Title: Warrior Genius
Author: Michael Dante DiMartino
Series: Geniuses #2
Giacomo and his friends are on the run from Supreme Creator Nezzera. They have the Creator’s Compass, but they still need to find the Straightedge and Pencil. But when they locate the Straightedge in a neighboring country, they have an additional problem—all of the horse-shaped Geniuses are dying from some mysterious ailment, and Giacomo may be the only one who can stop it.
I didn’t like this book. I tried. On a technical level, it isn’t bad. The plot has good pacing, the characters grow a bit, and we get to see more of the world.
But the various twists just torpedoed all my interest in finishing the story.
Giacomo’s innocence is souring to arrogance, as when he tries to fix Zanobius by himself to disastrous results. Predictably, this leads Zanobius to abandon the party again, so rather than having the other kids work out their mixed emotions towards him, all that gets pushed off.
Zanobius aims for peace, then revenge. He’s got enough vision to see Nezzara is a huge problem, and he should be able to turn those tables. And then he gets her scrawny neck between his powerful hands and HESITATES to off her. Look, I get he has a crisis of conscience, but do it AFTER you kill her, not before. She’s already AMPLY demonstrated she’s a tyrant willing to sacrifice anyone and everyone around her (and my one small joy was watching Pietro’s attempts to reason with her fail resoundingly), and at some point someone should be asking if the number of innocent victims she’s piling up are worth the minuscule chance of redeeming her. Aren’t their lives worth anything?
Enzio is the only real highlight of the book, and even he gets incredibly far only to utterly fail at the last. He’s captured, tortured, and yet holds out enough rebellion to turn the tables—but he can’t quite manage to push in the knife. And that has unfortunate consequences for everyone not named Nezzara.
So it took me a long time to finish this because I kept putting it down and dreading picking it back up because it felt like the stupidity kept piling up. If these kinds of plot twists bother you less, you may like the series more. For me, I’m done. I rate this book Not Recommended.