Wednesday, June 4, 2014

All About Middle Grade Review: Trickster's Totem

Trickster's Totem (Relics of Mysticus, 2) by H.B. Bolton, April 15, 2013. 226 pages. Source: author
Life has returned to normal for fourteen-year-old Evan and his older sister, Claire. That is until Dunkle, a clever but stinky little imp, pays an unexpected visit to their school. He has come to take the siblings back to Sagaas, the mythical realm of the gods. Once again, a Relic from the ancient Mysticus Orb has fallen into the wrong hands. Only Evan and Claire, with their unique mystical abilities, can help find it.

Through the power of the Trickster’s Totem, a coyote trickster has escaped. His laughter echoes throughout the realm, as he spreads mischief and mayhem. He burns an entire crop of popcorn, carves his grinning image into sacred artifacts, and things really get interesting when he shape-shifts into Evan’s friends.
First Sentence:
"Here we go again," Evan said and watched Vine, the resident bully, swagger toward yet another freshman.

Alright, so earlier this year I reviewed the first book in H.B. Bolton's Relics of Mysticus, The Serpent's Ring, which I really enjoyed. So, when I had a slight lull in the reading line-up, as in few tour books, I decided it was high time I read about Evan and Claire's next adventure, especially since I was going to need some way to pass the time in the car.

While I did have a minor problem with the first book, if you'll recall, I felt that Evan and Claire mastered their new abilities too quickly. Even though that one thing bothered me in the first book, I really enjoyed diving back into the world of Sagaas and seeing where the author would take the siblings on their next adventure. So, did I enjoyed Trickster's Totem, absolutely!
    One of the things that was quite interesting in this one would have to be the Native American section that they found themselves visiting in their latest trek into Sagaas. I found it quite interesting how those in that part of Sagaas could transform into their spirit animal, as well, as seeing which animal would come to represent Evan and Claire. Like I said, adding in the element of Evan and Claire discovering what their spirit animal is made for interesting reading. Even though I liked the whole spirit animal aspect, it would have been interesting to see a little more about the Native American's history and maybe to have learned more about the Coyote Trickster.

As the book opened up, I was just waiting for Evan to either a) get caught using his telekinetic powers at school or b) for them to be summoned back to the world of Sagaas and more adventures. While going in you know they'll be heading back and why, I found it interesting that Claire was more willing and ready to get back and help while Evan was more interested in being able to fly once more. After the last book, I never really pictured Claire as the one that would be eager to return to the life of adventure but I found it made her more interesting because I wanted to know why.
    Seriously though, I enjoyed seeing how their previous adventures shaped their feelings on being pulled back into the game of saving the day.

When it comes down to it, what I enjoyed most about Trickster's Totem would have to be the writing of H.B. Bolton and the world she's created. I've really enjoyed watching the way she brings the various elements of the world together with the plot, as well, as seeing how it all comes together at the end. Her writing just gets better with each book and pulls me more into the world of the characters and their latest adventures.
    Other than writing and world building, one of the other things that makes Trickster's Totem such an interesting read would have to be the villain. I've found it quite interesting to learn why Mika was doing what he was definitely unexpected, well kinda, but the truth was a most excellent twist to the story.

Now this is just me, but the only thing I found myself not enjoying about this book would have to be the way Evan and Claire moon over those they're interested in. Story-wise, I just cannot really see a need for either character to be feeling butterflies over certain characters. But again, I'm not really reading, any book, for the romantic, even if slight, angle. All-in-all, this is quite the interesting read and I've enjoyed seeing them put aside those crush like feelings when it comes down to doing what's right and saving the day.

Final Verdict: Trickster's Totem- A delightful adventure ride that is next to impossible to put down.

Trickster's Totem earns
this book was received in exchange for an honest review.

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