OSHUN has everything a young pop star could ever want—fame, fortune, and beauty to spare. But there’s something dark inside of her, rising like the tide, fighting to be heard. Something that terrifies her. Because once she lets it out, she knows there’s no going back.
EMBER is drowning. Fighting for consciousness, struggling to make sense of the strange dreams she’s been having—prophecies of murder, deception, and blackmail. But once she begins to untangle them, she realizes that they might not be dreams at all…and if she doesn’t find a way to stop what she’s seeing, more people will die.
MADDIE is barely staying afloat. How can she be expected to care about school when her best friend Ember is still missing, presumed dead? So when Ember’s brother calls and tells her about his theory about a pop star who may be involved in Ember’s disappearance, she rallies him to take a road trip to check it out.
Title: Oshun Rising
Author: Jennifer Alsever
Genre: YA Paranormal/Mystery
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (3.5)
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was a bit of a happy surprise for me; I liked it more than the first book in the series (Ember Burning), and that book was a pretty easy and fun read in itself.
There were some iffy parts, which I’ll describe now so I can get on to the nice stuff.
This was still a little stilted occasionally, some things the characters said I wasn’t really sure if they sounded how people actually speak. I think if this book was made into a TV show or film, some of the dialogue would have to be edited to sound more realistic.
For example, some of the character voices were made to be a little bit stereotypical, or what I assume the author thinks of as ‘teen speak’. Things like ‘smokin’ hot chick’ etc.
These took me out of the story a little, and made them sound a little less genuine to me.
Showing vs Telling:
There was a little bit too much telling rather than showing in exposition. For example: ‘You read that diary on us that Ember had that used to be her mom’s.” Usually people don’t put that much information in if they think that the other person will get what they mean if they just say “the diary”.
This happened a few times in the book, sometimes I think just to forward the plot, as there was already a big ominous unexplained ‘dark day’ thing that was mentioned a LOT for something that we were clearly never going to get an explanation for. Therefore maybe the exposition was needed just so not everything was kept a mystery.
But even so, I would have still liked a lot more ‘show’ in the writing. It would have made it feel more like I was in the story and less like I was having someone explain the plot to me in a reasonably descriptive way.
Anyway, now onto the things I did enjoy.
Sometimes with a mystery based plot, a multiple POV can just be frustrating when some plot points are revealed in one but then are painfully slow to be revealed in another. This just makes me want to skip a bunch of pages until it’s finally revealed, so I don’t enjoy reading it as much.
Oshun Rising didn’t have that problem for me. It allowed some snippets of plot in one POV, while keeping the others close enough to figuring it out that I was happy to stay in suspense. It was also nice to see Ember’s best friend’s point of view, since we barely got to see her in the first book in this series.
We actually get to see her bond with Ember and Ember’s brother’s love for her, making her disappearance in the first book finally have the jolt of sadness to it that it was missing the first time around.
Evil side of things:
I still didn’t quite understand what was happening during the ‘rebirth’ process, but this time it had more of an external viewpoint and a bit more detail, so it really felt like a ritual as opposed to a confusing event.
Also the antagonist of the series had her own viewpoint, which added to the horror feel of things by allowing us to actually see how unfeeling and remorseless she is in regards to our characters wellbeing.
Overall, the plot was more interesting, complicated, and mysterious, there was a little more risk involved, and I was more hooked with this book than I had been with the previous. The only way is up!