Liv must rescue her brother in the alternate world Caelum and face the consequences the portals pose for Los Angeles in this sequel.
In the magical world of Caelum, Liv and teen royals Cedric and Kat are working to rescue their relatives from the villainous Malquin when they’re helped from a tough spot by Rafe, older brother of Merek, who’s stuck in an LA hospital. The tension that develops between Cedric and Rafe, mainly over who should lead the people Rafe led during the events of The Marked Girl (2016), creates more tension between Cedric and Liv, who feels left out of the decision-making and strategizing, especially in the face of their tired love triangle with Kat. The Caelum storyline offers some surprises, and the protagonists learn that the portals are threatening Earth. The alternating storyline covers left-behind characters Joe, Shannon, and Merek as they seek the rapidly-going-extinct Knights of Valere to correct the strange happenings (including the orange sky, earthquakes, and magical anomalies) that are turning LA into an apocalyptic city. Although the plot relies on the occasional contrivance, the characters’ joint solution to their problems is both good fun and fitting for the characters and city, and it yields a strong conclusion. Aside from Asian Shannon and one dark-skinned side character, most seem white.
A popcorn fantasy. (Fantasy. 12-16)