Happy book birthday to the final installment of the Muse Squad duology! I enjoyed reading the first book, and its sequel kept the great things high until the end.
About the book
The finale of an action-packed middle grade fantasy duology about a young Cuban American girl who discovers that she’s one of the nine muses of Greek mythology. Perfect for fans of The Serpent’s Secret, the Aru Shah series, and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
Callie Martinez-Silva is finally getting the hang of this whole goddess within thing. Six months after learning she was one of the nine muses of ancient myth, she and the other junior muses are ready for new adventures. Except first Callie has to go to New York City for the summer to visit her dad, stepmom, and new baby brother.
Then the muses get startling news: an unprecedented tenth muse has been awakened somewhere in Queens, putting Callie in the perfect position to help find her. And she’ll have help—thanks to a runaway mold problem in London, Muse Headquarters is moving to the New York Hall of Science.
But balancing missions and family-mandated arts camp proves difficult for Callie, especially once mysterious messages from spiders (yikes!) begin to weave a tale of ancient injustice involving Callie’s campmate Ari.
Now Callie and her friends have to make a choice: follow orders and find the tenth muse or trust that sometimes fate has other plans.
On-page representation: Author of color, BIPOC-led cast
Trigger and content warnings: arachnophobia/spiders
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) from the publisher and Love, Paola in exchange for my participation in the #MuseSquadTour. This does not affect my opinion of the book.
Here are three reasons to read The Mystery of the Tenth!
1. It puts the Muses in the spotlight!
In Greek Mythology, we usually read about the adventures of gods and demigods. They’re fun, but there are far more interesting characters in the Greek pantheon–which is why I love this series!
I love seeing the Muses live their individual personalities and puzzle over the heroes that they decide to inspire. In this book, the Muses even go on their very own quest! At long last, they get the spotlight they sorely deserve after millennia of being treated as mere plot devices or mentors for demigods.
2. Call for justice and fair narratives
This book focuses on a new twist on a well-known story in Greek mythology. The characters here call into question the gods’ version of events, and the quest follows the struggle to make them recognize their injustice towards humankind. I love how everyone, including the reader, is confronted with difficult questions on the nature of power and history
3. Nuanced discussion on help vs. coercion
The Muses’ main role in mythology is to imbue heroes with inspiration and heighten their natural potential in order to accomplish supernatural feats. However, this book takes a different approach: What if I don’t want to be inspired? Don’t I get a say whether I can refuse the help or not? I love how it also talks about agency and consent, and these topics are very important for MG readers.
About the Author
Called “a master storyteller” by Kirkus Reviews, Chantel Acevedo is the author of the novels Love and Ghost Letters, A Falling Star, The Distant Marvels, which was a finalist for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and The Living Infinite hailed by Booklist as a “vivid and enthralling tale of love and redemption.” Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse, Acevedo’s new middle grade duology (called “Riveting and suspenseful” by School Library Journal) was published by Balzer + Bray in 2020. The sequel, MUSE SQUAD: THE MYSTERY OF THE TENTH, will be published in July of 2021. She is Professor of English at the University of Miami, where she directs the MFA program.
- Have you read the first book of Muse Squad? Are you excited for this sequel?
- Do you have recommendations for Greek myth retellings that don’t have demigods as protagonists? Please drop your recs in the comments!