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Book Review: YA fantasy's next big series, Threads That Bind

Ever since the Percy Jackson series, I have been a sucker for all things mythology. So when Threads That Bind by Kika Hatzopoulou was given to me courtesy of Penguin Teen, I was stoked, to say the least.

Io and her sisters are the descendants of the Fates­––one that weaves the threads, one that draws them, and one that cuts the threads between people and the things they love––or life itself. Io uses her powers as a small private investigator in the city of Alante but is soon dragged into a much larger investigation that involves some of the most influential figures in Alante and wraiths out for justice. Io must team up with the Mob Queen’s right-hand man, Edei Rhuna, who is also her soul mate, before they’ve even met to solve the investigation.

Threads That Bind is a stunning example of expansive world-building and attention to detail in a post-apocalyptic world. In a world where the descendants of the gods–from Greek to Slavic, Egyptian to Roman–inherit their powers, the setting itself could have been set in contemporary times or in the future. Yet, Hatzopoulou chose a post-apocalyptic world where it’s believed the modern world descended into a climate catastrophe after humans angered the gods–– definitely the more exciting choice than many YA fantasy novels. Additionally, the politics, gangs, and civil war details of Alante added even more layers to the already multilayered story. The magic system alone is fascinating, and I won’t spoil it too much because it’s a well-placed treat in the novel.

All the characters are written with deeply nuanced and emotional backing, that this novel could not be YA. Like layers of an onion, their motivations and backstories are peeled back right on time and with enough emotional gravitas to make you audibly gasp at the revelations and secrets. Hatzopoulou weaves themes of self-esteem, guilt, saviors, and acceptance into an equal parts coming-of-age story and mystery thriller.

Occasionally, the pacing was slow, and the lore of Threads That Bind got confusing, but those issues can be excused compared to the rest of the novel. All in all, Hatzopoulou’s first novel in the series hits it out of the park.

Thrilling around every corner, Threads That Bind is the next big YA mythology series; I can guarantee you that. Completely one-of-a-kind and intricately written, Hatzopoulou has earned herself a fan. I can’t wait for the next installment of the Threads That Bind series.

Penguin Young Readers and Netgalley provided this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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