Cover Image: City of the Plague God

City of the Plague God

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Member Reviews

A good read is ALWAYS a great way to pivot the mind and leave your current swirling thoughts behind, so I chose one of my favorite genres, the world of fantasy. 
This book was unsurprisingly a huge winner! The Rick Riordan presents books are unbelievable in their ability to captivate, enlighten and elevate the voices of underrepresented cultures. This story’s main character, Sik, finds himself thrust into the the role of hero, when the plague god Nergal threatens his family’s business and the entire city of Manhattan. The action is epic and invigorating and the irony of reading a book about plagues and diseases was certainly not lost on me. I think it will create many opportunities for discussions within the classroom about topics in all of the content areas, so this one will be an essential purchase and a read aloud for sure. Also, hats off to the author @sarwat_chadda for his nod to the original series! What a fun Easter egg! I loved this book so much and I cannot wait for its release in January! Thanks @netgalley for an advanced read of this book; it was such a thrill! #netgalleyreview #cityoftheplaguegod #arc #kidslit #arcreader #mgfiction #mgliterature #upperelementary #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #bookstagram #newbooks #middlegradebooks #middlegradefiction #childrensbooks #middlegradereaders #iteachfourth #iteach #iteach456 #advancedreaderscopy #comingsoon #bookrecommendations #bookreview #mgreads
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What a book to read during a global pandemic! Sarwat Chadda just might have a connection to the gods...
In "City of the Plague God" thirteen year old Sik is coping with a family tragedy while also trying to navigate his identity in New York City. When the Mesopotamian god Negral comes looking for him and tries to ruin the city Sik holds dear, Sik has to make hard choices about who he is and what is important to him. A part of Rick Riordan Presents, this books has the humor and style of the Percy Jackson series even while Chadda establishes his own voice. 

I love mythology and this was a great read! It did feel strange reading this during our times now (the descriptions of New York City under lockdown was especially eery) but it was a great book to discuss family, loyalty, friendship, and also had great discussions about prejudice. I can't wait to suggest this to my students.  I am always looking for books to suggest to my male students and I think some of the rather disgusting imagery will appeal to them as well as Sik's relatable voice throughout the book. 

Overall, a 5/5 stars for me! 

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC in return for my honest review.
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Oops. Relatively new to NetGalley and put my link in the tag box. Gloriously gross! More please! http://proseandkahn.blogspot.com/2020/07/waiting-on-wednesday-and-e-arc-review.html
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City of the Plague God is the newest book in the Rick Riordan Presents series.  This book follows Sik, a young boy living in Manahattan.  Sik's brother, Mo, is an aspiring botanist who tragically passed away in a motorcycle accident.  Sik has been helping his parents run their deli with the help of Mo's very close friend, Douad.  The deli is attacked on by demons and the god of death, Nergal, seeking something that is hidden at the deli.  With the help of his new friend, Belet, and the goddess Ishatar, they seek to save Manhattan from a plague that is descending on the city. 

I have read the Epic of Gilgamesh but remember very little about it.  I also have no experience with the pantheon of Mesopotamian mythology, but luckily knowledge of Gilgamesh and Mesopotamian deities is not necessary to read and enjoy City of the Plague God.  There are fun "easter egg" shout outs to the Percy Jackson series and the publisher, Disney.  This novel touches on many relevant subjects to today, such as stereotypes and prejudices the characters face, the fear that spreads over pandemics, and the strength of familial bonds.
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This was a very well written book - I love that rick Riordan is using his clout to promote mythologies from around the world and authors of color to write them.  
This was everything you would expect: fast-paced, great writing, well-plotted.
The only drawback was a very personal one.  I have a very low "creep tolerance" and found all the descriptions of the Plague God, his minions, and the plagues themselves to very too well written and evocative.  So I kind of skimmed those bits.
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**ARC from NetGalley**
As always, the Rick Riordan Presents imprint does another heritage justice. Sarwat Chadda did a wonderful job of creating characters that you wanted to keep rooting for throughout. Great storyline as well. Looking forward to recommending it after publishing. I've never had such a fun time with Mesopotamian folk before.
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Delve into the myths of Mesopotamia, in this captivating story of Sikander and the gods of Mesopotamia. His brother, Mo, a botanist, was killed while off on an adventure to help people and discover his roots in the Middle East, but not before he sent samples of plants and photos home to his parent’s deli; Mo’s. But now the god Nergal has come to the deli and that is when, when Sikander’s troubles begin.
#CityofthePlagueGod #NetGalley
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Myths, a plague god, goddess, zombies and a hero who is constantly proving that labeling a person based on their outward appearance and religion is a mistake. When I heard about this book I was excited to read it, especially since it is part of the Rick Riordan Presents series. The book starts off introducing us to the main character, Sik, a thirteen year old trying to help his family as he deals with the loss of his brother Mo. The excitement  begins when he meets Belet and they start an interesting adventure that dives into the myths of Mesopotamia and how a Plague god can wreak havoc on a whole city and the world. The answer to help fight against such an evil force takes our heroes to the underworld, a fight with a giant and a hunt for the cure. Certain parts of the book were a bit dark, the character Daoud plays a part in comic relief but does very little to lighten the mood. Overall, this book is interesting and worth a read if you have enjoyed previous books from this series.
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Thanks to Disney Publishing Worldwide and NetGalley for this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
City of the Plague God is about Sikander Aziz, a 13-year-old muslim boy working at his parents Deli in Manhattan. One day when he’s closing up, he is attacked by supernatural creatures. Soon, he is caught in a war between Ishtar, the goddess of war and love-also the adopted mother of Belet, the new kid at Sik’s school that he becomes quite close with-and Nergal, the god of plagues and the man who attacked Sik’s deli. Sikander now has to team up with his dead brother’s hero, Gilgamesh, to defeat Nergal once and for all.

City of the Plague God was a great middle grade novel. It had a compelling storyline and wonderful characters. The detail was rich, and the action was mind-blowing. I really loved the comedy in this book. Instead of different jokes throughout the book, there were long-running jokes that made you think back to other places in the story. I really hope this gets a sequel or a spin-off, because I LOVED this book.

While the book itself is amazing, I feel that the synopsis on almost all websites is a little generous with information. I think that it kind of spoils the first 200 pages of the book, which is a big problem when reading a book. I’m lucky enough that I didn’t read much of the description, but that is definitely something to fix.

Overall, City of the Plague god was an amazing book that opens your eyes to a new culture that is a lot of fun.
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Rick Riordan Presents does such an amazing job of promoting so many different cultures and mythology with City of the Plague God fitting right in with the mix. This was my first experience with Mesopotamian mythology and Chadda does a great job of introducing characters and leading us on a great adventure. I would say this is a middle grade children's fiction as there are points in this story that, with Chadda’s vivid writing, I wanted to gag from the Plague God and gross demons, yes, I might have a weak stomach for creepy crawlies.  

I was provided with an electronic ARC through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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This one was particularly interesting because it follows a Muslim boy and the mythology of Mesopotamia which is essentially the start of civilization! There was plenty of action which will keep the attention of readers, and all the characters show some major growth which I applaud the author for that! I just could not get past the villain. He was so gross!!! It was also very eerie to read about a villain who is a god of disease after coming out of quarantine and watching the world around me fight Covid-19. There were some uncomfortable similarities, but that is powerful in of itself. I also really appreciated that the story brought to life the stereotype of Middle Eastern people in Hollywood, and it goes to show that there is still progress to be made! 

Overall this is a great story that I know many will enjoy, and I hope there is a continuation of this story on the horizon!
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What stood out for me were the very human relationships of caring amidst a thrilling and action-packed adventure. If there’s a message to be taken away, it seems like sometimes people can surprise you; the person you think you know, maybe you’ve characterized as a loser, can do something amazing and heroic.
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Excellent addition to the Rick Riordan Presents series focused on the mythology of ancient Iraq and Mesopotamia. The narrative is fun, entertaining, and covers both humorous high points and deep emotional themes like grief with aplomb. The book concludes with a possible set up for a sequel, which I will be thrilled to read as well. I'll be purchasing a copy for myself, my library, and some young people in my life that I dearly love.
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So City of the Plague God is your typical Rick Riordan imprint: A hero rises in New York City, this time from the seeds of Sumerian mythology. Like most of the Riordan imprint, the hero has trouble adjusting to the real world — Sik loves working in his parents’ deli, but he grieves every day for his brother Mo, who died working in Iraq, and he hates the way the world sees his Muslim heritage. Unlike most Riordan heroes, Sik doesn’t have godly relatives: What he has is the gift of immortality, thanks to a botanical sample from his brother’s adventures, but that sample brings the wrath of the plague god Nergal to his neighborhood. With help from the goddess Ishtar’s daughter and the epic hero Gilgamesh (who managed to steal a bite of that same immortality-granting flower), Sik matches wits against the giant Humbaba, the goddess of death, scores of minions, and Nergal himself to save the city and his family. It’s a fun, fast-paced romp, but not super substantial; in some ways, it feels a little like cut-and-paste Percy Jackson Meets Gilgamesh, even though its strong sense of Muslim culture is refreshing and engaging.
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I could not put this book down. Rick Riordan Presents does it again. Loved the way the author dealt with the death of a brother. Can hardly wait for the next one.
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This is one of those books that I can't wait to get into the hand of middle grade readers, even though I freely admit, it's not the kind of book I really enjoy.  What I DID enjoy was Sikander, the main character.  It's so rare to find a book with an Arab (or actually an Arab-American) character that rings true and isn't focused on what's become almost a cliche:  the refugee child who escapes war and is adjusting to his new life in America.  That description certainly fits Sik and his family, but that's definitely NOT what the book is about.  The book is about the gods from Ancient Mesopotamia wrecking havoc on modern-day New York City, complete with a mysterious plague that changes people into bizarre dog-like creatures.  (Like I said - not my style of book, but I know kids are going to love it!)  Sik could be any one of a number of middle grade Arab boys I know.  I can't wait to hand them a book with a hero that looks, talks and acts like them!  I also liked the way his Islamic faith is respectfully handled even as he interacts with "the gods".  (As an aside, I'm waiting for the day that one of the Rick Riordan Presents books manages to do the same with a Christian character.)  Highly recommended.  

This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher through NetGalley.
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The plot and storyline were excellent, but two big things ruined it.  First, he used politics - specifically the complete emphasis on Muslim inclusion - to turn the story into a propaganda machine.  At times, it felt like he was even trying to convert the reader to Islam.....and there's no place in my classroom for any sort of religious conversions.  Secondly, he made Gilgamesh a pacifist gardener....and as anyone who is familiar with the Epic of Gilgamesh knows, he's the Hercules of the Mesopotamian mythology....a loud, arrogant fighter.  So...good plot, but not for use in my classroom.
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City of the Plague God follows the same mythology arc as other books in the imprint, but this iteration seems fresh and exciting.  I love the way Muslim culture is woven through the book naturally without seeming instructive and Sarwat Chadda's depiction of grief and the different ways people cope with loss is lovely.  This might be one of my favorite Rick Riordan Presents books!
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Fans of Percy Jackson and Aru Shah will love this fast-paced, action-packed novel.  Chadda Sarwat’s characters, Sik and Belet, are insanely likeable and Sarwat makes Mesopotamian mythology engaging.   I admit, prior to reading this book, I knew nor cared little about Gilgamesh and others, but now I would love to read more.  I hope there is a sequel. 

I love the diversity represented in all of the Rick Riordan Presents titles!
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Many times students are not exposed to mythology beyond the Greeks and the Romans. That is why I love the Rick Riordan imprint. The Mesopotamian mythology that is woven into this story was unknown to me and I cannot wait to share it with my students. They will enjoy reading Sik's story of adventure while trying to defeat Nergal. The mystery behind what Nergal is seeking will keep readers engaged as well watching the relationship between Sik and Belet develop. Another fantastic book from Rick Riordan presents!
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