Statue of Ku by Tricia Stewart Shiu
My rating on a 100-point scale: 68
First, I quite enjoyed this novel. It wasn't patchy like the first (in this series) in plot and character development. Ku's story was amazing and believable. This novel was mostly well-written, and not as bumpy as Moa, the first book in this series.
On the negative side, however, I must mention (possibly for the author's benefit) that the children all seem to act like adults in speaking and actions. This is acceptable for one character (Moa, who is actually a whole lot older in spiritual years and wisdom than her physical body relates) and possibly acceptable for an extraordinary child (Heidi, I suppose, could be considered an extraordinary child), but beyond that stretches the limits of believability. The other children in the novel (for example, in the marketplace) also act older than they should in speech and actions, and I find this hard to accept as a reader.
Second, I feel that the characters reveal too much exposition at times. I learned in college (I took multiple creative writing classes and have a minor in English) that there are many ways to reveal background information in a novel and there are books out there written to better authors in this area. The characters shouldn't have to spill out everything the reader needs to know. I'm not saying that the characters are too knowledgeable, but that the reader, whether consciously or unconsciously, needs diversity in sources or the information the novel puts forth, and I feel this novel uses one venue a little much. For this novel, that may work to a degree, but I felt I should mention it nevertheless.
Some of my fellow bloggers have mentioned that points of view in these novels shift from first person to third person. This isn't necessarily true. At first, that's what I though too, but the stories are told from first person perspective all throughout, from the perspective of a spiritual being who's watching the rest of the main characters and the whole story until they (Moa in the first novel and Ku in the second) actively introduces herself or himself and actively participates. This is a little confusing in the first novel, but a lot clearer in the second, where Ku's story is the second half of most chapters. I like this unique perspective, it's brilliant. But it's also misunderstood.
After reading the first of these novels, I wasn't really convinced that I should take the time to read the second, but after reading the second, I want to read the third. Statue of Ku ended similarly to Moa, but the novel itself was good enough that the end made an impact. I want to read more. (I didn't really like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, either, but I love the rest of the trilogy.)
This novel has no restricting content. The only questionable thing for younger children is the narrator's life story, which includes savagery, slavery, and murder.
About the Books
Hillary Hause is not a witch. But, everyone in her conservative small town thinks so. When she is given a trip to Hawaii for graduation, this energetic eighteen-year-old anticipates adventure but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. With the help of her older sister, Molly and her seven-year-old niece, Heidi, Hillary embarks on a journey in which she not only saves herself, her family and Moa, but also the Hawaiian Islands. In the end, she learns to accept herself and her spiritual gifts warts and all. Get it on Amazon or Smashwords.
Statue of KuThe second book in the Moa Book Series follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable Statue of Ku. Once on the ground, however, they find that their search is less about retrieving a treasured family possession and more about tracing a healing path in their genetic lineage to its true beginning. Their journey involves magic, sacrifice and discovering their unique healing gifts, which live within all of us. Their story intertwines with that of the real boy, Ku — his questions, his travails and, eventually, his triumph. In their continuing search for the Statue, Hillary and Moa find that the answer to every question they seek is where they least expect it and that healing gifts are not lost but merely forgotten. Get it on Amazon or Smashwords.
About the AuthorAlong with being an award winning screenwriter, author and playwright, Tricia Stewart Shiu is also a healer. Her latest series, The Moa Books, which includes Moa, The Statue of Ku and The Iron Shinto, were born from an encounter she had with a Hawaiian spirit. Her search for creative healing techniques lead her to study Hawaiian Shamanism and become a certified Energetic Healer. During her studies, she found that she had a gift for creating powerful essential oil blends and gem elixir.
Visit Tricia on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.