Having freed his father from imprisonment in Aviopolis in series opener Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle (2014), the mysterious ancient city that lies beneath Brooklyn, Gabriel recruits allies, both human and avian, to help rescue his mother.
With Paladin, his raven amicus, Gabriel learns that his evil uncle, Corax, who fled Aviopolis with the dastardly robin Snitcher, whom he now controls through the cursed torc, is plotting to reclaim his body, hidden in the Chamber of Runes. The Chamber also holds Gabriel’s mother, magically imprisoned, but in the collapse of Aviopolis, its location was lost. While Corax commands his valravens (avian ghouls) to force Gabriel to divulge the Chamber’s location, Gabriel and his friends mount their own search. Pamela is delighted to acquire an amicus, the raven Vyka, a rare partnership. Is Pamela also a Finley? Why won’t her mother say? Abby’s jealous: she longs for an amicus, too—after all, she’s a whiz at answering raven riddles. Somes has his own parent questions: how did his grumpy father come to lose part of a finger? The surprising answer hints at a connection between his family and the Finleys. Perils confronted include ingestion by an earthworm, confinement in a magical pet shop, and navigating an underground maze leading to the now-ruined city. To survive will require teamwork, courage, and of course an aptitude for solving riddles. The cast is a largely white one.
This series’ second installment delivers quirky characters, offbeat humor, an enjoyably convoluted plot, and a distinctive take on urban wildlife—imaginary and real. (Fantasy. 9-12)