• Author: Angeline Boulley
  • 2nd Published Book
  • Genre: YA Mystery; Companion
  • Background-Indigenous; Ojibwe
  • IG-@angelineboulley; Twitter-@FineAngeline; https://angelineboulley.com/
  • Release Date: 5/2/2023 (out NAOW!)
  • Publisher: Henry Holt (Imprint of MacMillan)
  • Favorite Character-Shense! She’s like a younger version of Granny June (who is still a fav, just so you know) and I absolutely lived for her every time she was on the page! I’m here for any and every bit of Shense Supremacy we get in this book and like with Granny June, I 1000% want a book from her perspective & will mention as much every chance I get to Angeline (no, seriously, those who have gotten to read WGU, picture a book from Shense’s POV and try to tell me that wouldn’t be everything and I’d tell you the devil is a lie).
  • Favorite Quote(s) I’m going to give you all 2, a serious one and a funny one early on in the book. “Nah, all the statues in those places are old Zhaaganaash dudes. Non-Natives. Colonizers. You really wanna study where women and people of color are invisible?”-Perry to her twin Pauline. Now if this isn’t the truth! I’m pretty sure I snapped and said “WHEW” out loud! Thinking of my old campuses, I’m pretty sure it’s the same there as if those institutions & so many like them weren’t built on the backs of the people that they erase with those structures. Lemme not hop on a soapbox right now though so on to the second quote! ‘”Yeah. I was ‘just friends’ with someone, and now I’m squeezing milk from my boob to feed his kid.”‘-Shense to Perry. When I read that…the scream I scrumpt! Shense is hysterical and I love how she banters with Perry throughout the book.
No, like they ate so hard with these quotes!

Before I get started on this, full transparency that this post is a part of a Blog Tour with Fierce Reads but would’ve happened regardless (It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a feature doe). I’ve been an Angeline Boulley stan since FireKeeper’s Daughter (yea, I know that was just one book ago but the math doesn’t matter in this case, just know its true) and I absolutely adore her (she’s got the DMs to prove it). If my love for FireKeeper’s Daughter is in doubt, check out my post professing my obsession with the book here. Also, If you would like to hear me talk a bit about my love for WGU, you can check out this live unboxing I did on instagram here!

This is me, when it comes to Angeline’s books!

Speaking of FireKeeper’s Daughter, we get to return to Sugar Island in Warrior Girl Unearthed and catch up to some of the crew from FD. While this book takes place in the same setting, we are not picking up where we left off since it’s 10 years later, though Daunis’ story is far from over (we are given some callbacks for those who need the refresher or are just picking up WGU). As much as I loved Daunis, I was all to happy to get to know Perry, one of her nieces. I won’t be drawing parallels to them because they are two different people & deserve to be acknowledged as such. I will also say that I will not be coerced into saying which book I love more because that would be like being asked to rip my own heart out & I don’t wish to do that. Just know that both books & character casts are special.

Compare them…so don’t ask!

In reading Perry’s voice, I had so many moments where I was like “Perry is me and I am Perry” or felt intense “dis me” energy, especially when she would bring up how much she rather be fishing (I’m vegan so clearly I wouldn’t be fishing) because I literally think that all the time about reading (if I didn’t have to adult & work to pay bills and buy books, I would just read all the time). She’s also super funny, lacks a filter and is direct in a way that is refreshing to me (I love a human who is no Bullsh*t, truly). I feel like we don’t get enough direct characters, where they aren’t afraid to mince words or water down who they are to make others more comfortable. Perry is also just as caring as she is calculating, which makes her the perfect person to plan & pull of a heist…yes, you read that right, a HEIST!

Truly Perry, I do!

You see, Perry isn’t just planning any ole heist. Oh no, she’s not aiming to steal money or jewelry but rather her aim is to reclaim and return the ancestors & their artifacts back to where they belong. This story is comped as Indigenous Lara Croft but “she doesn’t raid tombs, she reclaims ancestors” (I think Jas Hammonds said something to that effect during the NY Launch). If we are being real, why are anyone’s ancestors still on display in museums that don’t celebrate them at this juncture? How does it not make anyone uncomfortable that rather than human remains being at rest, they are being oogled by people who couldn’t give two cares about their lives without ever giving their consent to be displayed? It gives human zoo but for the dead, which neither concept is cute in the least bit, especially when those who created them are exploiting the existence of others & pillages the land/culture of said people. It is truly Big Colonizer Energy in those places & they need to be smudged multiple times BADLY. Perry really gets in her bag when she shares these thoughts in some way, shape or form throughout the book and it was like I was reading my feelings every time. Serious respeck needs to be placed on Perry’s Name here.

Me, to Perry but instead of a croc, I’m holding a vibram (cause I’on like crocs)

While Perry does learn about the proper channels for repatriation and the laws surrounding the process, I was fully with Perry’s means of reclaiming her ancestors to bring them home. Honestly, I wish I could’ve been apart of it because history has shown us time & time again how people of color, especially Indigenous people, are played in their face about matters of their personhood, land and culture. The need to ride out with Perry & her crew was SO STRONG that I was practically ready to jump into my e-reader (I kid you not on that). The way that Perry went about planning (and even when she didn’t) was simply brilliant and she deserved metals (and monuments, shoutout to Jas Hammonds). She also had an incredible team that really couldn’t get any better, IMO. I’m not going to speak on all of them butttttttt…

Perry truly did!

I HAVE to talk about my fav Shense! Like, that’s my bish for real! When she first appeared on the page, I was like “oh, I LIKE her”. I was talking to Morgan from MacMillan at the launch (Shoutout to Morgan, by the way) and I told her “Granny June is to Daunis as Shense is to Perry” and it is so true (I really had to work that math out in my mind)! If you read FireKeeper’s Daughter, you wouldn’t be able to deny that Shense gives a younger Granny June energetically and in how direct & take-no-ish she can be. I also feel like she reflects Lily’s (Daunis’ best friend) essence if we got more of her in FD (take a moment of silence here for her). I love how often she speaks about her kid, doesn’t allow anyone to shame her for being a teen mom, how present she is for others and how much of a mastermind she is. She made the perfect partner & best friend (*cues Saweetie’s “Best Friend”*) to Perry, honestly. I just wanted to read more of her and I feel like we all deserve a book from her perspective (this is a hill I would faint on repeatedly…I’m not ready to die just yet folx).

Perry & I, in reference to Shense

This book talks about so many important issues and I would be remiss not to speak even briefly about them. Perry speaks on racism and her & her father’s experience being Black & Indigenous… This is not a perspective we get enough in literature/the media but we know that they exist. I’m glad that Angeline didn’t shy away from this and hopefully we get more of this insight in future books.

Another important issue that is spoken about is MMIWG2S, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People. We know how targeted people of color are in this country (and others, really) but this a pervasive issue that is swept under the rug too easily by the “powers that be”. The fact that violence is continuously inflicted upon Indigenous people on land that is, quite frankly, theirs is nothing short of disgustingly mind-blowing… I wish I had better words for what I think and feel about this because I don’t feel like I’m doing any sort of justice to this matter right now. I truly would like to see the day where Indigenous people stop disappearing & start being respected and valued. There is a scene in the book where they have someone from Uniting Three Fires Against Violence speak, which I thought was a brilliant means of providing a real resource. Here is a link to their website, if you would like to learn more about their mission and possibly donate (I have). While these topics are heavy, Angeline does in incredible job of balancing with light, humor and wit. Do know that taking breaks to care for yourself while reading this book should you get overwhelmed is encouraged.

Real ish

Okay, so I’ve written A LOT about this book and if you need more convincing, I do have a live where I talk about this book for like 20 minutes about it (here is the link again, in case you need it & don’t feel like scrolling up). This book is truly phenomenal and you will thank me for this recommendation when you finish it. While you are at it, get it’s predecessor FireKeeper’s Daughter because you won’t regret reading that book either. I laughed, gasped, teared up, shouted…basically ran the gamut of emotions while reading this book and loved every moment of it. So run, skip, hop, jump, whatever you gotta do to your local library or favorite bookstore to get this amazing book! Whenever you are ready to talk about it, holler at me in comments or on social media via Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (mostly on Tuesdays and Fridays) to chat with me. Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve just read a book that stole my chill & my heart! And to those who are subscribed, thank you so much, I truly appreciate y’all! Sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading!


Published by bookishgirlmagic

I’m reader who has a fierce love for books written by authors of color & belief in the importance of supporting them! My mission is to amplify their voices and work so this generation and all the others after them will have literature that will reflect them.

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