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Reviewed by Debjani Ghosh for Readers' Favorite
Spooky has always been a non-entity in her home, thanks to her brilliant, over-achieving sister and selfish parents who think a child is worthy only if she achieves excellent grades. But when she does the unthinkable, she is marched off to a wilderness boot camp to mend her ways. The boot camp is full of bullies and dominating counselors. All Spooky wants is to keep her head down, survive the camp, and turn over a new leaf. However, a night-time misadventure leads her to an ancient, powerful, and cranky creature. If Spooky does not obey its whims, she has no hope of a future at all. Will Spooky succeed? Read Strange Gods by Alison Kimble to find out.
Strange Gods by Alison Kimble is a delightful, dark fantasy full of gods, magic, more gods, and of course, humans. It is full of delicious twists and turns that made me breeze through the book. It is also a thoroughly enjoyable and adventurous coming-of-age tale. Moreover, I have not read such an original story in a very long time. Kimble's exquisite world-building enthralled me without boring me with unnecessary details. The book is aptly titled since Spooky encounters several strange gods, each lording over a fascinating new world. I loved Spooky's transformation from a girl having low self-esteem in a quiet existence to a brave girl fighting against all odds, such as negotiating with scheming gods, to protect her future. All the characters (both people and gods) in Strange Gods are three-dimensional, enriching this highly original tale. I didn't expect the ending, though. However, it seems like there will be a sequel, and I can't wait to read it. I heartily recommend Strange Gods by Alison Kimble to fans of young adult fantasy.