In this continuation of a fantasy adventure series, the recurring teen protagonist and his allies set out to rescue Olympian gods.
It seems someone’s determined to abduct 16-year-old Taliesin “Tal” Weaver and friends. Tal, after remembering his past lives, acquired supernatural abilities and has since slowly formed a group of peers, like half-djinni Khalid, all with powers and/or mystical weapons. Tal’s friend Jimmie Stevens narrowly avoids capture by uniformed men, but his older brother, Dan, isn’t so lucky. Others from the group are missing, but Jimmie locates a few who gather at Tal’s magically secure abode. Tal shows up, too, but thanks to a spell someone’s cast on him, he’s regressed to his 12-year-old self and can’t recall the last four years, including combat training. Something supernatural is after them, using powers to control some of their friends and attack the still-liberated group. They’ll have to trust Dark Me, Tal’s spell-empowered evil alter ego, who has Tal’s magical capabilities and willingly helps since he needs Tal’s blood to maintain his existence. The friends traverse dangerous planes and battle creatures to free their imprisoned cohorts as well as the Olympians trapped in their own world. Hiatt’s (Different Lee, 2016, etc.) newest series entry is a solid mix of what the preceding five volumes offered: drama and action. Despite supernatural components, there’s a relatable theme of redemption; Dark Me’s proven himself a villain in the past but did originate from generally wholesome Tal, so he might be good. The book’s latter half, meanwhile, is primarily action, as Tal, et al., wage war against formidable evil. While Hiatt graciously provides context for new readers, there’s so much among so many characters that it initially bogs down the narrative. But the story picks up once the group has a clear goal—get to Olympus. Meanwhile, the assembly of characters never becomes confusing, even after Dark Me and 12-year-old Tal adopt new names (Magnus and Michael, respectively).
A diverting supernatural tale that should satisfy returning readers and those just getting to know the young hero.