filipino author

Wounded Little Gods by Eliza Victoria

29413691Title: Wounded Little Gods

Author: Eliza Victoria

Genre: Mystery, Fantasy

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

Regina was born and raised in the small town of Heridos, where gods and spirits walked the earth.

Until they didn’t.

Ten years ago, the whole town produced a bad harvest – rice grains as black as soot – and the people of the town moved on, away from the soil and the farms, believing the gods and spirits have abandoned them.

It is ten years later, on a Friday before a long weekend, and Regina ends her shift at an office in Makati. She walks home with a new colleague named Diana. Diana, following a strange and disturbing conversation with Regina, does not appear at the office on Monday, and the day after that.

And the day after that.

On Thursday, Regina opens her bag and finds a folded piece of paper filled with Diana’s handwriting.

On the page are two names and a strange map that will send Regina home.

Wounded Little Gods is one of those books you can easily read in one sitting. Not simply because it’s short, but because it draws you in and invites you on quite an interesting ride.

The story revolves around Regina, a young woman who has a strange conversation with her new colleague, Diana. Shortly after their odd encounter, Diana disappears, leaving behind a strange map that takes Regina back to her hometown of Heridos. She unearths a mystery filled with strange rumors and whispers about human experiments held in a medical facility no one seems to know about.

There isn’t much I can say about this book without giving the plot away, but I have to say I really, really liked the strange combination of medical experiments and spirits/gods that are both parts of the plot. How interesting to see how human experiments–often a product of people who act like gods–somehow intertwine with the very same spirits/gods that people believe in and imagine themselves to be.

This is a delightful book that gives us appearances of the old Filipino gods, throws in a little bit of horrifying Philippine history, and combines both elements to create a delicious story that mixes both fantasy and history together quite well.

I’d have given this a higher rating but I was confused for quite a while because I had initially though the book was about a curse on Heridos, based on the book’s summary. Instead, I found myself on a wild goose chase involving experiments and spirits, and it took me a while to adjust and realize that the book wasn’t really about the town at all, but more about gods and humans and how we all make mistakes–and how sometimes, those mistakes take away the most precious things from us. (Which was quite delightful really, but I was confused for most of the book before it dawned on me–I’m slow lol)

 

 

 

 

Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan

1431558Title: Smaller and Smaller Circles

Author: F.H. Batacan

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Suspense, Filipino Literature

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

Smaller and Smaller Circles is unique in the Philippine literary scene – a Pinoy detective novel, both fast-paced and intelligent, with a Jesuit priest who also happens to be a forensic anthropologist as the sleuth. When it won the Carlos Palanca Grand Prize for the English Novel in 1999, it proved that fiction can be both popular and literary.

F.H. Batacan has a degree in Broadcast Communication and a master’s degree in Art Studies, both from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. She has worked as a policy researcher, broadcast journalist, web designer, and musician, and is currently a journalist based in Singapore. She previously won a prize for her short story “Door 59” in the 1997 Palanca awards, and her work has appeared in local magazines, as well as in the online literary magazine Web del Sol.

Smaller and Smaller Circles is one of those rare one-of-a-kind books that you discover by some lucky stroke of fate and treasure for a lifetime.

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