Beneath the Burning Wave

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Pub Date 04 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 10 Nov 2023

Description

I was incapable of imagining what I had never seen…

Kaori and Kairi are the first twins to survive infancy on the ancient island of Mu, where gender is as fluid as the crashing waves. One was born of fire, the other of water.
 
But there’s a reason why none have survived before. A prophecy that has haunted the elders since time began. A rivalry destined to sink the entire island beneath a twin catastrophe of volcano and tsunami.
 
As hatred spills from the forbidden twins like the deadly poison of sacrificed sea snakes, they must decide what matters to them most…
 
The fight for the island – for tradition and duty.
Or the fight for freedom – for love and light.
 
The Mu Chronicles is a visionary YA fantasy trilogy exploring the origin of gender and desire in an epic queer fusion of Japanese folklore and Egyptian mythology.

I was incapable of imagining what I had never seen…

Kaori and Kairi are the first twins to survive infancy on the ancient island of Mu, where...


Available Editions

EDITION Ebook
ISBN 9780008491192
PRICE $2.99 (USD)
PAGES 400

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Average rating from 24 members


Featured Reviews

Thank you for the digital review copy HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter, One More Chapter.

Beneath the Burning Wave by Jennifer Hayashi Danns was definitely an interesting and original debut which left me begging for more.

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This was an ambitious take on an epic YA fantasy series exploring gender fluidity with elements of Egyptian and Japanese culture being infused in the story. I'd originally even thought the book was an adult fantasy series rather than YA, due to its complex worldbuilding and how different it was!

Twins Kaori and Kairi are two sides to the same coin, two halves of a whole, and the only twins to be born to an island, foretold to be it's ruin. The premise of the story and the worldbuilding was intriguing, but the first section of the book did confuse me when I read it, mainly because the reader isn't slowly introduced to these elements, but rather, is thrown into the deep end.

Thankfully by the midpoint of the book, I was able to comprehend the situation and plots afoot, however there were certain choices made that I was a little disappointed by. For one, considering how genderfluid the characters are meant to be, they seem to be stuck within a fairly heteronormative society with homophobia clearly evident.

Even when Kairi forms their own society, he changes and creates new pronouns that further emphasise the gender differences, looking down on women and elevating men. I had hoped due to the genderfluid setting that this wouldn't have been something prevalent in the book, however I understand that Danns may have made this choice as a political commentary.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

TL;DR: If you're looking for an atypical YA read, this might be the one for you.

Highlights: queer MCs/romances

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