Ethan and his friends are back in a brand-new adventure! With inherited powers they don’t understand and can’t quite control, they head back to Crater Lake to rescue their friend Jacob, train for an epic battle, and join forces with a powerful ally—the Mystic Gray. Filled with action, adventure, and mystery, this book is a thrilling addition to the Crater Lake series!
I don’t really know whole lot about the middle-grade fantasy genre, so I’m probably not the best reader to say whether Return of the Mystic Gray was good or not. All I can say is that I genuinely enjoyed reading this book. And that if my girls were still young enough for me to read to, I would have loved reading this story aloud to them.
This book has everything middle-school boys and girls might want. Woven into the action and adventure is a touching story of friendship, loyalty and survival. The characters are vivid and relatable. My favorite is Brady. I love that he is so cocky about his invincibility, that he is willing to run headlong into any and all dangerous situations as long as he can show off his gift, and how he conveniently keeps losing his shirt so everyone can gape as his chiseled physique. Characters who possess a shallow/depth, in my opinion, make the story.
In book one, the five main characters inherited special powers, which they use in this installment to save one of their own while ushering in the final battle against evil. There are also vicious battles between shape-shifting Native Americans, a death-defying dive to the depths of the lake, and a girl who can shoot flames, among other elements, from her mouth (I found this ability mildly disconcerting but I think kids will love it).
I like too that this story holds a very important message. Sometimes we do the right things for the wrong reasons. Sometimes we do wrong things for the right reasons. The point of growing and learning is that one day, if our intentions are genuine, we can become pure in our motives and learn to focus on the needs of the many instead of our own.
Return of the Mystic Gray is the second in the Westover’s Crater Lake series. I didn’t read the first installment, Battle for Wizard Island, but I wish I would have. And I recommend that readers who are considering reading Mystic Gray go back and read Wizard Island first. You don’t have to read the first to know what is going on in Mystic Gray, I just think that if the first is as good as the second, it would be well worth readers time to start at the beginning.