The second installment in the Hunters of Chaos series doesn’t waste time getting started.
The shape-shifting, multiethnic Wildcats don’t have much time to celebrate their victory over Anubis and his Brotherhood of Chaos: they’re lured into the school gym under the belief that Ana’s missing aunt and uncle are there, only to be attacked. Shani saves them using hacked information but is caught hacking on camera, falsely accused of vandalizing the gym, and expelled. The story alternates between Ana’s and Shani’s points of view. Shani joins her father in Mumbai, where she’s shocked to learn he’s remarried—and her new stepsister is in league with Anubis. Meanwhile, in what requires an unreasonable suspension of disbelief, Ana, Doli, and Lin convince their principal to let them use the school jet to fly to Cancún unsupervised. Unfortunately, the ludicrousness of this situation throws the validity of the narrative into question. Alerted to the fact that Shani’s in distress, the girls end up in Mumbai, where Shani’s imprisoned by Anubis, who wants to use her to awaken the god Shiva, destroyer of worlds. As with the other gods portrayed (with the notably disappointing exception of Anubis), Velasquez does an admirable job presenting Shiva’s complexity.
The book closes with events that will no doubt be the cornerstone of the plot of the next book; here’s hoping that it will be believable. (Fantasy. 10-14)