I was approached by the author with a request to read and review the eARC of Strange Gods ahead of publication. Thank you, Alison! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
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About the Book
by Alison Kimble
Publishing 20 July 2021
Genre: YA Paranormal Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 336
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Spooky arrives at a wilderness boot camp for troubled teens with two suitcases and an ultimatum: either she keeps her head down over the summer or she won’t be allowed home at the end of it. All she wants to do is survive the pyros, bullies, and power-tripping counselors, get through senior year, and start her life somewhere new. She’ll do just about anything to protect that future.
But when an encounter with another camper goes awry and ends with Spooky hiding in the woods, something else finds her. Something ancient and powerful has sent out feelers, hoping to catch a human alone. For its purposes, one human is as good as any other. Even a delinquent teen will do.
If Spooky wants to survive to see any kind of future, she will have to figure out how to gain leverage over a god. And as if the one wasn’t bad enough, a pantheon of dark entities are lining up between her and the life she’s always wanted…
For fantasy fans, comes one girl’s journey through dark worlds of magic, gods, and monsters.
My Rating: 4 Stars
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Strange Gods is well named. It has gods and it’s strange (in a good way!) Spooky is attending the world’s strangest teen boot camp, one with bespoke programs and cabin arrangements for each and every camper and plenty of fellow campers attending for odd reasons, when she slips through realities and encounters gods.
The premise of this one is very interesting, and although as some people have pointed out there is a bit of a Percy Jackson vibe, it’s truly a unique book. The Percy Jackson vibe really just comes from the troubled human kid isn’t what they appear / interaction with gods thing, and that’s not even unique to Percy Jackson, it’s just apparently what’s on everyone’s mind. The plot and worldbuilding in Strange Gods are very unique and unlike anything else I’ve ever read.
This is truly an entertaining urban/paranormal fantasy adventure for all ages. Some of the bootcampers have backstories that may lead to questions parents don’t want to answer for younger middle-grade readers but other than that I would say this book is fairly clean and younger-reader friendly. Preteens and teens who are already reading fantasy novels at this length will have no problem with the reading level or following the plot.
That ending! I promise I won’t spoil anything, but it’s not fair that this book isn’t even technically published yet, because I need book two right now!
About the Author
Alison Kimble began writing because she loves stories and believes in their power to shape our world and ourselves. Her writing blends the real and the fantastical and crosses genres of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi. Her debut novel, Strange Gods, will be published in July 2021. She lives in the Greater Seattle Area with her husband and spends her time walking in the woods, going to the movies, and seeking adventures large and small.
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