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Summary

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Lori M. Lee's middle-grade debut about a lonely Hmong girl who discovers she's a powerful shaman warrior in this fantasy inspired by Southeast Asian mythology.

"I love the adventures Pahua has in this book. I also love the sense of humor, the clever plotting, and the fantastic cast of characters. But most of all I love Pahua: her courage, her kindness, and her love for family." (NYT best-selling author Rick Riordan)

Pahua Moua has a bit of a reputation for being a weirdo. A lonely 11-year-old Hmong girl with the unique ability to see spirits, she spends her summer days babysitting her little brother and playing with her best friend, a cat spirit no one else can see. 

One day Pahua accidentally untethers an angry spirit from the haunted bridge in her neighborhood - whoops. When her brother suddenly falls sick and can't be awoken, Pahua fears that the bridge spirit has stolen his soul. She returns to the scene of the crime with her aunt's old shaman tools, hoping to confront the spirit and demand her brother's return. Instead, she summons a demon. 

Thankfully, a warrior shaman with a bit of an attitude problem shows up at the last minute and saves her butt. With the help of this guide, Pahua will have to find her way through the spirit worlds and rescue her brother's soul before it's too late. Little does she know she'll have her own discoveries to make along the way....

With its unforgettable characters, unique nature-based magic system, breathtaking twists and reveals, and climactic boss battle, this story based on Hmong oral tradition offers everything a fantasy lover could want. Complete your middle-grade fantasy collection with these best-selling fan favorites: Rick Riordan Presents Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi; Rick Riordan Presents Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee Rick; Riordan Presents The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim; The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan.

©2021 Lori M. Lee (P)2021 Rick Riordan Presents

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  • XXX
  • 14-09-21

Great Book (Hmong review)

I was so shock when I saw a book about Hmong people (my people) cuz a lot of people don't even know who we are half the time. I always have to go into a long speech about how we came from China (therefor we are Chinese/ancestor are Chinese) but migrate to southeast Asia. We don't think of ourselves as Chinese and we have our own culture and language. AND NO WE ARE NOT TAIWANESE!!! Just cuz a lot of Hmong people are from Thailand does not mean we are TAIWANESE which is an island near China. Thailand is in the southeast Asia which is below China. FYI people from Thailand are call Thai not Thaiese or TAIWANESE. So yeah after years of always explaining the above, it was so refreshing to find a story about my people.

Background:
I am fluent in speaking and understanding Hmong so for once I wasn't lost in all the vocabulary and able to keep up. (looking at you Aru Shah with your crazy vocabulary I am always looking up lol ) This story was very easy for me to follow as my mom is a shaman. So most of the shaman stuff was super easy to understand. My aunt is also a shaman. So yeah this book really hit close to home for me.

Good:
Zhong- I love her. I really glad we got a side character and we really got to know her for once. We got her back story, her personality, value, and her developing friendship with Pahua, I have read almost every single story in the Rick Riordan present and a lot of the 2nd character are lacking. Not that they are bad but we rarely ever get to really know them. For ex: In Aru Shah there are 5 girls and you don't know much about them. You know the basic like their family, past, and struggles. However, I don't really see much of a developing friendship with them. Aru always seem scared to open up to them or tell them stuff. Pahua really open up to Zhong even about stuff she ashamed of. (like her dad leaving and how she always feel she not good enough) In Paola Santiago her best friend Emma is hardly in the book. She was missing in book one and book 2 she a side character. So yeah, very refreshing to get such an awesome side character who play such a big part of the story. She also represent something a lot of Hmong people/Asian people deal with. We are always striving for our parent love, respect, and for them to be proud of us. However, our parent never really show us much affection. We feel that we need to go the extreme, like Zhong quest, just to gain their approve and realize we are enough even without it. (well Pahua at least feel she enough; it was never clear did Zhong finally stop caring so much about what her family think of her)

Pahua- She was refreshing hero. Her story didn't count on her having amazing power or crazy battle. It was more of her just discovering who she is and that she is enough. Again, something a lot of Asian people go though cuz our parent always made us feel like we aren't enough. (She also love ramen and every Hmong person eat Raman like crazy growing up)

Hmong myth- I learn quite a bit more about our people story and I really enjoy it. I knew a few but the new one was really interesting.

The bad:
I didn't like that she never explain where Hmong people came from. No one even know who we are half the time. I would love it if she started the story with Pahua explaining more of where we came from, our history, and struggle so people know who we are.

Other:
The speaker/reader of the audio book spoke great Hmong. I understood a lot of the thing she say. Some words do confuse me but I am a Yang (white) so maybe she speaking from Green or different clan pronunciation. Also maybe it is a higher vocabulary word I don;t use often that confuse me. Either way she did a great job. I was very impress.

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  • Anee B
  • 30-10-21

Amazing!!

This book is AMAZING!! This is the very first book I ever read about Hmong and I too am Hmong myself and I know I had to get it!! I had the book itself but wasn’t able to have time to read due to work but THANK GOD there’s a audible that I can listen to while being at work!! 100% RECOMMEND!!! 💕

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  • Robert
  • 10-06-22

This Is a good read

I will get on to reviewing the book after I review -xxx’s review, I know reviewing a review is weird but yeah so what.They were honestly biased on there opinions on the book and basically undermining every other book.this is when I read the review,so I was downloading the book and so I scrolled through the reviews and -xxx’s was the first to come up, and there a lot of review trust me the only reason I read it is because it’s summer and I have time to kill anyway she talked about how she was able to understand all the words and didn’t have to look them up all the time like in Aru Sha but the ironic thing is Aru Sha gave more explanation to the words then Pahua and the person just kept on being a critic to other books to review this one, which is honestly kind of messed up.


So now im going to actually review the book I mean it’s good but the plot is kinda obvious and I wish they made more allies.


Ps the reason I got ticked off with -xxx’s comments is because Aru Sha is my favorite book of all time and that’s not because of my blood because I’m actually a mostly korean girl at least 60 percent and yes I have read Graci Kim’s last fallen star but that doesn’t mean it’s my favorite.

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  • Carol Shaw
  • 06-03-22

Beautiful story!!

A beautiful, heartening story about a girl who finds her power against the odds. Naration is brilliant too!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-09-21

Surprisingly good listen

So interesting learning about Hmong folklore and about the journey of Hmong shamans into the other realm. Some pretty creepy stuff too.

The narrator was good except for the pronunciation of the Hmong words and names. It was a little confusing and sometimes sounded forced. But overall, I enjoyed the story and look forward to seeing if this will become a series.

I think it would make a great movie if it had a nice production budget!