The King of May | BOOK REVIEW

The King of May and his strange community dance non-stop as if the turn is just an illusion. But the darkness is apparent as well as the inexistence of happiness. It pleased him, though not too much, for there’s still space left for pandemonium. The clever king will pull the strings from behind scenes and watch the humans and gods eradicate each other. Will his plans flourish or will it turn against him?

The e-book was provided by Online Book Club in exchange for an honest review.

The King of May is the second installment of The Turn series. It’s a combination of post-apocalyptic and mythology-inspired fiction. The turn altered the world and a god caused it. The SIMO assassin, Scholar and his friend, Ashley, are now in pursuit of killing other gods after vanishing Oak. They’ve recognized the threat of trusting such deities because it was the like of them that brought the turn. Even the slaver, Cattleprod, will learn that Rigma — the god of tectonic shift — can cause the Interstate’s collapse. The king will trick the assassins and the cowboy to make them fall into his plans. Unfortunately, these men are as clever as him.

The King of May loves dancing and wanted his people to do the same. But behind his bright attitude is a deceitful and depression-trigger creature. Physically he is ugly. Children get frightened and cry as they saw his face. He ceased the sun from shining just like how he takes away the light deep within a person’s soul. That one is a good characterization. Nothing gives him greater pleasure than leading the people into desolation.

The main protagonists, Scholar and Ashley, were dare devils. Especially Scholar who is so determined to kill the gods. He’s ingenious and ambitious. Ashley balances him. This man is more empathic and the other is hard-hearted. But definitely, they could conquer the world as long as they are together. They regarded Cattleprod as an outlaw but this cowboy’s leadership is strong. For now, I like him more than the primary characters. Dr. Mallory, as well, is acting suspiciously in the background. I’m interested in the other information that Cognito had told him about the turn and Oak — whose mysterious identity has been explained in this book. The end scene that broke Ashley’s heart may also add a potential conflict in the ensuing events.

The gods seem to have a major role in the whole series. Though, these omnipotent elites were too easy to kill despite their possession of supernatural powers. To some extent, they look unprepared and confused about what they should do with their ability. The roles of the remaining gods are still uncertain at this point — are they enemies or allies? That’s another thing to watch out for on the third installment. Furthermore, the inclusion of magic has a way of lessening the depressing vibe of the story.

The story isn’t shallow. Portions of it could provoke the reader’s imagination and thoughts on how does it feel to live in such time and what it could do to a person. It’s a numbing situation and may lead a person to do unacceptable things. It’s the mention of ‘I remember’ that’ll make you think back. No matter how bad it looks, the past is unarguably better than the present. Apart from the author’s expertise in descriptive writing, Matthew Tysz is also good at exposing the dark sides of human hearts and minds — egocentricity, power-hungry, sexual desires, hatred, etc.

Readers of the We Are Voulhire series will notice the similar writing style in this book. There are several point-of-views divided into chapters. Chapters are short which I prefer as a reader. The pacing, too, is good as if it was arranged just like in movies. There are also familiar elements such as dancing, brotherhood, and otherworldly beings. I see a resemblance (not necessarily physical) in Scholar and Ashley’s characters to Demetrius and Rowan from Voulhire. Also, a partial similarity between Javikun Modius and Oak.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The minus 1 point is more of my comments about the gods. The strongest hook of the book is finding Rigma and my greatest heartbreak lies in the town of Asher. All things considered, the story is strangely interesting and that will be my reason for not rating it lower than 3.

Do read this book if you love the combination of post-apocalyptic and mythology-inspired fiction. I won’t recommend this to younger audiences because of the presence of violence, sexual context, and profanity. Honestly, I haven’t read the first book yet. That gave me some difficulty in following the story in the first half. This is not a standalone book so it is essential to read the first one.


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