April 5, 2012

Title:  Jaguar Sun

Series:  Jaguar Sun

Author:  Martha Bourke

Published:  Balam Press, January 2012

December 21, 2012 Will that fateful day destroy our world, or did the Mayans have something else in mind?
Maya Delaney knows. Unfortunately.

Maya Delaney is just an average sixteen-year- old. She’s busy dealing with exams, her soon to be ex-boyfriend and fitting in. But Maya’s got bigger problems. She’s hiding a major secret from her dad and having strange visions she can’t control. In her struggle to figure out who she is, she learns that she is meant to fulfill an ancient Mayan Prophesy and bring forth a New Age on earth. Will the spirit magic Maya wields be enough to defeat Toltec, an evil society bent on keeping her from her destiny? Or will that destiny destroy her?

**note** This book was given to The Book Hookup to read but it did not in any way influence this review.

Ana will put Jaguar Sun on her 3rd shelf!

My Review:  Everyone’s talking about it….2012!  Will the world end…and, if so, how?  Like a lot of people, I know very little about Mayan mythology and this book certainly shed some light on things for me.  This story is about a Mayan prophesy and about shape-shifters, people who can change into animals.  When the main character, Maya, begins to dream about a jaguar, she’s scared and confused.  And, when she finally discovers she’s a shape-shifter, she quickly realizes that there will be many challenge in her future.

Maya is a typical teenager…sometimes snarky, sometimes happy, sometimes confused.  This makes it fairly easy to like her.  She lives with her father (ever since her mother left them when she was little) and has a great relationship with her grandmother.  But her belief that she’s just a normal teenager comes to an abrupt halt when she learns of her fate as a shape-shifter.  Maya, although scared and confused, takes everything in stride.  And that’s a great thing, but it’s also one of my concerns with the book.  I would have liked to have seen her struggle more with the concept of becoming a shape-shifter as well as her new abilities.  It felt like everything came way too easily to her, she mastered her new skills on first try.  This certainly made the book flow faster but, for me, a few extra pages of struggle would have been worth it.

The secondary characters in the book were quite likeable.  Her best friends, Lyssa and Damian, are twins who are smart and sassy and lift Maya up whenever she gives in to some brooding.  Her grandmother is her rock and, even though she parcels out information on a need to know basis, her love for Maya is obvious.  The one character who I really wanted to like but couldn’t quite warm up to was Matt, her boyfriend and ultimate soul mate.  Overall, he was sweet and good but I think it was their relationship, which was basically “almost over ” at the start of the book and turned around very quickly, that wasn’t as believable as I would have liked. I feel like I really didn’t get to know him well enough and I’m hoping that he’ll be better developed in the second book.

The second half of the story is fast paced and full of twists and turns.  Maya learns that you can’t always trust everyone, even when they appear to be on your side.  She also learns that sometime you have to do scary things for the good of others…those you love and those you don’t even know.  Maya becomes stronger in the last part of the book, more self-assured and more determined to do what’s right.  She also embraces her heritage which was nice to see.

Overall this was a quick read with an enjoyable plot and some interesting mythology built into a present day story.  I think that these characters will grow and develop and that their adventures will be even more interesting in the upcoming books.

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