Deluded Review – Daughter of the Sun: Cult of the Cat, Book 1
About the Book The Daughter of the Sun
- Written by Zoe Kalo
- 330 pages
- Published May 1st 2016
From Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.
I really had no idea what to expect from this book going in. To be honest, my hopes weren’t very high. I was chosen to receive this book for free in return for an honest review. I was a bit skeptical because I could see that it was self-published and only available as an eBook… usually a sign of not very good quality writing (I know, that’s extremely biased and unfair… but the advent of digital publishing makes it too easy for any random person to publish whatever crap they feel like writing). However, the plot description intrigued me so much that I decided to take the plunge and read it anyway. And I’m quite glad I did!
From the very first page, I could see that, while it wasn’t going to be a literary masterpiece, it was at least crafted by someone with some skill in writing. Certainly, there were no points where I was “wowed” by the beauty of the language or driven into literary stupor; however, sentences were well-crafted and clearly edited with a fine eye. To be honest, it reads a lot like most of the young adult fiction currently on the market – in a conversational voice and at a reading level appropriate for all ages.
The book opens with the main character, Trinity, in a sort of trance as she experiences a strange sensation of haunting images. The reader is then quickly given some exposition of the setting and history of her life – she was abandoned at birth and raised in a London orphanage, along with her best friend, Brianna. While I don’t really enjoy when books straight up explain the background of a character without letting us learn about it on our own (show, don’t tell), sometimes it does help you get into the story a bit better without worrying about who is who.
After a short and seemingly pointless interlude where Trinity feels the need to punch a girl in the face, we are quickly drawn into the beginning of the whirlwind plot. As it turns out, a mysterious (and immediately malevolent) woman named Dr. Nassri has arrived to collect Trinity, claiming that she was sent on behalf of her grandmother, who has been searching for her for 16 years. Even though the circumstances are mysterious, the nuns let Trinity leave that very same night, and she is taken to an island just off the coast of Istanbul to meet her gloriously rich relative.
As you can see, this novel is following the essential young adult plot trope – a seemingly ordinary girl finds out she is special and “chosen.” She is, of course, immediately presented with a unbelievably handsome male boy toy who immediately falls in love with her. Oh, and yeah, there’s a prophecy outlining how special and chosen she is. Of course, she has to fight evil along the way. As much as this formula is overused, it is crux to the young adult genre and because of that, I really can’t complain. For me, though I’ve read many books with this “formula,” they still entertain me, and that is all that matters.
Anyway, it turns out that the island her grandma lives on is actually the island of cats, meaning that over 40,000 cats live there freely. Oh, and her grandmother owns the island. Talk about hitting the jackpot, right? Sadly, her grandmother dies almost as soon as she arrives, meaning she never really had the chance to meet her.Trinity actually has the ability to heal people, and she was about to do so with her grandmother, but the evil Dr. Nassri prevented her from accomplishing the task.
Seriously, though. In my opinion, that Dr. Nassri was immediately too sinister to be believable. Through the whole novel, everything she does is downright nasty and bordering on illegal. I have no idea why no one ever called her out on it, especially Trinity’s grandmother (who must have known for years about her true nature). Instead, she actually lets her LIVE IN THE SAME HOUSE and build a room to perform evil voodoo or whatever. As the story progresses, the reader learns that Trinity’s “intuition” is correct and Dr. Nassri is a straight up Jafar villain, cobra staff and all.
Other than Dr. Nassri, Trinity developed strong feelings of hatred or dislike for nearly everyone she met. This made her an almost unlikable character in my eyes. For example, Dr. Nassri’s daughter Ara, was very welcoming to Trinity when she first arrived. She invited her to a group outing with her friends, tried to give her fashion advice, and even tried to explain about the island a bit. Instead of being grateful for this and reciprocating the friendship, Trinity immediately judged her as unworthy and shut it down. She is also ambivalent to the housekeeping staff and Ara’s friends. The only people Trinity really developed a liking to in the book were Brianna, the mysterious green-eyed old woman, her grandmother, and Seth. Speaking of Seth…
Of course, the love interest for Trinity is a member of the jackal clan which opposes the cat worship prevalent on the island. Also, he’s a personality-less Gary Stu with a rocking hot bod. If you’re getting flashbacks of Twilight, there is a parallel, however, as I explained earlier, this is all part of the young adult genre trope, so I won’t delve too much into it.
For me, the strongest part of this novel was the interesting story line. The way that Egyptian mythology was interjected into the story was refreshing and a palpable change from other tired “paranormal romances.” Plus, cats. So many cats. All the cats. It can’t get much better than that.
With the exception of a few dull moments in which questions are finally answered in sit down sessions with other characters, this story moves quickly and the plot is never dull. The action crescendos into a powerful climax with a massive cliffhanger at the end.
Hopefully, I haven’t given too much away. As I think I have thoroughly explained, this isn’t a literary masterpiece, as it has plenty of flaws. However, it is an enjoyable read and a fun and entertaining take on Egyptian mythology. I look forward to diving into the next book when it comes out.