Brewed Thoughts: Review: Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tábon

Monday, May 5, 2014

Review: Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tábon

Sa tournament ng TALA Online sa bayan ng Balanga, namatay ang lahat ng manlalaro maliban kay Janus. Sunod-sunod pa ang naging kaso ng pagkamatay ng mga kabataan sa computer shops sai ba’t ibang panig ng bansa. Kinontak si Janus ng nagpakilalang Joey, isa rin umano sa mga nakaligtas sa paglalaro ng TALA na gaya niya. Hindi inasahan ni Janus ang mga matutuklasan niya mula rito na mag-uugnay sa kanya sa misteryo ng kinahuhumalingan niyang RPG—at sa alamat ng Tiyanak mula sa Tábon!

As of this writing, I'm still reeling from reading the book. I didn't get to do anything "productive" yesterday as I just spent it glued to it, reading until I finally finished it today. I never thought to be so affected by something I was only remotely curious of when I saw a friend's pic of the book a couple of days ago. And now I have to say that I experienced the worst case of book hangover. Ever.

So instead of just mindlessly flailing, here are the reasons why Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tábon is a MUST HAVE in your bookshelf:

The book and cover. Seriously, when I saw this picture of my friend with her copy of the book (and later on the author in a magazine interview), I had to say it was really pretty. It made me look for it in my nearest book store, and when I finally held it in my hands, it was way more amazing—the cover was fantastic, the font typography, size, and spacing inside the book were just right. 

The story and characters. It has references to online games, local mythology, and Filipino values (but not the preachy type). But more than just the references, the prose was written in a casual tone that made it very easy to relate to the character. I loved the back story storytelling that gave me a major spook factor. I really loved how well the characters were developed, the ingenious foreshadowing, and the intricate design of the overall story that was made richer by subplots. It had many levels of subplots, but I never felt lost or had too much information in my head. It made the story three-dimensional, believable, and plausible given our local culture that is steeped in folklore.

It's not trying to be Harry Potter. Sure, there may be some similarities, but personally I think the world of Janus Silang is a league on its own, and it's something that is uniquely Filipino. This is the reason why I fell in love with this book. I hope these kinds of books will perpetuate in local bookshelves and provide readers, regardless of age bracket, with more options to choose from. 

Book price. For a student-friendly price of P175, you get an awesome story and so much FEELS. This is the epitome of a steal. You can't find it anywhere else. 

This is absolutely the best book I've bought this year in this genre by far. And when November comes for the second book's release, I will definitely be first in line to get it.

This just in: There will be a book signing event on Saturday, May 10, at 3PM at the Adarna House Showroom. You can purchase the book at a discounted price (P140!!) AND get your book signed by the author. Deets and how to get to the venue are in the link.


  1. Amazing story. There were times I would get shivers from visualizing a scene or reading a simple line. I felt gutted by the end (I had forgotten to share this in my review because everything else was just overwhelmingly good.)

    1. It is! I stopped reading it for a while on the night I bought it 'coz it was scaring me there for a bit. Nakakatuwa kasi hindi juvenile yung prose pati yung thoughts ng character, parang hindi YA ang dating sakin. I'm really grateful I saw this on your feed (hindi ko pa nababasa yung review mo nun) at talagang nag-enjoy ako basahin. I can't believe I have to wait half a year to read the second book! Ang tagal pa! Haha.

  2. Thank you for promoting the event on May 10. Hope to see you there. :D