Cover Image: Maya and the Return of the Godlings

Maya and the Return of the Godlings

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Member Reviews

I received an eARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, I'd like to say a huge thank you to Rena and her publishing team for selecting me to be one of the early readers.

Maya returns in this action packed sequel with Eli and Frankie by her side to save the day. New characters are introduced that really compliment the dynamics of the group and I cannot wait to see how it will all play out in the next book. 

I greatly enjoy Rena's storytelling and the way that she weaves words to paint these rich, varying worlds and their inhabitants. She brings so many different aspects and melds them beautifully together.

For those who love dark, twisting, adventure driven middle grade books that are steeped deep in mythology and magic - this is definitely for you.
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Maya and the Return of the Godlings is an A+ sequel to the original, falling right back into the action with Maya, her father, and her community. Barron balances the serious aspects of the story line with friendship, humor, and fun along the way. I love the way that folklore and stories are intertwined within the story with a modern twist. Fantasy and adventure fans will continue to adore this series.
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I loved this sequel and loved how much more shine Eli got in this story! It was extremely funny and the adventures were amazing! It felt like time flew by as I was reading and I was aching for more of the story. I'm so excited for the next book!
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Thank you to HMH Books and NetGalley for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
This sequel begins after the events of the first book. Maya is continuing her training to repair the veil with her father who is growing weaker by the day. It turns out that the Lord of Shadows stole his soul when he was in the Dark. Maya, Eli, and Frankie disobey the orisha council (again!) to go back to the Dark and retrieve her father’s soul. While there, Maya frees Zeran, an imprisoned Darkbringer, who may or may not be of help. Maya and her friends get to see how the people of the Dark live and work and still have to watch out for danger. This book lays the groundwork for the showdown to come in the next book. I would definitely recommend this book!
#MayaAndTheReturnOfTheGodlings #NetGalley
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All of the groundwork that Rena laid down in book one allowed book two to shine! The second book in this series is great.  I love how Rena expanded on the characters and shared more of the back story of Maya's dad and where he comes from.  I don't want to give anything away, so I will say that I thought it was really interesting why the Godlings return and I cannot wait to read the third book in this series.
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This is a great magical fantasy book. I enjoyed it even though I haven't read the first book- which is unusual for me. I loved the myths and the atmosphere. I can't wait to read more from this author.
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I loved Maya and the Rising Dark, so I was very much looking forward to reading this sequel. Maya and the Return of the Godlings is just as fun as the first book and shows us more of Maya and her adventures. Since Maya now knows about the Dark, the celestials, and her own powers, she is ready to grow into her role as guardian in training, and it was fun to see her challenged in these new situations. I loved seeing her interact with her two best friends Frankie and Eli, as well as a couple new characters we meet along the way. I can't wait to see how this friend group dynamic expands in book 3.

Buy, Borrow, or Bypass: This series is definitely one to read if you love strong friendships and a good fantasy story. I reread book 1 before delving into this new adventure, and I can easily see myself doing a reread of both books before book 3 comes out, most likely sometime next year. Since I like to own books I plan to reread, I'll be adding Maya and the Return of the Godlings to my collection, and you should too! I also love Rena Barron as an author, so I want to have all her books on my shelves.
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MAYA AND THE RETURN OF THE GODLINGS sees Maya and her friends stand off against the council of Orisha's hesitance and the Dark once more to save Maya's father. His captivity in the last book has taken its toll on him, and the cure lies in the Dark. But it's not the same world as she remembers.

Without spoiling anything, it was nice to see a new side to the Dark and its denizens. It's a mishmash of near-future dystopia with fantasy creatures in it, plus some rather unpleasant countryside. Maya's adventure this time broke down the distinctions between good and evil, rather than falling into the typical SFF "CGI villain army" trope, where one side is all evil with no depth. And that promises to be very interesting for the next book.

It's rather a short book, fitting a lot in (the finale is covered in about 20 pages!) and it's quite an easy book to read, so can be devoured in short order. Maya's voice is great, hovering between a kid who just does not want to do homework and one with too much responsibility on her shoulders.

This sequel does a really good job of covering the major points of what's happened in the previous book through the narration. It's been more than a year, so I couldn't really remember what had happened in MAYA AND THE RISING DARK, but the crucial details were revealed so the returning villains had the weight of history behind them.

There is at least one more book to come in this series, which is nice to know. Should be a pretty epic adventure next time.
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This sequel was just as good as the first book! The kiddo and I loved it! The world-building expanded, the characters grew and we got some great new additions as well! This is all building up to have an epic battle and we cannot wait for the next book! 5/5 <3
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This was our first book to read by this author and it did not disappoint! Great characters and exciting story lines. Will definitely be looking for more by this author!!
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I received an electronic ARC from Clarion Books through NetGalley.
Maya, Frankie and Eli continue to develop their magic skills and train as godlings to protect against th Lord of Shadows. Readers see them start the new school year and live normal lives balanced against their other roles. Early in the story, Maya realizes her dad is ill. They journey to meet with Father Sky to seek help. After learning what is wrong and the dire consequences, Maya, Eli and Frankie return to the dark land on a quest to save Maya's dad. A fourth team member, Zeran, joins them after Maya saves him from other darkbringers. Readers see the characters grow and reveal more of themselves as the adventure unfolds. When they finally make it to the secret castle, they discover a surprise no one expected. The team returns plus two and has to face the council and their families. The final chapter brings the story back to school as they start their second week of classes. Love the hints for the next book in the final sentences.
Well written story. Middle grade readers will appreciate learning more about these two worlds and the interactions among the various beings. They will feel like an additional person moving through the challenges and adventures on this journey.
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I am a big fantasy lover and this middle grade series will definitely be a family read aloud once my kids have longer attention spans! I love the running theme of learning to understand others who live in another “world” and bridging our differences with friendship.
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Review will be available on my blog on Aug. 13th

TW: Fantasy Violence, Death, bullying, coma, death of a family (mentioned), mentioned of war

Rep: Black MC, Black Side Characters, nonbinary side character, other queer side characters

Disclaimer: I received an eARC via Netgalley from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion whatsoever. 

"You don't get it, do you?" I said, stepping toward the Lord of Shadows. "None of us will ever stop fighting. We're not going to let destroy either of our worlds."

Maya and the Rising Dark was such a wonderful start to a promising middle grade series. So I was really excited to read the sequel because how could I not? A middle grade series that features a Black girl with powers that goes on a mission to rescue her papa from the Lord of Shadows grasp and a highlight of the importance of having friends and family who will always be there.

Of course, when I got that email notification saying that I got an eARC of Maya and the Return of the Godlings, I was super excited. Mainly because after what happened in Maya and the Rising Dark was so good and I instantly wanted to read more about Maya and her adventures as being a guardian-in-training of the veil along with more adventures with Frankie and Eli.

Maya and the Return of the Godlings didn't disappoint! In this book, Maya is back at home, training to be a guardian and now school is starting once more! Of course, things aren't what it seems and Maya soon finds out that she has to go back into the Dark to save her father's soul before her father dies. This book also has higher stakes has the Lord of Shadows trying to get Maya and her powers while trying to break down the veil that is protecting the human world and the Dark and waging a war.

Much like second book in a series, this book sets up for all out war that is bound to happen in the third book in this series and I AM SO EXCITED! After that cliffhanger which wasn't a cliffhanger, but I just need to know how it's going to play out especially with the new characters and how certain events played out. 2022 can not come soon enough. I'm saying this as senior year is about to start and 2022 is in 4 months.

I loved how this book even explored more about the Dark and how it's different with a war brewing, and the opposite of the sound side of Chicago. I love the exploration how the citizens didn't want a war, and wished the Lord of Shadows too. Also, learning more about that world was so cool and how it even parallel with the real world especially concerning Maya's thinking that darkbringers were all evil and wanted to end the human race type of thing. 

Obviously that type of mindset was challenged within the book and is not okay to do that in real life. Realistically, I understood what she was coming from. The only ones she interacted were like that, so obviously it does happen. 

I also like how some of the scenes were particularly memorable and I still think about those scenes even after finishing those scenes. They were just so good. 

Okay, can we talk about the characters for a second. Like i said, I love these characters so much and they grew so much!

Maya is still the same fun, spunky twelve year old kid who not only saved her father and stopped the veil from collapsing. She's now a guarding in training and in a little more control of her magic. She makes stupid decisions. She tries to act like an adult and act over heart rather than think it which is probably why I love her so much. She just feels so real and honestly reminds me of my middle grade self excluding the depression, hormones and my emo self. 

We can't forget about Frankie and Eli! I love those to so much, and they also grow into their powers and also some really good friends that Maya has.
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Perhaps it is because I didn't read the first book, and get endeared with Maya, but in this second book in the series she is a bit of a pain.  I mean, yes, she is saving the world, as young teens are known to do, all the time, but she is just so headstrong, and I suppose that is the thing that makes her special.

In this second book in the series, she has to save her father, who has had his soul stolen frm him by the bad guys.

And let me point out that is actually one thing I do like about this book.  When Maya and her friends go into the darkling world, they find that the ordinary people, the ones that aren't trying to kill them, just want to live their life, and are just like them. That people have the same needs weather their leaders are good or evil. They want to live, and love and provide for themselves and their families. Maya thinks of all of them as evil and i shocked by this.

So, if you read the first book, you will probably love this sequel. It looks as though it will at least be a trilogy, as there is more to come.

If you haven't read the first book, this one will e a little hard to get into.

<em> Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.</em>
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A worthy and exciting follow-up to the first book in the series! This is a smart and exciting series. Im especially fond of how Barron weaves together the real life Chicago neighborhood with the community of the Orisha.
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This was such a delightful read. I received an e-arc and realized almost immediately there must've been something I missed - lo and behold, I had completely not read the first in the series. So zoomed through that one and jumped right into this one. Fans of fantasy, adventure, and mythology will totally love this. It is especially perfect for fans of things like Percy Jackson and the Rick Riordan Presents series, exploring mythologies around the world. Maya is a strong-willed, brave, and powerful main character, and I love her friendship with Eli and Frankie. I personally also feel a very strong anti-war theme - perhaps because I'm anti-war myself - and found that a compelling addition and exploration.

Thanks to HMH and Netgalley for the advance copy.
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Thank you, thank you Netgalley for giving me early access to continue this INCREDIBLE series set in Chi-town💛💛💛  I am truly honored to have been given an e-arc of my current favorite Middle grade read featuring my favorite Godlings. 

This was truly unputdownable and fully captivated my attention. Nothing and no one could pull me away as I read this book. IT WAS JUST SO GOOD!!! And there were MANY moments that had me completely SHOOKED and (of course) gave me mini heart-attacks. This trio just kept diving head first into a new situation and some that were meant for good...ended up backfiring in their face. Just recountering everything that occured brings to mind this emoji:🤦🏾‍♀️ (which is how I felt the entire time LOL). I really want to gush about this book but it's SO spoilery. 

It was really cool seeing the little Godlings progression with their powers, Maya and her father's👀 strong bond of protecting the veil continue and how much has changed toward the end.  I am super excited for the next book and anticipate what's to come!!!
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It's beautiful story about friendship and family. 
I love Maya and her friends. The whole community is really well organized and create a really cozy neighborhood's environment where we have a secrets and secret society, which tries to protect the people without magic. 

Maya is growing and I see how she changed from the first book. She tries to be more responsible, even if still she is thinking more by heart not a brain. She wants to protect people who she loves and she is able to do everything to protect her family and friends. 
Maya's friends: Eli and Frankie grow as well during the summer and it's not only connected with them magic and intense training which they took, but also them way of thinking is more adult. 
I always have an issue with middle grade books, because main characters are annoying. Here I don't have this issue. Maya sometimes acts like adult, but she is real in this. She doesn't know everything, but she thinks first and after that acts. Even if she doesn't trust Council and makes her own decisions, isn't stupid, but reasonable. 

Plot is really interesting. We back into Dark and we can meet more darkbringers. We received more information about Darkbringers society and how life in the Dark looks like. We have a better understanding how people/darkbringers are living on the both sites of the Veil. 

Writing style is light and cozy. For me it was a really pleasure, quick read.
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I cannot begin to describe how amazing and dare I say cute this middle grade novel is! I would suggest those who are in higher level middle school to read this novel! While I do not want to spoil anything, let me just say! If you love fantasy, adventures and strong heroins then you will be obsessed with this sequel!
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In this follow up to Maya and the Rising, Maya and her friends are back to doing what they do best, rebelling against they’re elders and getting things done. After facing The Lord of the Dark and rescuing Maya’s dad, the godlings are finding their problems are far from over. Tears in the veils are rapidly multiply and new godlings are awakening in the neighborhood, bringing more people into their once exclusive world. As new challenges arise and the OGs, Original Godlings, prepare to reenter The Dark, Maya and her friends are learning to push their powers and trust in allies from unexpected place.
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