kristine ong muslim reviews ‘lower myths’

Posted on Amazon:

Lower Myths is Eliza Victoria’s splendid two-story debut collection. I like the second novella better than the first one. “The Very Last Case of Messrs. Aristotel and Arkimedes Magtanggol, Attorneys-at-Law” unfolds at an Elmore Leonard pace – brute, concise, confident. There’s a combination of boldness and grace in Lower Myths, making it an enjoyable romp into the macabre. I imagined the two stories, with their distinct Philippine flavor and genre trappings culled straight from the vernacular, would have made excellent graphic novels.

Kristine is the author of We Bury the Landscape, and she serves as poetry editor of LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction.

I am a fan of Kristine, and Elmore Leonard, and this review made me happy.

meann ortiz reviews ‘lower myths’

And she gave it five out of five stars:

I’ve stopped wondering some time ago why Eliza Victoria keeps winning all these different awards for her fiction and poetry. And with Lower Myths, she has definitely earned a place in my list of favorite Filipino authors.

Trust Fund Babies is my favorite of the two stories in Lower Myths. I love the whole The Godfather feel, and the mythology that Victoria re-imagined for this particular world. The story is pretty straightforward, sometimes even predictable, but it was engaging and entertaining from beginning to end. I also admire Victoria’s ability to build a detailed world and solid characters even for such a short story.

The Very Last Case of Messrs. Aristotel and Arkimedes Magtanggol: Attorneys-at-Law is a little more complicated in terms of structure, but it’s no less engaging. If the first story had a The Godfather feel to it, this one has some Inception undertones. The transition between the different “realities” can be confusing in the beginning, but it’s easy enough to follow after the first few glimpses.

Read more.


‘lower myths’ review on cerebralcap

Angelo Ancheta (CerebralCap and former reviewer for Philippines Graphic) reviews Lower Myths:

Test Cases

Eliza Victoria’s debut e-book of two-novellas titled LOWER MYTHS demands readers'(especially those who are following her work)dedication as she leads them inside her labyrinth of magic and madness.

Trust Fund Babies reeks of gangster, power lust, whodunit gases diffused in a cloud of biting rivalry between two supernatural clans: the mambabarang (witches) and the diwata (fairies) minus the expected display of sorcery or magic wands and spell casts that are all too common in a traditional fantasy. TFB’s twists-and-turns are comparable to modern day whodunits that could knock a Sue Grafton or a Michael Connelly potboiler off the bestseller chart. In the conflict between supernatural families, it is easy to tell which side Victoria is on. On another level, Victoria’s subtle commentary on rich scions is hardly refutable.

The Very Last Case of Messrs Aristotel and Arkimedes Magtanggol, Attorneys-at-Law is a head-spinner. Victoria’s switching POVs and alternating between two narratives could trigger a migraine. But she is too quick to offer a ticklish balm that makes a reader hesitate between raising an eyebrow or stifling a guffaw or do both. Is her antic a sheer sweet dream or a delicious nightmare?

Victoria tackles and compresses themes so intricately interwoven: duality in nature, catatonia, angst (toward a certain kind of father), brotherhood, ravages of war, crime, violence. The Very Last Case of Messrs. Aristotel and Arkimedes Magtanggol: Attorneys-at-Law is a highly-textured novella and is not an easy read yet full of surprises for the patient reader. Moreover, taking down notes could be helpful so as not get lost as there are traps so subtly implanted in the mansion of many rooms but with doors locked.

Lower Myths is an incontestable showcase of Eliza Victoria’s storytelling range, depth, dexterity when mixing together elements of magic, suspense, horror and crime in a cauldron exclusively for her.

***

LOWER MYTHS e-book is published by Flipside Publishing and is available on Amazon Kindle and Flipreads.

A first review! Krysty Choi talks about Lower Myths:

 On Diwata, Barang, and Mysterious Lawyer Almost-Twins: Eliza Victoria’s “Lower Myths”

There’s something entirely delicious about stories that swathe the ancient and magical in the humdrum drabness of modernity. For some reason I feel like I’m given a rare opportunity – a sneak peek into a world I have no right to see. It also gives the modern world – something that gets a little too adult and responsible and tiring at times – a bit of glamour and mystery.

I admit to wondering if every third person I meet on the street is some kind of secret engkanto, working at the call centre because it’s funnier to answer irate calls than hang around a rainforest.

This is also why some of my favourite graphic novels (or comic books; I’m not that good with labels) are Fablesand Trese.

Eliza Victoria’s Lower Myths does just that, although it interestingly visits both sides of the fence, so to speak. To elaborate is to give away far too much, but suffice it to say that the rising star of Philippine speculative fiction (I prefer to call her the Apocalyptic Star, because 2012, bitches) does a fine job weaving magic into this humdrum world. It’s not her first attempt, too. Her short story in the Alternative Alamat collection is both chilling and nostalgic.

That said, it is entirely personal preference that leads me to say that the first story is my favourite. (There are only two stories in this collection, so get back to work, author!) The story is entirely too short, true, but the presence of magic and magical beings in a scenario far too human (so much guns, Eliza, but this gangster movie addict isn’t complaining) cannot be described as anything other than wicked. Fairies versus warlocks sounds like a very Michael Bay movie, but she pulls it off with aplomb and the story never strays from its slightly humorous, slightly askew nature.

It’s notable that despite the very Filipino roots, Lower Myths never feels alienating. In other words, this is my very transparent attempt of encouraging friends (Filipino or otherwise) to get a copy. On Amazon and Flipreads, go.