Monday, November 4, 2013

Entering a world where myths are NEVER MYTHS... by Love Esios

When I was a little kid, I was very fond of listening to my cousins talk about the tales of the creatures that thrive within the darkness. We would usually sit in a circle with only one candle illuminating the room and I would let myself drift into their stories thinking whether it's real or not.  I guess I always ended up believing their stories because I would always find myself seeking for my elder cousin's company when going to the toilet after a session of myths and ghost stories. Despite being terrified about these tales, I still enjoy hearing and reading stories about aswang, manananggal, duwende and kapre. But what if all these things we believed to be untrue turned out to be real after all? Sounds absurd, yes, but this unsettling possibility is what this book's trying to get across.

Naermyth book cover from
The first time I saw Naermyth in the bookstore, I felt a strange contradiction about it. It captured my attention and I even thought it could be an interesting read, but then, I felt it's not a worthy purchase. Maybe deep inside of me, I think it's very corny. I have read stories about Philippine mythical creatures but I haven't actually read a novel with that storyline and I don't think someone can pull off a good book out of that concept as well. So instead of buying it at that time, I simply ignored it and went to the English Novels section.

After a few months, a colleague rushed into my cubicle and urged me to read a book that she founds very riveting. And guess what --- it's Naermyth! So I guess we were really fated to spend quality time together after all.

Naermyth is a story centered in the survival of human race in the fictional Philippines being controlled by every mythical creature we have ever heard of in Philippine horror stories when we were kids. A country being governed by duwende, aswangs, kapres and the like? How twisted is that?! In the novel, you would be introduced to the main protagonist Athena (also known as Aegis) -- a cold-hearted, independent young woman who is one of the many highly-skilled people trained to kill Naermyths -- monsters and creatures that were "never myth". These people are called Shepherds and they are tasked to protect the remaining human population in the war-struck country against these creatures that are hunting them down to extinction.

Honestly, I didn't have high expectations when I started reading the novel. But then, I just found myself wishing I got a lot of free time to continue reading and turning the pages. There were some scenes that I find predictable, though. Nevertheless, Ms. Karen Francisco showed that she has a knack on combining fantasy, suspense, thriller and action into an engrossing, well-written novel that will surely leave you craving for more. It makes me proud to know that a Filipino author has a lot of potential to be an international-caliber writer and yet keeping her work very Pinoy.

I guess I just want to say that I loved it. I really do. And I fervently hope that somewhere out there, Ms. Francisco is pulling her hair trying to figure out how she'd finish the second book because for sure, I'm gonna buy it once it's published!

Allow me to do the honor of giving my first 10/10 cups of latte rating for this amazing book. ^____^

PS: It's about time to support our Filipino authors. Dystopian and fantasy novel readers, go check this out before the Naermyths take over!