What Goes Around, Comes Around

BOOK REPORT for Mahimata (Asiana #2) by Rati Mehrotra

Cover Story: Pretty Deadly
BFF Charm: Natalie Imbruglia
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Futuristic Science Fantasy
Bonus Factors: Aliens?, Changed Minds
Relationship Status: Remember Me Fondly

Danger, Will Robinson! Mahimata is the second book in the Asiana series. If you have not read the first book—Markswoman—turn away now, as there might be spoilers in this review. If you have read the book, however, feel free to continue below.

Cover Story: Pretty Deadly

The dagger + expansive and colorful sky continues to work for me. And I really like the fire, which is an escalation of the ornate flourishes on the first cover. The fact that it’s night, while the first was sunrise is a nice touch for a duology, too.

The Deal:

After her duel with Tamsyn, Kyra’s spent many months recuperating. But Tamsyn was only a minor villain—the true Big Bad continues to be Kai Tau and his growing band of outlaws. If she wants to take him down, for good, Kyra must step up and make the hard decisions, including one that might forever alter her relationship with Rustan, who’s also forced to take a good look at his life and figure out where his road is taking him.

BFF Charm: Natalie Imbruglia

I liked Kyra a lot in Markswoman, but she’s done a lot of growing since we first met, and I’m not so sure that I like how she’s changed. She makes some questionable decisions early on in Mahimata; I know she means well, and is looking out for the greater good, but I can’t help but wonder if she couldn’t have found a better way.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Kyra and Rustan’s relationship in Mahimata seems … adult. Not in a sexytimes kind of way, really, but more in a “these are two people with very different life plans and life goals which are sometimes at odds” kind of way. They don’t have the easiest go of things, but I feel like everything turned out positively. Vague, I know. #nospoilers

Talky Talk: Futuristic Science Fantasy

If you’ve read Markswoman, you know how intriguing and complicated the world of Asiana is. (And if you haven’t read it, get outta here!) In Mahimata, we learn a bit more about the history of the post-apocalyptic, tribal, possibly influenced by aliens world and some of the stranger elements in it, but there’s so much that was left unexplained. I know Mehrotra didn’t set out to write the history of Asiana, but the glimpses we get in the duology left me wanting more and feeling like there’s so much more to be explained. The book did wrap up Kyra’s storyline nicely, however, if a little too neatly.

We also go to see a lot more from Rustan’s perspective in Mahimata; I actually enjoyed his storyline much more than Kyra’s; it’s through him that we learned most of the intriguing things about Asiana and the region’s history.

Bonus Factor: Aliens?

I really love the mix of tribal culture and futuristic elements Mehrotra deftly weaves together in Mahimata. At times it feels a little like an episode of Ancient Aliens, but not at all in a bad way.

Bonus Factor: Changed Minds

This is a super nebulous thing to get excited about—hence the lack of image to go along with this section—but there’s a lot of long-held beliefs put into question in Mahimata. Surprisingly, and awesomely, people actually change their minds when faced with the evidence, even if it takes them a little while.

Relationship Status: Remember Me Fondly

We might not ever get together again, Book, but I will treasure the short time we had. You’ve got depth, and although I wish I could have learned more about your past, I appreciate the knowledge you did feel comfortable sharing. You’re complex and maybe a little confusing, but there’s an engaging quality to you that can’t be denied.

Literary Matchmaking:

  

● Mary E. Pearson’s Remnant Chronicles also features a futuristic world in which humanity has reverted (technologically and culturally) to a previous era.

● Although Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight Chronicle are grownup books, the main character is another young woman who has to make tough decisions and is adept at assassinations.

The Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir also features battles with far-reaching consequences and is set in a non-Western society.


FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Mahimata is available now.