Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Please note in an exchange for an honest review, I received a copy from the author Jack E. Mohr. Thank you!
Mayatte's Catharsis follows Naña a Keeper of Mayatte. Growing up, she always had a special connection with Mayatte and dedicated her life into learning and understanding.
Living on an island hidden by Mayatte can get quiet repetitive until one day where three ghoem (outsiders) appear. This sometimes happens but nothing usually results from it as Mayatte only welcomes those that deserve it.
But when Nana realizes that these outsiders can see her, she realizes that Mayatte has plans for them all.
The world is interesting. Mohr did a wonderful job portraying the customs of Mayatte's followers. Reading about the island, how the islanders interact, the Wind Warriors, The Whispering Trees, and many other things, it was easy to visualize the life on the island.
Naña is a well written main character. To me, Young Adult main characters always tend to read the same and I find it difficult to tell them apart once you read enough books. I'm glad that Naña stands out not only internally but physically. So many characters are defined by how strong and independent they are, while that is admirable, it always breaks how realistic or relatable the character is. Naña had her faults that I didn't like but because of that it made her stand out far more than the cookie cutter protagonist.
The romance (or the lack thereof) was great. My absolute favorite scene was how the potential romance of this was shut down. It always irked me so much when things are crazy (a battle for example) and things immediately take a pause for some sort of confession between two characters. Most times, it always kills the urgency of things and leaves me wondering couldn't they do this in a more appropriate place? The scene in question described how utterly selfish these sorts of things always are and, oh man, did I love it.
I wish there was just one more chapter. The ending was abrupt. This I believe does rely on the reader's preference. While I think it is projected enough to determine what will happen afterwards, I personally would have enjoyed just a few more pages.
Mayatte's Catharsis is a novella that you can finish in a sitting that will leave you admire the main protagonist's resolve in her beliefs. It is a quick and easy read that in the end teaches you not only about the kindness possible by humans but also its worst qualities.
Do I recommend it? Yup! If you're short on time and want something different but still want to get that fantasy itch, read it! My only complaint is that I think it could have had a few more pages for the ending as I felt like it ended abruptly.