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Thursday, August 27, 2020

'Rebel Gods' Monuments #2 by Will Kostakis

Received from the Publisher for an honest review  

From the BLURB:

Newbie gods Connor, Sally and Locky want to change the world - no biggie. But they're soon drawn into a centuries-old conflict that just might destroy the world they're striving to make better. Book 2 in the MONUMENTS fantasy duology from YA superstar Will Kostakis.


With the Monuments gone, newbie gods Connor, Sally and Locky must stop the rebel gods from reducing the world to ruin. Trouble is, they don't know how.


While Sally searches for answers and Locky makes plans to change the world, Connor struggles to keep up appearances as an ordinary teenager. But when a rebel god offers them a deal to end the chaos, their lives are turned upside down and they're forced to reckon with the question: who should decide the fate of the world?


Rebel Gods is the gripping conclusion to Monuments, a Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Book 2020, from YA superstar Will Kostakis. It's a heartfelt look at family, friendship and the parallel lives we lead.


‘Rebel Gods’ is the second (and final) book in Will Kostakis’ Monuments YA series.


It’s a series about literal Gods waking up beneath the ‘sanctuaries’ of Australian schools, and three teens – Connor, Sally and Locky – who find themselves the heir-apparent to different Gods, sure to inherit their terrible and awesome powers. ‘Rebel Gods’ picks up where ‘Monuments’ left off, with a launching-pad of rogue Gods surely coming down to wreak havoc and launch an epic battle against the heirs.


That’s the scene upon which we open ‘Rebel Gods’ and the conclusion to Will Kostakis’ hugely successful and brilliant first foray into the YA fantasy genre (but I hope it won’t be his last!).


Will very early on this year made a funny about the fact that he clearly has no God-like precognition abilities because ‘Rebel Gods’ takes place in 2020 and there’s no mention of a pandemic within the pages … BUT: there is something here that speaks to a bigger spark of recognition and story that’s prescient for the times; of doing the right thing even when it’s the hard thing, and coming up against what are very likely insurmountable odds.


I could always read some climate-action parallels in the story of three teenagers from diverse backgrounds (and there is a brilliant LGBT+ love-story in here too) literally coming along and inheriting the powers from these Monuments … these relics; old Gods, and a new world-order being ushered in by these teens.


It may not be pandemic “doom boom” writing, but even the idea of tearing down ‘Monuments’ and the next-gen of power rebuilding, has serious repercussions with a 2020 reading.


And honestly, Will Kostakis is just the LoveOzYA author to write this kind of self-determinism and heroism for his teen characters. There’s nothing easy in this story for them, but they rise to the occasion and by the end will leave you a proud (if blubbering) mess.


Something of ‘Monuments’ now having read it conclusion, is giving me airs of Veronica Roth to Kostakis’ writing and the sheer *epicness* of it all. The little hints and clues present in ‘Monuments’ that come out in satisfying and devastating ways in ‘Rebel Gods’ (and I should say; this comparison is especially on the back of reading Roth’s Chosen Ones).


I really, thoroughly enjoyed this book – even if it left me an emotional husk by the last page. It was one heck of a journey to go on, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat or a re-read.



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