Thanks so much to Flux for letting me read this one early, and my apologies for the late review. I was in the three star range on Game of Strength and Storm but wanted to see how the duology ended – it did not disappoint. Part of me honestly wishes that authors would cool it with the mythology mashups and keep the tellings more traditional, but Menard puts in a lot of good YA themes and companion pets and things that I like. This was actually a vast improvement from book one and overall I do recommend the series for YA readers
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Clash of Fate and Fury
- Series: Labors of Gen #2
- Author: Rachel Menard
- Publisher & Release: North Star Editions, March 2023
- Length: 418 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐for YA fantasy & mythology fans and for anyone interested.
Here’s the synopsis via Am*zon
Seventeen-year-old Gen may have rescued her beloved father from prison, but she hasn’t saved him yet. If she fails her end of a bargain with the Olympian Empresses, they will send him right back to his cell. To keep the Empresses happy, Gen must bring them the legendary golden apples of Hesperides and the monstrous Cerberus. But both are rumored to be in the neighboring Elysium Empire, which has a long history of war with Olympia. Making matters worse, Gen’s former enemy and newly designated heir to the isle of Arcadia Castor invites herself on the journey, hoping a golden apple could end Arcadia’s reliance on Illumium for storm vials. And Castor’s twin brother, Gen’s StormMaker boyfriend Pollux, has been pulling away from Gen due to troubles stemming from her mind magic. With Castor’s pirate-thief girlfriend and Pollux’s servant companion in tow, the unlikely team embarks on its voyage. But war is only an insult away in Elysium, and more than the Emperor has their eyes on Gen’s mission. The quest has caught the attention of one of Elysium’s Oracles, and trouble is sure to brew with Prophecy on the rise.
So I know I wasn’t too keen on the first book but so much improved in this one that I quite enjoyed it as a YA fantasy loosely based in Greek mythology. It felt more like a traditional story with harrowing straits, sirens, shipwrecks, fire breathing cranky dogs and more!
The characters grew and learned some hard life lessons and I think their arcs were brought through the story really well. Everyone had to realize that their fates weren’t written in stone and that they needed a team to succeed. Gen had to accept failure and help from her book one rival, Castor. Castor had to accept the help of the team and realize that she’s not a one woman island. I actually liked her in this book. Pollux (and everyone really) also had to accept himself and his powers.
Adikia was a nice addition to the cast but she didn’t get a point of view. There’s the f/f relationship for those who enjoy those aspects. Overall the steam was very light but the relationships themselves were wholesome and good for the characters at the end.
If y’all can’t love yourselves for who you are, how can you expect anyone else to? I think that’s the crutch here. The other crutch is fate and prophecy, which resulted in “the big twist” that I didn’t see coming.
There’s also a ton of action compared to book one and it’s spaced out a little more evenly. I was never bored. Book one took me three weeks to finish, and this one only about four days. I liked the trials and the teamwork and Menard also did a better job bringing overall setting and atmosphere into the book.
The themes of family were still there too, whether it was accepting and fighting for the one you have or finding one that suits you better. Or both. It’s ok to want these things Castor, Pollux, Gen, you guys can do it! You’re made of more than your dreams!
I was sketchy on book one but I totally recommend these for teens. The content is clean and there are good themes. 4 stars overall for the duology and for bringing the duology home with a vastly improved second novel
Thanks for checking out my book review of Clash of Fate and Fury by Rachel Menard! I received a free digital early copy via the publisher through NetGalley, and as always, all opinions are my own ♥️