Game of Strength and Storm by Rachel Menard

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Game of Strength and Storm

Author: Rachel Menard

Book Series: The Labors of Gen Book 1

Rating: 4.5/5

Diversity: POC MC, Queer MC, Queer character

Recommended For…: young adult readers, LGBT, fantasy, retelling, Hercules, Greek Mythology

Publication Date: June 7, 2022

Genre: YA Fantasy Retelling

Age Relevance: 13+ (Gore, Violence, Animal death, Animal cruelty, Emotional abuse, Sexism, Forced imprisonment, Alcohol consumption, Parental Death, Kidnapping, Murder, Death, Slavery, Romance)

Explanation of Above: There is some gore and violence in this book, including vomit and blood, and murder and death as well. There is animal death and some animal cruelty mentioned and shown in the book. Some emotional abuse is shown in the book and there is sexism as well. There are scenes of forced imprisonment, kidnapping, and slavery. There is some alcohol consumption. There is parental death mentioned. There is also some light romance.

Publisher: Flux Books

Pages: 394

Synopsis: Victory is the only option.

Once a year, the Olympian Empresses grant the wishes of ten people selected by a lottery—for a price. Seventeen-year-old Gen, a former circus performer, wants the freedom of her father, who was sentenced to life in prison for murders she knows he didn’t commit. Castor plans to carry the island Arcadia into the future in place of her brother, Pollux, but only after the Empresses force a change in her island’s archaic laws that requires a male heir.

To get what they want, Gen and Castor must race to complete the better half of ten nearly impossible labors. They have to catch the fastest ship in the sea, slay the immortal Hydra, defeat a gangster called the Boar, and capture the flesh-eating Mares, among other deadly tasks.

Gen has her magic, her ability to speak to animals, her inhuman strength—and the help of Pollux, who’s been secretly pining for her for years. But Castor has her own gifts: the power of the storms, along with endless coin. Only one can win. The other walks away with nothing—if she walks away at all.

Review: For the most part I liked the book. I thought it was an interesting gender-bent Hercules tale and I actually loved that the author went with the 12 Labors story cause that one is rarely told from what I see of Hercules retellings. The book had great pacing and the plot immediately grabs your attention when you start the book. I thought the book had great character development and the world building was great as well.

However, the book is multi-POV and I didn’t think that the book did good enough to distinguish their voices as I got a little confused here and there. I also thought that the romance could have been a little bit better, but that’s just a personal preference.

Verdict: I liked it!

Book Info:

Game of Strength and Storm by Rachel Menard

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publishing Date: June 7, 2022

Synopsis:

Victory is the only option.

Once a year, the Olympian Empresses grant the wishes of ten people selected by a lottery—for a price. Seventeen-year-old Gen, a former circus performer, wants the freedom of her father, who was sentenced to life in prison for murders she knows he didn’t commit. Castor plans to carry the island Arcadia into the future in place of her brother, Pollux, but only after the Empresses force a change in her island’s archaic laws that requires a male heir.

To get what they want, Gen and Castor must race to complete the better half of ten nearly impossible labors. They have to catch the fastest ship in the sea, slay the immortal Hydra, defeat a gangster called the Boar, and capture the flesh-eating Mares, among other deadly tasks.

Gen has her magic, her ability to speak to animals, her inhuman strength—and the help of Pollux, who’s been secretly pining for her for years. But Castor has her own gifts: the power of the storms, along with endless coin. Only one can win. The other walks away with nothing—if she walks away at all.

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57982416-game-of-strength-and-storm

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Game-Strength-Storm-Rachel-Menard/dp/1635830761/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=9781635830767&linkCode=qs&qid=1646246061&s=books&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/game-of-strength-and-storm-rachel-menard/1140064565?ean=9781635830767

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Game-of-Strength-and-Storm-Rachel-Menard/9781635830767

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781635830767

About the Author:

Rachel Menard was born in New Jersey, raised in Arizona, and then relocated to Rhode Island. Throughout her life she has been a barista, college radio DJ, singer in an alt-country band, marketer, designer, and finally, a writer. Her short fiction has been featured on the Cast of Wonders podcast and her non-fiction has been seen in Writer’s Digest. Her debut novel, Game of Strength and Storm, is coming from Flux Books in 2022.

Author Links:

Website: https://www.rachelmenard.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/missusm

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/menardrachel/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17099185.Rachel_Menard

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@rachel_writes_books

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