Review: The History Makers by Val Bodurtha

Summary/Cover Image from Author's Website
By the time Spanish explorers reached the Americas, the Aztec Empire was one of the greatest in the world. The ancient priests would slaughter human sacrifices, sometimes by the thousands, all under the claim that their gods needed blood to make the sun rise every day. What would have happened had this empire prevailed over the Spanish and survived to this day? How would its bloodthirsty theocracy fit in with our world?

Myla is an upper-class teenager in modern-day Azteca, partying her days away with her friends and the man who has claimed her as his wife. On her seventeenth birthday, she is finally “enlightened” and told the truth: that the Priesthood is lying to everyone. Then, in an intriguing twist of fate, she finds herself in the hands of Aztec’s rebels and their leader, Tezca.

Myla must now sort through all the lies she has been told her whole life and confront old secrets buried deep. Can she trust these people? Are they terrorists or revolutionaries? And will she join them to dismantle the theocracy and its lies, or will the price she would pay be too high?


Growing up I was always fascinated by the bloody history surrounding the Aztec Empire. Surprisingly enough, I never realized how awesome of a YA book its history would make until Val Bodurtha's The History Makers landed on my radar.  

As it turns out, The History Makers was a fantastic debut. Perfectly blending tougher the beliefs of the Aztec Empire with a modern day teenager's coming of age, The History Makers is quite simply unputadownable. 

From the first page, I liked Myla. She was quiet and somewhat reserved; however, it was easy to tell how much she loved her best friend and little brother. That detail in particular made her easy to relate to from the start. Over the course of the book, Myla does a lot of growing up, and learns how to think and fend for herself. I enjoyed seeing this transition occurred, and better yet, I loved that it wasn't "perfect." Myla didn't just wake up on day and become this fierce fighter; instead, it was gradual transition with lots of ups and downs - moments of strength and weakness. In addition to Myla, I also enjoyed the rest of the characters that were introduced. All of them were not only well developed but incredibly lovable; however, I will say I had a soft spot for Tezca in particular. He reminded me of a Azetec, rebel leader like Dimitri from Vampire Academy, and while he didn't replace Dimitri in my heart (no one every can BTW), he was still pretty darn swoon-worthy. 

One of the aspect that drew me to The History Makers was setting so I was delighted by Val's fantastic world building. I enjoyed how Val Bodurtha took the beliefs and history of the Aztec Empire and gave it a modern twist. Not only was she able to make it her "own" but she also did so in a way that was well developed and fleshed out. There was rarely a time where I was left confused. 

The plot of The History Makers was filled with ample action as well as twists and turns. Better yet, it also focused on friendship and romance. It was always exciting to see what the rebels had planed, especially when the stakes for high risk. I also enjoyed seeing Val find a home within the rebel camp. Not only did it allow for character development, but it also caused for a lot of smiles and even a tiny bit of drama. The romance was light in this; however, I liked the slow burn feel to it. It made it more believable, in my opinion. 

There were two tiny things, however, that I didn't quite like about this one. For one, I felt that the dialogue was awkward and slightly stilted at times. Sometimes it took a while to get to the "meat" of the conversation since there was a lot of pleasantries thrown around...a lot of "hi, how are you." Additionally, the transiting was slightly rough at times too - sometimes including a little too much telling rather than showing. As the book progressed, though, this aspect got better and better. 

Regardless, The History Makers is a strong debut, perfect for fans of Veronica Roth! Val Bodurtha has definitely landed on my authors to watch list. I can't wait to see how her talent grows! 

Grade: B+

The History Makers is now out!

Source: eARC provided by publicist

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