Storm Runner – J.C. Cervantes (ARC)

34966353childrens book

(JC Cervantes, 2018)

Storm Runner is available now! It was released September 18th, 2018.

 

A contemporary adventure based on Maya mythology from Rick Riordan Presents!
Booklist Starred Review: “Cervantes wastes no time getting right into the action, and her conversational tone and suspenseful pacing will keep the pages turning as the tension escalates and the characters face deepening stakes. A Rip-roaring adventure. “

School Library Journal Starred Review: “Fantastic and villainous creatures from Mayan folklore combine with clever, realistic, and heartwarming characters. VERDICT A page-turning and well-written trip into the world of Mayan mythology.”

Zane has always enjoyed exploring the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico, even though hiking it is challenging. He’d much rather hang out there with his dog, Rosie, than go to middle school, where kids call him Sir Limps a Lot, McGimpster, or Uno—for his one good leg. What Zane doesn’t know is that the volcano is a gateway to another world and he is at the center of a powerful prophecy. A new girl at school, Brooks, informs him that he’s destined to release an evil god from the ancient Maya relic he is imprisoned in—unless she can find and remove it first. Together they return to the volcano, where all kinds of crazy happens. Brooks turns into a hawk, a demon attacks them in a cave, and Rosie gives her all while trying to protect Zane. When Zane decides to save his dog no matter the cost, he is thrust into an adventure full of surprising discoveries, dangerous secrets, and an all-out war between the gods, one of whom happens to be his father. To survive, Zane will have to become the Storm Runner. But how can he run when he can’t even walk well without a cane?
Feisty heroes, tricky gods, murderous demons, and spirited giants are just some of the pleasures that await in this fresh and funny take on Maya mythology, as rich and delicious as a mug of authentic hot chocolate.

(via Goodreads)

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What I Liked

  • Different
    • I loved that this book used generally unknown source material- i.e. Mayan Mythology. I actually studied some Central American History in college and became really interested in the Mayans and Aztecs. Unfortunately (for my curiosity) I was in college, and more concerned about my social life than an interesting school topic. Needless to say, it was really refreshing to revisit this previous interest. Which leads into my next point…
  • Rick Riordan Presents…does it again
    • I have to say, thus far, this imprint is really doing an awesome job at picking and choosing awesome, obscure stories to shed light on. I think that kids these days (as well as book loving parents and teachers) could really use these types of stories right now. We are coming into a generation of people who feel they know everything because knowledge is so much more accessible than ever before. But the unfortunate fact of the matter is that most people DON’T know anything about anyone outside their immediate circle. There are more folklore and myths out there than just Greek. There are more interesting civilizations, and generations of people and places that rarely get any attention, that need a little love once in a while. I think slapping Rick Riordan’s name on these types of stories will really help get them into hands of students, which is what we want/need in the first place!
  • Intriguing
    • I don’t know if it is because I enjoyed the writer’s style or what, but I was interested throughout the entire story. Unfortunately, I had picked this up in the middle of a pretty bad slump, and was still finding myself drawn to the story! I am very much looking forward to the sequel, something I did not immediately feel about Aru Shah, so I know that I really enjoyed it.
  • Pronunciation Guide
    • This was KEY throughout the story. Some of those Mayan names are really really difficult to pronounce, but being able to flip back and forth to the glossary for the pronunciation, made me feel a lot more comfortable while reading.
  • The Characters
    • Generally for me, I did really like the characters. I thought they were different and interesting, and some even had an air of mystery to them that kept you guessing through the entire thing! The characters felt fresh and new, and yet, like they were people you have known for a really long time. I love when an author can do that with their characters. It makes the adventure feel more “real.”

What I Disliked

  • Percy Jackson-like
    • I hate that I compared this to Percy Jackson the entire time, as I also did with Aru Shah. I want to see these books stand on their own two feet, but found the comparisons too easy to ignore. The characters, and plot (while different in content) still felt like they were derived from a preexisting template (if that makes sense). I would have liked to see a slightly different approach to “saving the world.”
  • Press
    • THIS BOOK NEEDS MORE PRESS! I mean, why is no one talking about this book? I know some of the book blogging/tube community talked a bit about Aru Shah when it came out but I haven’t really heard a peep about this one (save for a handful of amazing bloggers)! When I got this as an ARC at Book Expo, the guy behind the counter even seemed a little confused as to why I was so excited! Mind you, I was the only one standing there at the time! Like WHAT?!?! Guys- pick up this book, share it with your friends. Kids need to see these titles.

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Final Thoughts

I honestly really liked this book quite a bit. As was Aru Shah, this book reads a lot like our familiar and well-liked Percy Jackson series, so it is no surprise that this fell under Riordan’s imprint. Cervantes does a really great job presenting unknown myths, and making them feel, well, known. I loved that she includes a glossary and PRONUNCIATION key. This was a NEEDED addition to the book and I was very thankful to have access to it while reading it. I just wish that more people were talking about this! PUT DOWN DOGMAN and try this out instead! We need to get kids (and their parents and teachers) reading important content again.

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Yikes! I really must have been in some slump because I haven’t posted a book review since July..SORRY! In all seriousness, you should check this book out, and let me know what you think!

 

on deck book On Deck:

It’s a mystery! I am currently unsure of what I want to pick up but You can keep your eyes on my Goodreads account because once I do choose, you’ll know about it there :]

17 thoughts on “Storm Runner – J.C. Cervantes (ARC)

  1. Well…some things are worth the wait right? Because you still haven’t lost your touch as this was a wonderful review indeed. This is definitely the first time that I heard of this book, haven’t seen it around any of the other blogs (unless I missed it), so you are right. Weird that no one else is talking about this. Like the Mayan angle, that really is quite unique indeed! 😊 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so kind of you to say! The only person I can recall off the top of my head who has mentioned this on their blog would be Kim at By Hook or By Book. But that comes as to no surprise for me, she is a former children’s librarian so I know that she can’t help but be on top of that market :]

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hm…so true, Kim is awesome! 😊I either missed that post, or I can’t recall it. But even it was on Kim’s blog, it’s still a book that hasn’t been featured a lot. Real shame, especially after reading this 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Mayan Mythology??? That’s so cool! I love that less popular cultures are getting featured in books. I mean, we’ve all heard of Zeus, but who has heard of Itzamna? Also, I LOVE that this book has disability representation! Yay for diversity! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention and for a well-written review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s been a life-long pursuit. I attended the Redundant School of Redundancy, majoring in commenting and minoring in general smart-assery. Not a lot of jobs out there for me, though. Nobody wants to hire a peanut gallery. Especially when there are so many people willing to do it without the proper training. *sigh*

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Isn’t that the worst? You go through all that training and all that school, come out with crazy amounts of dept, and then no one wants to hire you because some numskull comes along offering the same, yet less educated, services for free. Its a real outrage.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. And the Union of Smart Asses won’t do anything but throw out sarcastic comments. I get it, they’re professionals and it’s what they were trained to do, but it doesn’t help the situation any.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s actually funny because I read that whole exchange in my head…in his voice. He looked a little like my grandpa so whenever he was on TV we (meaning my family and I) would say that “grandpa” was on the TV.

        Liked by 1 person

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