Rebel Gods is the second book in the Monuments duology, and author Will Kostakis doesn’t slow the pace of the action! This is a real page-turner with plenty of twists and unexpected turns that keep the reader invested in the story and the fate of the characters.
There is a whole wonderful backstory to how our heroes have ended up in this situation, powerfully told in the first book, Monuments. In chapter one of this second book we are given a quick recap of the story so far: Connor, Sally and Locky are three teenagers who have inherited godly powers and status. They must learn to manage their powers so they can successfully undertake a quest bequeathed them as part of their inheritance: a quest to destroy two sisters who are the gods controlling fear and love.
Rebel Gods is the story of that quest, their struggle to accept their immortality and the challenge of facing into their inherited purpose.
While engaged in the quest, we see that these three teenagers have personal challenges and goals that will drive their behaviours as they come to terms with their identities and accept their roles. Connor struggles to fit into normal teenage life as he feels like an adult, having spent six years in a timeslip. He is protective of his mother and tries to shield her from the realities of his new life as a god. Sally proactively searches for answers to her past, their current situation and what it all means for the future. She is conflicted by desire for independence and the need for interdependence. Locky plans a brilliant future in a position of power and leadership and gets a taste of what that might be like. He has a supportive family which provides a platform of confidence for his actions, but also demonstrates the ties that bind us together.
Their values and ethical choices are tested in a myriad of ways, pushing their friendship and reliance on each other in new directions. Themes that are explored in this story include power and the corruption of power, the nature of family and friendships, the challenges of determining who or what is “good” or “evil”, and whether love or fear is the most powerful emotion. This story will spark plenty of topics for conversation.
Will Kostakis is a champion for increased diversity in children’s literature, to ensure that today’s teens see themselves reflected in what they read. Rebel Gods delivers on this and satisfies the reader’s desire for a credible end to the saga. The conclusion is quite a surprise but a fitting end to this fantastic story. I would recommend this book for readers 12+