Review: The Burning City

The Burning City by Alaya Dawn Johnson

I’ve read the first installment in several series and decided not to pursue them–case in point, Racing the Dark. It was enjoyable, but it didn’t grab me. So I returned Racing the Dark to the library and didn’t give it another thought… until I was given the opportunity to read and review The Burning City, its sequel. I enjoyed Racing the Dark enough to accept, and in any case, Alaya Dawn Johnson’s unique world is a draw in itself. Oh, and the cover was pretty. It did take me embarrassingly long to realize that the girl on the cover is not Lana, the main character, but I digress. Naturally, spoilers for Racing the Dark abound after the jump.

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Review: Racing the Dark

Racing the Dark by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Since the controversy over The Last Airbender (8% at Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing; that’s what you get for whitewashing and ruining a perfectly good series!), I’ve tried to read more multicultural fantasy–not only to support it, but because it’s refreshing. The traditional European model for fantasy can get stilted after a while, and it’s great to see fantasy authors tap into other cultures to create something different. This is all to say that, while I can’t remember where I picked up the recommendation for Racing the Dark, I was intrigued by the worldbuilding, which seemed to be influenced by both Polynesian and Southeast Asian culture.

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