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THE GODDESS TWINS by Yodassa Williams


by Yodassa Williams

Pub Date: May 19th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-68463-032-5
Publisher: SparkPress

This debut YA novel sees two black identical twins discover their magical lineage.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, twins Arden and Aurora are about to turn 18 years old. Their mother is Selene Bryant, a famous Jamaican opera singer who has retired to finally settle down with her daughters. When Selene is called to London for an emergency fill-in performance, Aurora is incensed. The teen decides to throw a “legendary” party, to which the bookish Arden is not invited. During the party, a handsome 21-year-old named Devin is drawn to Arden’s closed bedroom door. She soon begins to read his thoughts, realizing that “his want for me travels from his body into my own like waves in an ocean.” Soon the twins’ godfather, Leo, breaks up the party. He informs them that Selene has disappeared overseas. What the girls don’t know is that their grandmother Ghani has been empowered with immortality and a vision for justice by the Fates. Her husband, Ezekiel, hates the notion of powerful women as well as the institutional racism plaguing black men. He plans to steal the celestial power from his wife and their gifted children, then use it to help black men dominate society. Arden and Aurora sneak off to London, unaware that they’re embroiled in their family’s generational war. Williams’ fantasy with a diverse cast introduces a few intense topics, like racism and female oppression, but doesn't explore them at length. The story’s emotional weight comes mostly from the chapters narrated by Aurora, who believes she is the inferior twin unworthy of her talented mother’s love and that Selene has betrayed her daughters. In one bleakly revealing line, the girl says that men are “basically just mirrors who pay for the tickets to where I want to go.” Engaging characters—like the twins’ cousins Lilo and Liberty and the space-folding Aunt Kiara—help the protagonists, perhaps too well. Great swaths of plot open with each new meeting, and the powerful twins (along with readers) are told far more than they’re shown. Nevertheless, continuous revelations keep the optimistic tale humming, and the cast is in fine shape for a sequel.

Family bonds create the magic in this stirring fantasy.