Author & Illustrator: Karsten Knight
Publication Date: June 2, 2020
Edition: Paperback, ebook; 356 pgs
Publisher: Karsten Knight
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Kindle - Barnes & Noble - The Book Depository
Audience: Young Adult/New Adult
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule
Week One 
5/25/2020 Lone Tree Reads Excerpt 

5/25/2020 BookHounds YA Excerpt 

5/26/2020 Book Briefs Review 

5/26/2020 Lisa Loves Literature Excerpt 

5/26/2020 JaimeRockstarBookTours Instagram Stop 

5/27/2020 Lifestyle of Me Review 

5/27/2020 Discover Elysian Review 

5/28/2020 Do You Dog-ear? Review 

5/28/2020 Books Beans & Botany Review 

5/29/2020 The Bookwyrm's Den Review 

5/29/2020 Oodles of Books Review 

Week Two
6/1/2020 @_ebl_inc_ Instagram Stop 

6/1/2020 Eli to the nth Review 

6/1/2020 Two Chicks on Books Excerpt 

6/2/2020 Nerdophiles Review 

6/2/2020 Books_andPoetrii Instagram Stop 

6/3/2020 Popthebutterfly Reads Review & Instagram Stop 

6/3/2020 Hurn Publications Excerpt 

6/4/2020 She Just Loves Books Review 

6/4/2020 A Dream Within A Dream Excerpt 

6/5/2020 Locks, Hooks and Books Review 

6/5/2020 Fazila Reads Instagram Stop 

The Summary

American Gods meets Watchmen in this mythology-inspired mystery from Karsten Knight, author of the Wildefire trilogy. 

In a city of gods and mortals, secrets never die. 

The gods walk among us. Some lurk in the shadows, masquerading as mortals; others embrace their celebrity status, launching careers from Hollywood to Capitol Hill. 

One of them just murdered Cairn Delacroix's mother. 

As Cairn sifts through the rubble, she uncovers a conspiracy two decades in the making: a cursed island, the fellowship of gods who journeyed there, and the unspeakable act that intertwined their fates. One by one, the members of that voyage are dying, and Cairn's investigations land her in the cross-hairs of the rogue goddess responsible. 

With the help of Nanook, a polar bear god turned detective, Cairn descends into Boston's underworld of supernatural crime and political aspiration. To avenge her mother and unmask her assassin, she’ll first have to reckon with a gut-wrenching secret that will rewrite the life she thought she knew.
My Review

This Eternity of Masks and Shadows by Karsten Knight is a non-stop, epic ride of a book.  Set in a world where the gods of old are real people who are reincarnated with that gods' powers, there is a growing divide between regular mortals and the gods; amid those groups are also the demigods born from mortal and god relationships.  The main character, Cairn, is the demigod daughter of Sedna, the Inuit goddess of the sea and marine animals.  When a horrible thing happens to Sedna, Cairn is set on a journey to figure out what forces are at work to destroy the peace of the world, and how was her mother involved.

Due to the massive inclusion of different gods, the world's mythology is diverse; honestly sometime it was hard to keep track of all the gods (thanks for the highlight option on my Kindle).  From Egyptian sun gods to Aztec jaguar gods, each has a role, and some walk the line of light and dark.  "For better or worse," Themis continued, "our abilities come with an enhanced sense of purpose---of importance..." is a quote I feel sums up the relationships that the gods forge with mortals.  Some gods and goddesses work for the betterment of all, and others for the betterment of themselves.  This is the conflict Cairn finds herself in the middle of, as she seeks out answers to what happened to her mother.

I don't want to go too much into the action, but believe me there are tons!  We see both Cairn's present-day investigation and Sedna's past actions leading to that present.  The mystery abounds, and the plot doesn't let up.  Some of it is a tad predictable, but it is such an enjoyable ride that it doesn't detract from the experience.  The plot is where this book shines, whereas character development is not as well rounded (hard to do when you have such a wide cast of characters).  While this is a stand-alone, the world itself would be such fun to visit again.

Overall, this was a solid book: fun plot, interesting characters, and a satisfying ending.  A few issues, but nothing that really detracted from my enjoyment.  Recommend for those readers looking for a YA fantasy that reads more like a New Adult book (at least to me). 

Please note: Karsten including so many different mythologies makes me cautious about the authenticity of the representation of some mythologies from non-western cultures.  I don't know much about Inuit mythology, Shinto gods, etc. so I can't confirm that the inclusion of these gods is accurately portrayed.  But it is very nice to have gods that aren't just from the Greek or Norse mythology included. 

Final Rating


The Anchor 

The box was growling.

Cairn could hear it over the flames crackling in the library fireplace and the thunderstorm battering the windows outside. Her mother, Ahna, smiled at her expectantly as Cairn cradled the gift in her lap.

To my fearless daughter on her 18th birthday, the tag read. Cairn traced her fingers over the pattern of air holes punctured through the foil wrapping paper.

“I’m going to guess this isn’t the Jeep I asked for,” Cairn said at last. The box quivered in response as if to say, “No, I am not.”

“Go on,” Ahna urged her. The firelight danced across her face.

As Cairn tugged the silver ribbon to undo the bow, the box abruptly went still. Cautiously, she lifted the lid an inch.

A pair of vibrantly ice blue eyes peered out, regarding her curiously. Cairn’s breath caught.

Nestled in a blanket inside was a kitten unlike any she’d ever seen. He had a spotted gray coat thick enough to withstand the fiercest Arctic chill and disproportionately broad paws built like fur-covered snowshoes. His tufted ears bristled as he backed his stubby tail into the corner of the box.

“Lower your hand in,” her mother instructed. “Let him meet you halfway when he’s ready.”

Cairn left her trembling fingers outstretched six inches from the creature’s muzzle. He cocked his head to the side, and after a moment’s hesitation, he extended one of his comically enormous paws and batted at Cairn’s fingertips. Apparently, she passed his test, because all at once he rushed forward, nuzzling the glands beneath his foxlike ears against the bony ridges of her knuckles.

When Cairn could finally form words again, she repeated, “This is not a Jeep.”

“No, but he’s great at off-roading.” Ahna was smirking now, her maternal X-ray vision penetrating Cairn’s nonchalance into the melting heart beneath. “He’s a Canadian lynx. When I visited your grandparents up in Labrador, I found him in their garden one morning, nibbling away at a crowberry bush. A predator had mauled the mother just beyond the fence. I couldn’t bear to leave him to fend for himself.”

The kitten awkwardly clambered out of the box, his plump white belly momentarily getting caught before he flopped out onto the shag carpet. Cairn watched him stagger across the room toward the bookcases that housed her father’s collection of rock and mineral specimens. His tail wiggled in anticipation right before he made a dramatic leap for one of the shelves—

—and failed spectacularly. He dropped back to the floor, rattled. A second attempt yielded the same result. On the third try, however, the lynx clung defiantly to the edge by two paws, and after some frantic scrabbling, he pulled himself up to the ledge. Cairn and Ahna applauded.

“Ahna …” Cairn’s father, Emile, appeared in the doorway, arms crossed, a pair of jeweler’s magnifying glasses perched atop his disheveled hair. He pointed at the tiny creature, which was using the craggy surface of an amethyst as a chin-scratching post. “How many times have we talked about smuggling exotic pets into the country?”

Cairn scooped the kitten off the shelf and held him inches from her father’s nose. “Come on, how could a face this cute possibly be illegal?” The fluff ball hung limply in her hand and blinked.

Emile’s wistful eyes landed on his wife. “In my experience, it’s always the cute ones that get you in the most trouble.”

Ahna blew him a kiss. “He’ll need a name,” she said.

The lynx crawled down into Cairn’s lap and curled into a ball. Within seconds, he was snoring softly, unfazed by the fierce winds raging outside the Delacroix’s seaside home.

Cairn gingerly ruffled the hair on his neck. “We’ll name him Squall.”

About the Author

Karsten Knight is the author of the historical mystery NIGHTINGALE, SING, the time-traveling thriller PATCHWORK, and the Polynesian volcano goddess trilogy WILDEFIRE (Simon & Schuster)--though some say his writing career peaked at the age of six, when he completed a picture book series about an adventurous worm. He is a graduate of College of the Holy Cross and earned an MFA in writing for children from Simmons College. Karsten resides in Boston, where he lives for fall weather, bowling, and football season. For more information on Karsten or his books, please visit www.karstenknightbooks.com.

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