Zane Obispo must die in order to save all the other young godborns of the world after he accidentally reveals their existence to the gods.
Since the events of series opener The Storm Runner (2018), Mexican American Zane has been holed up on an island off Mexico’s Caribbean coast with his mother, uncle Hondo, best-friend-and-maybe-crush Brooks, and Ms. Cab the seer, kept hidden from the other Maya gods’ eyes by a magical barrier drawn by the goddess Ixtab. When another godborn named Ren shows up, she sets off a chain of events that forces them off the island to save both other godborns, who have been kidnapped, and Zane’s father, the disgraced Maya god Hurakan. That journey will take them to the underworld and back to the U.S. in search of a god named the Fire Keeper. As in the first book, the plot is busy, and the conclusion feels unfinished, even for a series entry. Readers without a detailed memory of the first book may find themselves confused for the lack of backstory. The female characters, though full of personality and with major magical powers, feel underused, alas. What gives the book its charm is the many Maya gods and demons, who do not present like stereotypical old, wise beings but come with all the snark and melodrama of any 21st-century character.
Diagnosis: middle-book syndrome, but it’ll satisfy hungry readers who are fans of fast-paced stories. (Fantasy. 8-12)