Love The Idea, But It Left Much To Be Desired

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I was really excited to read this, as it seemed like a queer, Jewish, Percy Jackson-esque story. But I wasn’t a big fan of the writing style.

In Ring of Solomon, we follow Zach, a young boy who is searching for a gift for his mom’s birthday and finds an antique ring. Just before he hands it over, he realizes the ring gives him the ability to talk to animals. Oh, and it summons Ashmedai, King of Demons.

Soon, Zach and Ash, alongside Zach’s best friend, Sandra, find themselves having to take down a secret society and the monsters they summon to bring forth the apocalypse.

The tone of this book was very humorous and enjoyable to read, but I wasn’t as big of a fan on the pacing and actual content of this story.

For one, this book doesn’t go as far into detail on the history of the ring and Ashmedai as I hoped it would, leaving me feeling as though I got some basics of the story, but I wasn’t really understanding the story. Maybe this is because I’m not Jewish and I know nothing about religion in general, but I expected this book to have a bit more beginner explanation than it did.

I also wasn’t a big fan of how fast this book was going. I had assumed going into this that, with the story focusing on three monsters being summoned in order to bring the apocalypse, this would be a trilogy with each book focused on one monster. That we’d have some build up where Zach learned about the monster, developed a strategy to defeat it, and then went out and tried his best. Instead, we very quickly went between two monsters in this book without any development in between, which made the story feel too fast and like these monsters weren’t as big of a deal as the author was trying to make them be. You’re telling me the bringers of the apocalypse can be defeated by a boy and the sword he has no training with?

One other thing that bothered me was that there was no reason it had to be Zach specifically. There was no “Zach is the one in the prophecy who will take down these monsters”. No “Zach had found out he has magical powers that will help him save the day”. Zach just so happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and thus it was “up to him” to defeat these monsters. While I understand the choice for Zach not to be special in any way may have been in order to let the target audience of this book (children) feel as though they could be in Zach’s shoes, fighting these monsters themselves, it also made no sense that it had to be Zach and not anyone else who was slightly more competent.

I think the general idea of this story was good, but the execution left much to be desired.