Merciless Saviors

Wednesday Bks. (The Ouroboros: Bk. 2). Apr. 2024. 336p. Tr $20. ISBN 9781250853639.
Gr 10 Up–Picking up right where Godly Heathens ends, Indigenous, nonbinary, and—apparently—literally divine Gem Echols has used another god’s powers, throwing off the balance they, the Magician, are responsible for maintaining. As the state of the world continues to deteriorate at the hands of gods who have powers they shouldn’t have, it falls on Gem, Enzo, and Rory, Gem’s soulmate through lifetimes who is also completely infuriating, to restore things to the way they should be and save all of humankind. As things converge on Gem, they realize that self-sacrifice may be the only way out, if they even have enough humanity left to be worth anything. Though this book is a bit more muddled and disjointed than its predecessor, many of readers’ burning questions will finally be answered, the action is plentiful (and sometimes rather gory), and the characters are unique. The violent, difficult external chaos of Gem’s life continues to keep pace with their internal chaos, showcasing the stabilizing power of found family and places of belonging. Some revelations are glossed over that could use more exploration while other sections are overlong, but the characters are compelling, rawly emotional, and tenaciously devoted to one another.
VERDICT A satisfactory sequel; purchase where the original is popular.

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