Title: Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl
Author: Julie Kagawa
Stars: ★★★★ (4 stars)
Kagawa manages to create a cinematic world that touches upon well-known destinations as well as one that the main stream generally ignores. Considering the positive reviews already pouring in for this one and that it came from Disney/Hyperion, I’m hoping that the second chance for Percy Jackson proves strong enough to encourage Disney to take the leap. Even if it is a series on Disney+, I believe the visuals of Shinji’s world alone would keep watchers in their seats.
Kagawa’s characters are all well-rounded. Shinji is endearing. He’s quick-witted and a bit full of himself, but Aunt Yui and then Lucy balance him out. More of a Magnus Chase than Percy Jackson. Every character has their own motivations, and I love Professor Carrero actually calling out the Chosen One trope.
Additionally, there were times that the colorful world seemed particularly planned. A fault of some Hyperion books that expand on already existing Disney domains is that over-marketed hype. The reader just gets a sense of Disney wanting to push its parks like a marketing funnel. I might be a bit more aware of this as an indie author.
Either way, despite the at times heavy-handed Disney marketing, Kagawa told an excellent story with interesting characters that I’d happily recommend.