Ahh I loved this!!

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sophareads Avatar


Ahh I loved this book so much!

This was my first Aiden Thomas novel, and I was able to get the stunning B&N edition secondhand. I love the gold accents in the cover, and the map on the end pages?! Priceless!

This book gave me strong Percy Jackson x Hunger Games vibes, and I am here for it. The start of the book has a strong emphasis on trans rep, and how Teo felt about himself and how he presented to the world. I loved seeing him come into his own, and I especially loved that he had a supportive parent right there beside him. And, of course, there is a lot of other genders and sexualities expressed throughout this book too, and I love to see it. There is a little bit for everyone in this book!

I enjoyed the story too - I was pulled in from the prologue and couldn't wait to see where the story would go next. Sure, I did find a couple plot points easy to guess (I do read a lot and also...it's a young adult book), BUT this book also found ways to surprise me at times too. Especially that ending! Phew, I hope book two comes out soon. The trials themselves felt very unique and I really felt immersed into this world that Thomas wrote. I love the lush worldbuilding and the strong focus on nature (after all, nature based magic is my favorite).

Anyway, I love our misfit trio and I loved all their interactions. There was definitely something sinister going on under the trials, which led to the big finish, and led to a lot of questions for book two. The book as a whole is very wholesome and I think will be illuminating to certain youths trying to figure out their place in their world - and also just be a fun read overall.

Overall, I was pulled in from the beginning and I loved every minute. The characters are so complex but loveable, and I was rooting for our misfits the whole time. That ending left quite a cliffhanger, and I hope to read the sequel soon. If you are a fan of stories like Percy Jackson or the Hunger Games, then definitely add this one to your list!