Aiden Thomas Does it Again!

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Aiden Thomas has quickly become a must-read author for me and I was so excited to see that they were writing a duology! Not only is the cover for THE SUNBEARER TRIALS absolutely gorgeous, but the story is so so good. This story is full of Mexican mythology and is a modern-ish setting where every decade, 10 teenagers that are semidióses compete in the Trials - one is declared the Sunbearer, and another is sacrificed in order to keep their world safe from the Obsidian gods that want to enslave humanity. But in this world, some gods are ranked higher than others creating a hierarchy to their semidiós children and causing friction between the group chosen for the Trials when two Jade semidióses are chosen to compete alongside Gold semidióses.

The characters are full of life, the Trial challenges are interesting, and that twist... OMG. I really enjoyed how diverse the cast of characters is and how each teenager was unique and had their own personality and backstory, even if we only got things from Teo's point of view. There is great LGBTQIA+ representation and I appreciated that while there are hints at romantic feelings within the group of teens, that this novel is more about friendships and chosen family than having the plot center around a romance. I cannot wait for the sequel to come out because I NEED to know what happens next!