City of the Plague God, by Sarwat Chadda | Book Review

Book Review of City of the Plague God
The Children’s Book Review

Written by Sarwat Chadda

Ages 8-12 | 400 Pages

Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents | ISBN-13: 9781368051507

What to Expect: Supernatural, Middle-Eastern Mythology, Family Relationships, Grief, Islam

Sik loves nothing more than working in his family’s deli in New York City—well, nothing except, perhaps, his brother Mo. The trouble is, Mo is dead, and losing him has left a hole in Sik that nothing—not even the deli—can fill.  Then, one fateful night, the deli is attacked by demons straight from the Epic of Gilgamesh and the terrifying plague god Nergal. They’re looking for something they think Mo stole from Iraq, and in their rage, they destroy everything Sik has left.

With the deli in ruins and a strange and deadly pandemic spreading from his parents and through the rest of the city, Sik suddenly finds himself caught up in a deadly battle between ancient gods and heroes with no one but an angry ninja-orphan to help him. Can Sik really help retrieve the lost secret of immortality?

City of the Plague God is a fast-paced, original, and utterly captivating supernatural adventure. Saturated in Middle Eastern mythology, Islamic culture, religion, and intimate affection for modern New York City, the novel offers a refreshing and unique blend of East meets West that captures what it means to be a part of an immigrant community while simultaneously bringing magic to life.

While Sik’s grief for his brother, his parents’ refugee and immigrant experiences, Ishtar’s memories of centuries of war in the Middle East, and the very real hatreds and fears that a pandemic can release all lend a darker note to the story, Sik’s engaging personality and quick humor lighten the mood and keep the story hopeful.

This novel, City of the Plague God, is not only a gripping read but also a great introduction for readers to modern social issues.

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About the Author

Sarwat Chadda, a first-generation Muslim immigrant, has spent a lifetime integrating the best of his family’s heritage with the country of his birth. There have been tensions as well as celebrations, but he wouldn’t wish it any other way. As a lifelong gamer, he decided to embrace his passion for over-the-top adventure stories by swapping a career in engineering for a new one as a writer. That resulted in his first novel, Devil’s Kiss, back in 2009.

Since then he has been published in a dozen languages, writing comic books, TV shows, and novels such as the award-winning Indian mythology-inspired Ash Mistry series and the epic high-fantasy Shadow Magic trilogy (as Joshua Khan). While he’s traveled far and wide, including Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, he’s most at home in London, where he lives with his wife, two more-or-less grown-up daughters, and an aloof cat.

Feel free to drop him a line @sarwatchadda.

City of the Plague God was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like City of the Plague God by following our reviews and articles tagged with Cultural Wisdom, Supernatural, Mythology, Family, Grief, and Islam.

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December 22, 2021 at 10:24PM Dr. Jen Harrison