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Enlightenment (Bathala Series, Book #1)
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(The Bathala #1)

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  28 reviews
When Dorothy Dizon meets the mysterious Adrian Rosario and his alluring knowledge of Filipino history, her life takes an unchartered detour. Dorothy's true calling is connected to the hidden history of the Philippines that Adrian must protect to keep her safe from enemies of his beloved secret society.

Together, they experience a confounding journey that tests their beliefs
Paperback, 294 pages
Published March 14th 2019 by Pacific Boulevard
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ella ☆
↳ I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication date for Enlightenment: Book One of the Bathala Series is March 14, 2019 by Pacific Boulevard.

This book was an easy read, nonetheless. The alternating perspectives are extremely easy to follow and the use of first person was the best call on which way to tell this story from. The writing wasn't bland or simple, but it was comprehensible and straightforward in a way that helped to give the story some
L Cam
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Title provided in exchange for honest review via Net Galley

Huge plus and draw to me is the diversity. I harp so much about the cultural diversity in books. It sucks that a majority focus on white/caucasian characters. I really appreciate the expansion definitely of more Black, Hispanic, and Asian cultures.

That being said onto the actual story. I was surprised that this was a vampire story. It's usually associated with a different character demographic. So to see that woven into the story was rat
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really good book filled with beautiful Filipino folklore and mythology and strong characters and a solid plotline. It was a great read especially for everyone who loves the mixture of fantasy and mythology.

I was part of the blog tour and you can read my full review here:
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pacific Boulevard Media
We are proud to publish "Enlightenment," Book One of the Bathala Series by Filipino-American author Reno Ursal. This is the first book of its kind, a Young Adult novel that uses Filipino history as the backdrop for a supernatural coming-of-age love story. We don't know of a novel that captures the push and pull of Young Adult relationships with Filipino American characters! Undoubtedly, the Filipino American perspective is largely ignored in the Young Adult market. With "Enlightenment", YA reade ...more
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
This book was received as an ARC from Pacific Boulevard Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

Enlightenment really opens your eyes the dependency of love and survival through Dorothy and Adrian. The power and bond they have formed throughout the book was so magically powerful that you could feel their struggle throughout the book. Everyone looks at love as something that comes and goes but they never really look at the other
Malaika Writes
Enlightenment is a novel that definitely has the ability to keep the reader's interest throughout the course of the novel. Plot wise the novel is intense, filled with a rich Filipino history and the reader is really able to get a true sense of the culture of the ancient Filipinos. The novel takes a refreshing and interesting spin on the vampire and lets the reader view them not as humanities enemies, feasting off our blood without gratitude but as humanities protectors. It is a good novel to rea ...more
Dora Okeyo
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love any book that's got a character who comes to learn of some crucial part history of their being or culture, and this book serves that.
It fits the YA bill, with the curiosity, impatience, restlessness, uncertainty, love and drama. The chemistry between Dorothy and Adrian was quite interesting but what's even more interesting is the ending. It certainly sets the pace for the next book. Thank you Netgalley for the eARC.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I will preface this review by saying that this type of book is not normally my cup of tea. I dislike YA fantasy in general, but especially when it features vampires. But I was willing to give this book a chance, since it was about Filipino folklore, and talked a lot about the forgotten history of the islands that became the Philippines after Spanish conquest, and #weneeddiversebooks. Also it's written by a Filipino author, so #ownvoices

First the bad: The story is not very well written. The chara
Dan Kalin
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reno Ursal has produced a rare type of story with Enlightenment, one with a fictional storyline told over historic details which teach the reader things they didn't previously know. The story is told mostly from the perspective of two people; Dorothy Dizon, a high school senior soon to graduate and Adrian Rosario, the mysterious new student from the Philippines who is much more than he appears. Drawn inexorably to Adrian and his first-hand knowledge of their shared Filipino heritage, Dorothy mus ...more
Jacob Rundle
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy on Netgalley in exchange for a true and honest review. Enlightenment was a well written and put together story multicultural story. A telling of Dorothy and Adrian. It's a story of the history of the Phillipines. A story of friendship and love. The imagery Reno fosters is amazing and beautiful. The world building really had me think that I was really there. The story had me hooked most of the time.
If you like to read/learn of different cultures then I highly suggest this book.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I will keep my reader rant short, but after the last two chapters of Enlightenment by Reno Ursal Adrian must die. The beginning of the book is incredible, and I devoured it loving all the little tidbits on Filipino (sorry if I spelled it wrong) history. However, the ending had me feeling like I was reading a Twilight version for the Phillippines.

Poor Dorothy is the main female character, and she gets wholly pushed aside at the end which pissed me off.

For the extended reader's rant complete with
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Enlightenment is a different kind of story with unexpected elements. It's good to read about a culture that is under represented in the ya genre. It's informative in that regard. Beyond that, I did not realize this story would involve vampires. I'm not a vampire fan,so this aspect of the story I really disliked. It's an intriguing premise with likeable characters. Overall, it's not bad, but it's not my favorite either. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
For those unfamiliar with Filipino Mythology, Enlightenment is a pretty good introduction. With its worldbuilding, adventures and myths all rolled into one, Enlightenment will surely pull the reader into the world very rarely explored in world literature.
Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)
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Enlightenment follows Dorothy, the main character, who meets mysterious Adrian, a new transfer student at school. She is intrigued by him during their first meeting, but knows something is off about him. But as the readers come to find out there is more than what meets the eye; he is a supernatural being sent on a mission to protect Dorothy as she holds a great ancient power.

The book starts out slow, but after several chapters into
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads, owned
I was so excited to receive an arc of this book because it's the first book by a FilAm author I'll have the privilege of reviewing. Add to that the fact that it's about Filipino folklore, a topic I'm fairly familiar with being the daughter of a woman who was born and raised in the Visayas. I remember the scary tales my relatives used to tell whenever I visited the province at summertime as a young girl, tales of aswangs, duwendes, etc. What I appreciated about this book is the historical and myt ...more
I really appreciate the history used to create this book & that it’s based on the author’s own heritage, but the final product could have been a lot better - I also had no idea this was a vampire book. There were passages that made it obvious this book had been written by a man & the ending felt very rushed & confused. Nevertheless, I am intrigued by the myths this story is based on & would like to know more. Enlightenment also kept me interested until the final pages, so the author must have do ...more
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
First in a series, ENLIGHTENMENT follows young Filipine Dorothy Dizon, a resident of Las Vegas, and her unexpected protector Adrian, scion of a secret society. A contemporary fantasy weaving today's glitter society with the hidden history of the Philippines, this is a story like none I have encountered, an eye-opening and imagination-expanding novel. ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
While I'm not one to enjoy a run-of-the-mill YA fantasy romance - I've read enough, some might even say too many, to know that that's just not my cup of tea - I did find the use of Filipino myths and folklore a breath of fresh air in this book.

What separates Enlightenment from other YA books is its underlying feelings of disconnection from your homeland clashing with the need to assimilate in a foreign land. This is such a unique experience for many second gen Asian Americans, Fil-Ams especially
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was ok
An interesting, short book that I zipped through. I enjoyed learning about Filipino mythology and history.

The writing was not done well. But it has potential. Pacing was all over the place, characterization was lacking. Just all around needed some work. But, I think, the author has potential to get better with more practice and I would definitely read more of from this author.

Now, as to the actual story. Despite the writing quality, I was really interested in the story. I flew through this book!
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Enlightenment" stands out to me as a first; a first in being a YA novel with an emphasis on Filipino folklore and history. The legends and beliefs that were nearly wiped out by the Philippines' long painful history of colonization are front and center in 2018 Las Vegas. Hidden family histories are exposed (or, at the very least, teased), fights of epic proportions occur, and Baybayin plays a role in bringing some of that history to the present.

Along with the exploration of Filipino folklore, I
Casia Courtier
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

I was conflicted. On one hand, I want to really like it, but I can't. I think I should begin at the beginning.

Well, the moment I saw a book with and about Filipino people, I jumped at it. I am a quarter Filipino and I know nothing about the culture or history. I'm not even in with any of the normal inside household things. I wasn't raised with that. So, when I
Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader
I absolutely LOVED the Filipino culture and folklore in this book, it is where Ursal shined brightest in the book. Unfortunately, I would say that if it weren't for the culture and folklore I don't think I would have finished reading this. There are a lot of similar elements to Twilight, and I don't mean just because it has Danags/Vampires, I mean that with the characterization of the narrators and the way the developments of the story were handled. That didn't make it a bad read, it's just not ...more
Jessica Piro
I went in not knowing any Filipino folklore, and I leave not understanding it, other than there are vampires. The author's attempt to 'mesh' Filipino culture and the American way of life felt forced -- not natural. You can include the description of American culture in that, too (with the constant insertion of songs, the younger-than-18 girls going to a club, an extremely muscular boy with tattoos on his neck gets transferred to a school mere weeks before graduation AND graduates, etc.).
Now, ont
Michael Miranda
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it

Reno Ursal boldly launched a fantasy-vampire YA story line, incorporating Filipino culture and mythology with Enlightenment, the first book of his Bathala series.

I've never dabbled in the fantasy-vampire YA genre before, so I don't have anything to compare Enlightenment against. While Ursal skillfully weaves Filipino culture, mythology, and folklore into this tale of Adrian, who must protect Dorothy from medieval shape shifters out to get what they've wanted for centuries, the excessive men
Stephanie Hotz
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the publisher and author!

I didn’t realize this would be a vampire book (as other reviews have also expressed), and paranormal romance isn’t normally my go-to read. However, I thought the author did a great job of keeping me interested in the story. I also loved the inclusion of Filipino culture.

However, I didn’t love the fact that so much of the story was similar to Twilight. And the last quarter of the book seem
Destiny Bridwell
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. I have to honestly say that this book confused me from the get go. I did not have any previous knowledge of Filipino history or folk lore. I think that this book was written with the idea that those who would would have some of that information already. It was an okay written story, but it did take me sometime to work my way through this book and re-reading it did little to get read of my confusion. 
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans as a last resort.
Six-Word Review: Philippine mythology affects present-day lovers.

I received a complementary advance copy from the Early Reviewer section.

Enlightenment is an incomprehensible story involving ancient mythology, current mysticality, and unconnected events. I have actually lived in the Philippines and have a granddaughter there which is why I asked for a sample copy. The connection between the present and the ancient past may be clear to the author, it's not clear to me. The Las Ve
rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2019
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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Filipino American author and reader on a journey of self-discovery and reflection through the power of storytelling. No history, no self. Know history, know self.

Set in Las Vegas, "Enlightenment" explores the history of the Philippines through the modern-day first-person perspectives of Filipino-American Dorothy Dizon and transfer student Adrian Rosario, sent to protect her from unseen enemies of

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