Pahua and the Soul Stealer
By: Lori M. Lee
Disney Publishing Worldwide
Rick Riordan Presents
Children’s Fiction/Middle Grade
Publish Date 07 September 2021
Thank you to NetGalley and Disney Publishing for letting review this book.
Good Reads Synopsis:
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 eleven-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.
I gave this book 4 stars. I love learning about different culture’s myths. I don’t know much about Asian culture so this was a great way to learn.
Pahua is 11 years old and takes care of her younger brother while her mom works. Her Dad left them a few years ago. Pahua doesn’t have any friends to speak of except for a cat which she is the only one who can see it. In fact, Pahua sees a lot of spirits. She has been able to spirits since she was around 4 years old.
One day while waiting for her brother to finish his summer school class she is invited to go a bridge which is haunted. She really doesn’t want to go but she has never been invited to anything before so she goes. While they get closer she can feel the spirit by the bridge. The spirit is a young girl. Pahua feels sorry for her and gets closer, not a good idea. By doing this she somehow releases the spirit into her world.
This spirit is causing some problems and the number one problem is that she is taking over young children’s souls which make them go into comas. One of the children is her own brother. She needs to find a way to fix this problem that she unknowing caused.
By returning to the bridge to try and fix the problem she causes a bigger one by calling different ones who happen to be very strong and want her for some reason. She is saved from the first one by a young Shaman Warrior.
They both go on an adventure to prove themselves and to save her brother and the children. Are they successful? Who is the big wig who wants her?
You will have to read the book to find out.