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The Oddmire, Book 2: The Unready Queen

av William Ritter

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“And then the girl whom the goblins had stolen away finally stole herself back.”

There are some themes in this book that might not be appropriate for some kids. I’ll list details at the end of the review so parents can decide for themselves if their child is mature enough to read, or if the book has triggers to their kids.

The Unready Queen starts us off not long after the first book ended. This book, however, focuses more on Fable and Raina than the twins, not to say they don’t have a huge part in the story.

This book has a darker theme than the first, in my opinion. After living their entire lives doing the same things together, looking alike, and going everywhere together, Tinn and Cole have to deal with how things are changing for them. Tinn is having his own adventures going to the goblins for lessons, and Cole struggles with not having his best friend always by his side. At the same time, they really start to question about their absent father.

The mother/daughter team of The Deep Dark also have struggles of their own. Raina is deeply worried about Fable and the fate of the forest, while Fable desperately wants to branch out to discover herself and become more part of the human world.

It is so nice to have so many strong female characters. Both Annie and Raina are fierce mama bears, not hesitant in the least to jump in and take care of their kids. Fable is bright (though a bit naive), strong and unafraid.

All the characters grow so much in this second book, and it’s easy to fall in love with all of them. Overall, it’s a wonderful sequel and I can’t wait for the next!

PARENTAL CAUTIONS (contains spoilers):

-Absent/Missing Parent. Book 1 touched on the boys’ missing father, but this book really pushes the subject
-Guns/Violence. Raina, Fable’s mother, is given a premonition of being shot and killed; guns are used against fantasy creatures
-Violence on Kids. Kids are attacked and hurt by fantasy creatures and an adult male.
-War. Villagers and fantasy creatures; involves guns
-Parental Defiance. The kids are constantly disobeying their mothers; running off and getting into trouble, involving themselves in dangerous situations
-Drug-like Abuse. A male villager uses ‘dust’ to gain the strength of a giant ( )
  ReadingBifrost | Aug 13, 2020 |
"Dinna be afraid of a few sparks or a burnout from time to time. That’s na failure. That’s fine-tuning.”

I received a complementary copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Finally finished reading The Unready Queen with my son! Normally, I'm able to read several chapters to him at night, but we've been having some late evenings, and he kept falling asleep. Not wanting to read without him, I paused wherever we were continued from there the next night. It took us about a month to get through this book, but it had nothing to do with the story, and everything to do with life.

Warning! Potential (small) spoilers if you haven't read the first book. Review for the first book can be found here.

I really love the cast of characters in this series! They're all so unique and interesting. Fable is both fairy and human, her mother is Queen of the Deep Dark (and her grandmother before that), Cole is a human, but Tinn (his twin) is a goblin changeling. They're all trying to figure out how to exist in a world that views them as different, and I enjoyed seeing their individual journeys. I do wish the characters had been developed more over the course of the story, but they seem like the same kids we read about in the first book. More character growth and this book would've been a five-star read for me.

Tinn has started to embrace his goblin side, and I thought his moments with Kull were sweet and endearing. Kull did a bad thing for the right reasons, but he was also hurt in the process. He was willing to give up something precious to him if it meant saving his entire clan, and now he's getting a second chance. Their interactions were some of my favorite parts of the book, especially there at the end.

The first book was mostly about Tinn, the second focused on Fable, and I believe the third will be about Cole and his desire to find his father. I'm sure the others will still be around, but I like that each character is getting their own story of sorts. Evie (another human) joining the group in this book just made things better! I really loved her interactions with the spriggans.

Speaking of spriggans, I like that the author includes mythological creatures we don't often see in stories. Spriggans, hinkypunks, rock trolls (not like the ones depicted in Frozen or Trolls World Tour). Ritter keeps their outline (what's generally known about them), but fills his characters with a uniqueness that makes you want to know more. For example, I would love to visit the spriggans and see their caves and whatever else their guarding on their side of the forest.

If you have a child that loves magic and the mythological, definitely consider giving this book a shot! The characters do talk about bodily functions a lot, but that's something my adult brain can overlook in the grand scheme of things. My son thought those comments and conversations were hilarious, but it's just something that doesn't appeal to me personally. (★★★★☆)

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  doyoudogear | Jul 28, 2020 |
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