Book Review – This Eternity of Masks and Shadows by Karsten Knight!

The gods walk among us. Some lurk in the shadows, masquerading as mortals; others embrace their celebrity status, launching careers from Hollywood to Capitol Hill.

One of them just murdered Cairn Delacroix’s mother.

As Cairn sifts through the rubble, she uncovers a conspiracy two decades in the making: a cursed island, the fellowship of gods who journeyed there, and the unspeakable act that intertwined their fates. One by one, the members of that voyage are dying, and Cairn’s investigations land her in the crosshairs of the rogue goddess responsible.

With the help of Nanook, a polar bear god turned detective, Cairn descends into Boston’s underworld of supernatural crime and political aspiration. To avenge her mother and unmask her assassin, she’ll first have to reckon with a gut-wrenching secret that will rewrite the life she thought she knew.

Review!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley and can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This book contained everything I love! Gods from all corners of mythology & folklore, a kick ass female lead and some top notch action scenes. Cairn Delacriox is just like everybody else, except her mother is the reincarnation of the Inuit Sea God Sedna. In Cairn’s world the God’s live amongst us, reincarnated every century or so to a new body with no knowledge of their previous lives, some choose to keep their existence a secret, preferring the quiet life, whereas others use their powers and for fame and well… worship. When Cairns mother unexpectedly re-enacts her original death Cairn’s world is broken apart. She doesn’t understand why her mother would commit suicide, nor can she explain the glassy look that came over her eyes before she threw herself into the ocean. One night she discovers something that will upend her world all over again, her mother had a secret life, one that taints Cairn’s view of her. But Cairn knows one thing, her mother didn’t commit suicide, she was murdered, and Cairn will stop at nothing to find out who and why, even if that means her as a mortal going up against Gods.

In a world filled with Gods come to life Cairn’s viewpoint was such a vital one to read the book from. She knows all about the mythology of Gods from her mothers stories, but she is ultimately mortal, this isn’t Percy Jackson guys… Cairn has no amount of her mothers otherworldly powers. Seeing her traverse the world of God’s was brilliant, in some ways the world of God’s is somewhat commonplace to her, but she also respects their power and is aware that as a mortal, she is somewhat outgunned. She is snarky, sarcastic, resilient and stubborn as hell. Nothing will get in the way of her catching the person behind her mothers death, even her own mortality. The other characters were all well developed, we get introduced to a whole host of Gods from a whole host of mythologies, all of whom have their part to play in Cairn getting the answers she seeks.

This world was so brilliantly rendered. Gods live among us and we get to meet a whole host of them, from lots of different cultures around the world. You know me a mythology, so it will be no surprise when I say I LOVED the part of the books where we got to delve into the backstory of a certain God. We see the ones who like to live in the shadows, some for nefarious reasons and others because they simply don’t want the pressure that comes with being a reincarnated deity, and the there are the ones who live for the spotlight. The ones who use their power for their advantage, becoming actresses, Senators and other positions where they are likely to become worshipped. I found this idea wholly refreshing, yes we have plenty of books out there featuring Gods from different mythologies, but none (that I know of) where they are reincarnated with no knowledge of their previous lives.

This was like a fantasy style murder mystery filled with twists and turns. The author keeps you guessing throughout most of the book, and I enjoyed coming to the realisations at the same time as Cairn, it definitely helped me bond with her as a character and I certainly felt her ‘WTF’ moments. Trust me when I say I had no idea where this story was going until the author hit me with the information needed to put it all together, she gives us little bits of information throughout the story, enough to keep us intrigued and throwing wild guesses out there, but nothing could have prepared me for the climactic ending.

There was a brilliant f/f romance throughout this book. Delphine, Cairn’s best friend and love interest was another intriguing character. One of the few people to know Cairn’s mothers true identity, she was there the day Adna threw herself into the sea and we see her’s and Cairn’s relationships going through the trials and tribulations that come with loss and grief. The romance was a small part of the overall plot, but I enjoyed reading their interactions together.

I was surprised how much I loved this book. The author left us with an opening for another book, but also tied the main plot neatly in a bow so it could be left as a standalone. To be honest I would just like to return to the world, whether through Cairn’s eyes or someone else’s.

14 thoughts on “Book Review – This Eternity of Masks and Shadows by Karsten Knight!”

  1. I read this book a couple months ago, and like you, I absolutely LOVED it! I love mythology anything, and the superhero type feel and the mystery regarding Cairn’s mother was so interesting. How the author managed to shove so much in the book, and have it all fit so neatly, was something that fascinated me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I went into it with some ambivalence as well, but found I couldn’t put it down! I will likely read it again too. It has that readability factor that I love.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this recently, too, and I’m so glad you liked it so much! This world was just … everything. I agree that I’d love to return to it, even if it’s just a companion and isn’t necessarily from Cairn’s point of view, since I was actually quite happy with how her story wrapped up. (Because that ending? OMG I totally squeed out loud because it was PERFECT.) You know what? I’d love a companion book from Delphine’s POV. :3

    I think my favorite thing about this was just the diversity of the gods. I got to meet some new ones, which I learned quite a bit about, and also was excited to see some that I loved (helloooo Baron Samedi).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea I really enjoyed learning about gods/cultures that I hadn’t managed to learn about yet!

      A book from Delphines POV would be awesome. Especially, like you said, after the ending of the book. Glad you enjoyed it as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been searching for something like this FOR A LONG LONG TIMEEE!!! 😍 THE PERFECT FANTASY! 😍 + the cover is absolutely fucking gorgeous. ❤️🦋

    Loved this review, Becky. 🌻

    Liked by 1 person

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