A debut contemporary fantasy—which re-examines a biblical myth—follows an orphaned girl growing up inside the mansion of a tyrannical uncle.
In this first installment of a projected series, the story revolves around Patrina Nadine Palinski, a Polish girl who lost her parents in a fire when she was just a baby. Now almost 12 years old, Patrina knows nothing of life except what is within the walls of her room in a tower of her Uncle Vlad’s mansion. But her uncle remains stern and unloving; he rarely sees her. Patrina has been raised by Miriam, the girl’s nanny ever since she arrived. When Miriam begins to disclose to her charge bombshell revelations about her heritage—including that Patrina’s mother, Izabella, was a ninth-genesis nephilim, an angel-human hybrid—the sheltered girl is stunned. Discussing the different types of nephilim, Miriam explains that Izabella was a virtue: “One of the things a virtue does to keep their legacy alive is the mother passes down her knowledge, wisdom, and experiences to her daughter. Sometimes these come out as what seem to be dreams. These are not actually dreams but experiences that happened in your mother’s life.” Patrina also discovers that she is a powerful 10th-genesis nephilim and that her uncle wants to bend her to his will and use her abilities for nefarious purposes. Vlad tells her: “You are the tenth, the golden child. The one who is going to make me a lot of gold!” While uninspired plotlines featuring nephilim have inundated the shelves for the last decade, Meinema manages to breathe new life into the biblical myth with solid writing and an imaginative back story. (For example, the work describes the profound significance of the first feather when a nephilim comes of age.) Impeccably edited, the narrative is fluid, lyrical, and has an ageless, almost folkloric feel to it—this spiritual coming-of-age novel could easily be marketed as a YA release. Additionally, the author keeps the storyline focused and relatively straightforward, which makes for a briskly paced, page-turning reading experience. Fueled by an undeniably optimistic undertone—Patrina is very much a pure-hearted and hopeful heroine—this tale offers fantasy readers looking for a glimpse of light in their darkly dystopic and post-apocalyptic fare a satisfying and soul-cleansing alternative.
A mystical and divinely entertaining journey of self-discovery, with a potent heroine.