A Freaks Novel
by Brett Riley
Narrated by P.J. Morgan
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Pub Date 01 Aug 2023 | Archive Date 30 Dec 2023
Finding themselves. Fighting together. Growing apart.
It’s junior year in Quapaw City, Arkansas. With it comes a new foe that even the Freaks cannot thwart–adulthood. As they ponder what the future will be like with college and careers looming, they must contend with the ever-more-perilous threat of The Team, the shadowy government agency bent on saving the world from supernatural menaces. At the same time, they must face their most dangerous adversary yet, a creature of scales and wings that threatens every life in town—just for starters. New questions arise: can the Freaks achieve a common goal when they no longer agree on precisely what that goal should be? And what happens when they realize they just might be the villains in someone else’s story?
A Note From the Publisher
Book Three in the Freaks Saga will be published as hardcover, paperback, E-Book and as an Audiobook
“Riley weaves explorations of anger issues and budding romance as well as forthrightly confronted themes of racial, religious, and class conflict.”—Kirkus Book Review
“Riley possesses a rare, writerly ability to remain in the moment once the action heats up. In this installment, the Freaks face their most dangerous enemy yet, and the menace fairly leaps off the page.”—PaulEberly.com
"The book is riveting. Compelling and totally different. I read it one sitting and was seriously bummed it had to end. His writing is remarkable and had me wanting more. I devoured Travelers and his ones before this."—Rubie Clark, @RubieReads
“Brett Riley has done it again, as he continues his story of teenage supers battling monsters – fantasy beasts and Government agents alike. An enthralling, fast paced, fantasy horror.”—Peter Thorburn, UK educator
Average rating from 19 members
Audiobook Review - This is an enjoyable modern fantasy. Many elements will appeal to fans of D&D. Recommended wherever the earlier additions are popular.
Rubicons is the third entry in the Freaks Saga. I was unaware of the Freaks Saga before this book but after finishing it I want to start at the beginning of the series. While this book worked alright as a standalone, it should be enjoyed after the first two entries.
I was able to follow the story after reading a summary of the first book but I just felt I was missing something. I really enjoyed Riley’s writing and the way he tackled serious topics with care and ease.
Being that I want to go back to the first one I am going to revisit this review at a later date. I liked this book and I think I would love it more with more context and attachment to the characters. For now, I will give it a score but after catching up on the series I will update it.
This audiobook took me on a captivating journey that delved into the complexities of relatable experiences faced by teens as they navigate the uncertainties of their transition into adulthood, while also tackling important societal issues.
The author skillfully weaved together the themes of personal identity and the challenges of growing up in a way that resonates with readers.
With themes of LGBTQ+ and racism, the story prompts reflection and empathy.
The plot was well paced, with relatable characters, and a good blend of supernatural and realistic elements to make it an engaging and thought-provoking read.
I would recommend this for fans of character-driven stories with a touch of fantasy.
I really enjoyed being able to listen to the audiobook as well as read the e-copy. It made for a super speedy read-through as a busy mum.
My kids even got to hear a little on the ride to school.
I loved the accents and the POV changes you could hear in the narration.
Absolutely a top read for me in 2023.
I see it as an interesting take on Frankenstein’s monster intertwined with a superhero tale and geek puns.
A group of teenagers try to protect their loved ones against secret government agents and monsters while taming their superpowers and wondering what life will be like after they graduate.
Well written characters, interesting tension and conflicts that will keep you reading through the end.
P.J. Morgan adds a nice touch to the text making the tension more intense. Very agreeable to listen to, you’re easily through half the book without realising it. I could have dropped the book around 65% if I’d been reading the paper/ebook version, but the narrator kept me listening.
Be careful about one thing though: I would advise former drug users to avoid reading this book as one moment could trigger them.
I am grateful to be able to get an audio copy of Rubicons by Brett Riley from Netgalley and I was also given an arc of the book from Goodreads. So I was super happy to get best of both worlds. This book was rather interesting to say the least. Coming of age story with teens and abilities and learning how one thing can change everything. Including their friendship. You get a good view of each of the 'Freaks' as they call themselves and the toll having the powers mess with their everyday life, plus being hunted. Then both teams learn of a dragon and things just escalate from there. You can tell the next book is going to be crazy with how this one ends and I am actually excited to read it. I loved how each of the teens had such a different personality. It fit so perfectly. So if you enjoy the Young Avengers comics and teens coming into powers, you will absolutely enjoy this book. I recommend it!
We're back with the freaks and their supernatural powers fighting more of today's cultural problems, secret agents, and a new threat. It felt a little different this time. There was still some character growth, but the story felt tired and repetitive to me. The audiobook was well done, but the novel just lacked the same level of excitement as the first two books in the series.
I've enjoyed how far the main characters have come in this group of what has felt like misfits from the beginning. How each one has progressed and their different opinions when it came and how to feel about the dragon. It ended also on a good note that I feel if the author were to continue of do a spin off about Micah as a continuation because I can see him turning evil with all the stuff that's happened with him. The narrator is on point as usual, I read the book and listened to the audio so when listening to it, it felt like I was transferred into Quapaw City.
I have enjoyed the Freaks series, so I am glad I got to read this next installment. However, I don't think this installment is as strong as the others which is a shame. This series has been very on-the-nose with its themes in the past, so that should come as no surprise to readers here. However, I did feel it felt a lot more preachy in this one to the point where it seemed the plot was secondary to the social messaging at certain points. I don't mind messages being shared through literature, but it could have used a little more finesse when integrating the messaging into the plot so that it ultimately feels more real and impactful. That being said, I still found the plot and character development fun and engaging.
This is the third instalment of The Freaks YA series that follows a group of high school students in the sleepy area of Quapaw City, Arkansas. Gifted with supernatural powers, the self titled group - The Freaks are often finding themselves in wild trouble and this book is no different.
Rubicon starts well some strange goings on and a recap of the past adventures. I would definitely recommend listening to the series in order, but it’s always nice to have a little refresher to keep you on the right track.
This book really highlights the importance of friendship, how it can sprout from the most unlikely of places, resilience and camaraderie through adversity. I love that this covers a good range of topics that could come up in daily life in a very approachable manner, from bullying to racism, heritage and sexual identity. All very important topics for young people to broach.
All this tied into a tale of superheroes and adventure! I felt like the author really settled into the story with this one and took on board past criticism, they know their characters and this comes across really well making them more believable and well rounded.
The narrator is really great, which I don’t think I appreciated enough in the last 2 books. They make the characters identifiable and really immerse you into the city of Quapaw. I am looking forward to the next installment.
(A recap the powers of each freak/ characters
Jamie - Flight, empathy, emotion projection, mind reading Gf Gabby
Kenneth - Super strength, speed healing
Gf is Ty
Micah - Temperature control, fire, ice
Christian - Super speed, can jump huge distances, able to boost olfactory senses
Rubicons is the third in the Freaks series by Brett Riley but the first I’ve read. Although there are references to previous novels, they didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of this book and I did enjoy it quite a lot. I’m not sure what genre to put it in other than to say it’s a YA coming-of-age super hero story. Several teens face the challenges of impending adulthood and relationships while trying to keep their developing super powers hidden, fend off federal agents and fight a monster, in this case, a dragon.
The story moves at a fairly brisk pace with mostly likeable characters and deals with issues facing teens including racism and gender identity in an empathetic way. The end of the tale points to even more danger for the teens in the next book and I look forward to reading it. I listened to the audio version read by P.J. Morgan who does a marvelous job.
I received an advance audio version of this book from Netgalley and Imbrifex Audio in exchange for an honest review.
Very well written. I enjoyed reading the book. It keep my attention. I do believe I did like this one better than the first book I read from this Author.
What a truly ree-donk-u-lous conglomeration of everything it means to be a teen these days, but let's throw in secret super-hero identities, government goons on your trail, constant surveillance, your friends super creepy uncle, and .... a dragon. Sounds like a recipe for amazingness!
5/5 Teen Angst
5/5 Magical realism
Thank you to Imbrilex for the advanced audio copy for review via NetGalley! I love reading all the bits about being a teen that help remind me how much I don't actually want to be a teen ever again, but sure could use that metabolism back....
Another great entry into the Freaks series. The once solid relationships among the original Freaks is being strained as not all of them see eye to eye as the battle a dragon in Arkansas. They are juniors and besides saving the world they are trying to figure out their futures and themselves. The federal agents are still a pain in the neck and there is a sinister force messing with the mind of one of the Freaks. The book has a big cliff hanger that you don’t want to miss.
I started listening to this and did not mind how it started, but slowly realized that the story just wasn’t for me, but it may be for you. I just don’t think that this story leaned towards my interests reading wise.
I was not expecting to enjoy this one as much as I did. The characters were diverse, and faced real challenges. Yes they have super powers but what happens they can't agree on how to handle a situation, and what real world lasting damage will it cause. The author does an amazing job being inclusive and giving grounded and diverse characters, their reactions and emotions feel genuine. I do not normally read YA but this was a welcomes surprise.