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?
Paperback, 258 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Balam Press
Three Stars: An interesting entry into the YA field; shape-shifters, Mayan lore, December 2012...all combine in this unique read.
Maya is a normal teenager, surviving high school, confused over her current relationship; typical problems plaguing a young lady. However, her life is about to get interesting when she starts having strange visions and dreams involving a jaguar. She can't shake the ominous feeling, and then she wakes after another vivid dream to find a tell tale mark on her neck. She now wears the mark of a shapeshifter. Maya's strange premonitions have come to fruition, she is indeed a shapeshifter, able to transform into a jaguar. As she learns to navigate this new found ability, she quickly finds that danger is stalking her. Maya discovers that she is the target of a dangerous group known as Toltec. This group is made up of shape-shifters determined to see that the coming age, predicted by the Mayan calendar, that promises a new era of peace and enlightenment is not ushered in. Instead they intend to maintain greed, corruption and power as the status quo. Maya quickly finds herself caught between the corrupt Toltec and the other shape-shifters who want to help usher in the new age. Maya may be the key to fulfilling the Mayan prophecy. Can she learn to use her new skills to help fulfill the Mayan prophecy?
What I Liked:
- I enjoyed this creative and original book filled with many exciting concepts such as: Mayan prophecy, shape-shifters, and the looming calendar date of December 21, 2012. This book combines all of these ideas to create an exciting adventure.
- I appreciated that this book moves away from the traditional recipe for YA books. There is no love triangle, instead this book presents a relationship between Maya and Matt that becomes a bit more complicated with the shape shifting element. The romance is a small focus, which is nice. What you get is a romance that ends up being intense and focused.
- I really enjoyed the addition of the twins, who are Maya's best friends. Lyssa and Damian are funny, witty and a bit sassy, not mention, exceedingly loyal. They totally liven up the book.
- I liked the presentation of the upcoming end of the Mayan calendar. Instead of presenting the catastrophic end of the world type scenario, we get the ushering in of a new era focused on peace and spiritual enlightenment. I liked this vision versus an apocalyptic event.
- I liked learning about the Mayan culture and many of the prophecies and history of the Mayan people. Again this is such an interesting departure from a lot of the books in the YA genre. Very unique and refreshing!
And The Not So Much:
- This book is very fast paced. I enjoy a book that moves at a quick clip, but the problem for me was that the speedy movement meant that a lot of detail was glossed over or not discussed at all. I felt that so many things could have been improved if they author had slowed down and expanded on some of her ideas.
- I liked the presentation of shape-shifters in this book. This book presents a culture where shape-shifters are not secretive. Shape-shifters bear a telling mark on their neck. The author gives us a setting where they are accepted. The problem was that there was really not a complete discussion on the shape-shifters and how they fit into society, nor was there an adequate discussion on how they came into being. This is of the topics that would have benefitted by adding more detail.
- The book mentions numerous times Maya's loser mother who abandoned her, yet this idea is never expanded upon. I was curious to discover all the details surrounding Maya's mother. Sadly, the book never provides anything more than mentions of a mother who abandoned her daughter. The whys and hows are never revealed.
- The climax and ending came across as hurried. The book builds to the pivotal calendar date, but when it arrives I was a bit disappointed in how quickly everything come to pass. Then the ending itself was one of those where you are left thinking, "That's it!?" Granted, there is no cliffhanger but it is one that just cuts off abruptly with no resolution, which to me is extremely frustrating. I had no idea going into this that it is the first of a series. This novel would have been so much better if it tied off better at the end.
Jaguar Sun is a fast book that presents us with shape-shifters seeking to bring about a new era as foretold by the Mayans of old. This book is full of Mayan culture and legend. If you are looking for a unique book that steps away from the well worn plots of traditional YA books, you should give this book a chance, especially if you love shape-shifters and Mayan prophecy. You can grab a copy on Amazon for $.99. The clock is ticking down to December 2012. Are you ready?
"Your dreams are where our world and the unseen world meet."
"The wall that had been between us melted away as though it had never existed. I had always cared about him, but somehting inside me changed at that moment. My soul understood his, and I knew that he felt the same."
"Every muscle, every nerve ending, every fiber of my being was completely attuned to him. He was my mate. I was home."
Please come back tomorrow for a guest post and giveaway from the Jaguar Sun Tour.