Elysium Girls was a book that completely surprised me! It gave me Good Omens, Mad Max + Witches vibes! I was in it for the Dustbowl setting and I ended up staying for this Witchy Girl Gang! Keep reading this book review to find out what surprised me the most!
In this sweeping Dust Bowl-inspired fantasy, a ten-year game between Life and Death pits the walled Oklahoma city of Elysium-including a girl gang of witches and a demon who longs for humanity-against the supernatural in order to judge mankind.
When Sal is named Successor to Mother Morevna, a powerful witch and leader of Elysium, she jumps at the chance to prove herself to the town. Ever since she was a kid, Sal has been plagued by false visions of rain, and though people think she’s a liar, she knows she’s a leader. Even the arrival of enigmatic outsider Asa-a human-obsessed demon in disguise-doesn’t shake her confidence in her ability. Until a terrible mistake results in both Sal and Asa’s exile into the Desert of Dust and Steel.
Face-to-face with a brutal, unforgiving landscape, Sal and Asa join a gang of girls headed by another Elysium exile-and young witch herself-Olivia Rosales. In order to atone for their mistake, they create a cavalry of magic powered, scrap metal horses to save Elysium from the coming apocalypse. But Sal, Asa, and Olivia must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium’s favor-only by reinventing the rules can they beat the Life and Death at their own game.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Elysium Girls is a story of witchcraft, cunning, and friendship. Mixing a dust bowl setting meets Wild West and witches, Elysium Girls revolves around Sal an the found family she creates. Caught in the middle of a game between life and death, part of what I adored about Elysium Girls was its celebration of friendship. I’ve always felt that at the end of the world, we would either fracture or band together. And Elysium Girls proves that if you can find your family, the place where you belong, you can make real change.
The girls were the highlight of Elysium Girls. Not only were some of them queer, and some POC characters too, but their friendship is supportive. It gave me all the good vibes feelings with a sense of high stakes. The kind of book that pulls you out of a slump. If you’re also a fan of characters who aren’t quite human, but are more human like than some humans – this book is for you! Elysium Girls is able to balance a mysterious plot full of betrayal and end-of-the-world vibes, with moments of happiness and bonding. Glimmers of light in the impending dust storm.
Elysium Girls even has a steampunk vibe! It’s a mish mash of all my favorite elements wrapped into one! It also asks about whether the ends justify the means. We all may think we are helping, saving the world, but what is truly helping? Are we acting out of fear? Find Elysium Girls on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.