Skip to main content

HUMANBORN by Joanna Maciejewska

Review and Cut by John Mauro


“With the delicate balance between the mythborn and humanborn, we didn’t need some careless brat stirring things up just because she wanted to write a front-page story.”


Humanborn is Joanna Maciejewska’s urban fantasy set in an alternate version of Dublin in the aftermath of a magical apocalypse known as the Magiclysm, which involved a war between the humanborn and mythborn magical beings. Among the casualties of the Magiclysm are friends of the novel’s lead protagonist, the humanborn Kaja Modrzewska.

Ten years after the Magicylsm, a terrorist attack threatens to destroy the fragile peace between the humanborn and mythborn communities. There’s plenty of action and intrigue as Kaja navigates the opposing communities, who are all too eager to blame each other for any wrongdoing. A perpetual outsider, Kaja questions her loyalties as she tries to avert a reignited war in her adopted homeland of Ireland, now known as Eireland.

Humanborn is well-written, but it falls into many of the standard young adult tropes that I find tiring, such as the sassy not-like-other-girls protagonist who finds herself as an outsider in a war-torn world. I was hoping for something more unique to pull me into the story. While this is a cut from SPFBO9, I do think that young adult fantasy fans will enjoy Humanborn, especially if they are interested in an Irish urban setting. Humanborn is the first volume of Joanna Maciejewska’s Shadows of Eireland series.

If this sounds like your cup of tea in spite of John’s reservations, check out the author’s Goodreads, or hop over to Amazon:




Joanna might be a bit too cautious to do anything even remotely daring or dangerous herself, so she writes about daring adventures and dangerous magic instead. Yet, she found enough courage to abandon her life in Poland and move to Ireland, and then some years later, she abandoned her life in Ireland to move over to the US. She’s determined to settle there, once she finally chooses which state to reside in.

When she’s not writing or thinking about writing, she plays video games or makes amateur art. She lives the happy life of a recluse, surrounded by her husband, a stuffed red monkey, and a small collection of books she insisted on hauling across two continents.

John Mauro

John Mauro lives in a world of glass amongst the hills of central Pennsylvania. When not indulging in his passion for literature or enjoying time with family, John is training the next generation of materials scientists at Penn State University, where he teaches glass science and materials kinetics. John also loves cooking international cuisine and kayaking the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

Leave a Reply