Title: The Trickster's Totem
* Series: Relics of Mysticus
Author: H.B. Bolton
Pages: Paperback; 226
Release Date: April 15, 2013
Content Screening: Nothing of note
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love a good adventure story with young protagonists
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Life has returned to normal for fourteen-year-old Evan and his older sister, Claire. That is until Dunkle, a clever but stinky little imp, pays an unexpected visit to their school. He has come to take the siblings back to Sagaas, the mythical realm of the gods. Once again, a Relic from the ancient Mysticus Orb has fallen into the wrong hands. Only Evan and Claire, with their unique mystical abilities, can help find it.
Through the power of the Trickster’s Totem, a coyote trickster has escaped. His laughter echoes throughout the realm, as he spreads mischief and mayhem. He burns an entire crop of popcorn, carves his grinning image into sacred artifacts, and things really get interesting when he shape-shifts into Evan’s friends.
Claire and Evan must capture the Trickster, retrieve the Totem, and be careful not to become sidetracked by robotic Steampunk animals, “sweet” pixie-like Pains, and a problematic mermaid … all while dodging Mothman-like aces. Most surprising, Evan discovers the true reason dragons exist in the Native American Spirit World.
The Trickster's Totem is the second book in H.B. Bolton's "Relics of Mysticus" series and, I'll admit, I was a little worried about not starting from the beginning. However I can assure readers out there that this book stands alone just fine. It might take you a few pages to catch up, but soon you'll be adventuring right along with Evan and Claire.
I have to say that I've always been a huge fan of Middle Grade protagonists. Evan and Claire are no exception to this rule. Strong, witty, and very resourceful, I had a lot of fun following along with them in their journey. I will be honest and say that I wasn't a huge fan of Evan at first. He has a bit of a big brother complex! However the more I read, the more I saw the link between these two siblings and how strong it was. Plus I've been assured by other readers that the Evan in the first book was nothing like he is here. Perhaps he's just going through growing pains? Makes sense to me.
In terms of story, I definitely enjoyed the concept of totems and spirit animals that H.B. Bolton brings to life. The Trickster's Totem has a lot of elements from myths and legends I've heard before, but with its own twist. The story does move a little slowly at times. However I really think that this was because Bolton is trying help readers, like myself, who are starting at this second book catch up a bit. Once the book picked up, and the journey began, I was much more involved.
I'm curious to go back and read the first book now, both because I want to see where the story begins, and I want to see how our characters grow. Evan and Claire have a lot of potential, and I know that young readers will adore the witty banter that goes on between these siblings. Truth is, I liked it too. I'll definitely be continuing along with this series.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.