Book Title: The High Court by Chris Ledbetter
Category: YA Fiction, 290 pages
Publisher: Month 9 Books
Release date: October 16, 2018
Tour dates: April 1 to 30, 2019
Content Rating: PG (some profanity (damn, ass), no f-bombs, some kissing, no sex scenes, some violence, nothing gory or graphic)
High atop Mount Olympus, dawn breaks on a new academic term. Normalcy has returned to campus following a harrowing expedition into The Underworld to rescue kidnapped students by Zeus and his fellow Olympians. Now, as they prepare to testify in The High Court, Hyperion will be tried for the attack on Crete and death of Anytos. Kronos will stand trial for the murder of Mount Olympus Prep’s Headmaster Ouranos.
As the trials draw near, Mount Olympus Prep students and faculty are besieged repeatedly by a race of gargantuan stone and earth giants. Under heavy assault, the Olympians are forced to flee to the volcanic island of Limnos to regroup. Meanwhile, a toxic poison Zeus has carried with him since a prior fight with a dragoness, creeps toward his brain.
In a race against time and beasts, Zeus and his friends must find a way to survive not only the toxin ravaging Zeus’ body, but also the giants who grow stronger after every attack and somehow make it to The High Court alive.
A few years ago I read The Sky Throne which is the first book in this series and I enjoyed it. The Sky Throne is based on Greek mythology, a modern YA rendition of a young Zeus and his adventures as he attends Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia and discovers who he is. The High Court is the second book and a continuation of that story. It's not a stand-alone novel.
So The High Court pretty much continues right from where The Sky Throne left off. I wished I had read The Sky Throne closer to this reading as there is little backstory and I struggled to remember certain details. So if you're just discovering this series, I strongly suggest you read them back to back. The writing style is the same and the characters stay true to their personalities, with Zeus as hot-tempered and likable as ever. Once again, I loved that the characters are flawed and need to continue growing as the story progresses.
The author introduces new characters to the already large cast of characters, and initially it was hard to keep them all straight but eventually as the plot unfolds, it became easier to keep track. Including a character list at the beginning of the book would have been helpful since each character also has a nickname and these are used interchangeably with their full names throughout the story.
There is the usual rivalry among the students, and the author creates great action adventure scenes that are so well described they come alive. But it's the court case, of course, that racks things up. Once again the teens worked together, each with their own distinct character traits and abilities, with some comical one-liners and joviality among the young heroes.
The High Court has a satisfying ending but leaves room for more to come. If you like YA action-packed novels and Greek mythology, this is a fun series to get into.
To read reviews, please visit Chris Ledbetter's page of iRead Book Tours.
He's a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. He now writes and lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.
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