Book Review – Join or Die by J Adrian Ruth

join or dieA group of outcasts, struggling to survive in a school filled with monsters.

An average kid, growing up in Las Vegas, Alex Ayers life skids off the rails when a dragon shifter comes for him. Alex is a Creature, monsters from myths and legends. And he’s in line to lead all the Creatures in the world, if he doesn’t get killed first.

Now forced to attend a school filled with every horror he’s ever imagined, Alex draws together a group of friends to become his own mini-army.

A depressed vampire facing an identity crisis.

A class gossip with white hair and a frosty outlook.

A werewolf who plays with magic.

A Valkyrie straining against her berserker’s rage.

Can Alex keep his friends safe, fight for his own life, and catch a killer, all while keeping his grades up? And what will his future hold, as he begins his change into a Creature he knows nothing about?

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My rating: Cyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Full starNo-Star

I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this fun journey into a world of monsters! Alex is a good lead – thrown in the deep end, he does sometime acclimatise quickly, but overall I found his arc believable. And I loved his friends, the overlap of his old life and his new one was quite well done, and felt realistic. Plus I loved that he and his mum had friends who appeared to treat them as family.

My favourite part was the scavenger hunt, that sounded like fun! And the lessons we get to see glimpses of were pretty interesting. In fact that probably my only real complaint – the book sort of whizzes through bits, so we get a lot up front that worked well, and then suddenly time is flying by and then the end of the year / book has arrived. That part was a little dissatisfying if I’m honest, as I wanted a little more world building around the types of creatures, their hierarchies, the scion, the ciorcals etc. In places Alex seemed to suddenly understand more without us going through that process with him.

But overall, the sense of fun and the concept sold the book for me, and I will definitely be looking out for book two.

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Buy Join or Die from Amazon UK.

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