Maya and the Return of the Godlings (Maya and the Rising Dark #2)

by Rena Barron (Author)

Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade

In this highly anticipated sequel, Maya and the godlings must return to the sinister world of The Dark to retrieve the one thing keeping the veil between the worlds from crumbling: her father's soul. Perfect for fans of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky and Willa of the Wood.

The threat from The Dark is far from over. Twelve-year-old Maya knows this. After crossing the veil between the two worlds, saving her father, and narrowly escaping the sinister clutches of the Lord of Shadows, tensions between the human world and The Dark are higher than ever. And even worse, Maya's orisha powers as a godling are out of control. Now a guardian in training, Maya spends her days patching up veils with her father and cleaning up near-disasters like baby wormholes that her erratic powers create. But when Maya and her friends discover that something went terribly wrong during their journey to bring her father back to the human world, they are forced to return to The Dark and restore what they left behind, the one thing keeping the veil from falling: her father's soul. The Lord of Shadows is mobilizing his forces for an all-out war against the human world.

And this time, Maya and her friends will need all the help they can get. Even if that means teaming up with their greatest enemies, the darkbringers.

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Kirkus Reviews

Readers are plunged into a continuation of the story with little recap, making knowledge of the first book a necessity. Ratcheted-up stakes keep readers invested in this rollicking-good sequel. 

School Library Journal

In this book that picks up where Maya and the Rising Dark left off, middle schooler and guardian-in-training Maya is learning to patch holes in the veil separating this world from the Dark. Her friends Eli and Frankie are also coming into their own powers-and they aren't the only ones. More powers are popping up across Jackson Middle School, making extra work for the elders of Maya's South Side Chicago neighborhood who also happen to be Orisha gods. When Maya learns that her father's soul is trapped in the Dark, the Orisha and godlings meet to discuss sending someone to retrieve it. But the council has a history of caution, and concern for a coming war with the Dark looms. Despite the potential consequences of a return to the Dark, Maya refuses to be stopped from saving her father. Like the first book in the series, this work is a celebration of diverse community. Maya and her friends have a variety of interests, characters' skin tones range from light brown to dark, hairstyles span from locs to cornrows, and family dynamics mirror the beautiful complexity of society today. Maya, Eli, and Frankie journey through the terrain of the Dark, offering readers a closer look at the other world and further demonstrating the close friendship the tweens share. The three are surprised that the Darkbringers are as varied as their own people, with skin in tones of blue, and purple, barbed tails, horns, wings, or all three, and, most surprisingly, differing opinions of the imminent war. VERDICT A sequel solid in character development, plot, pace, and continued world-building.

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Rena Barron
Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. When she's not writing, she can be found running along Lake Michigan or brushing up on her French. Visit her on Twitter: @renathedreamer
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Clarion Books
Publication date
September 21, 2021
Maya and the Rising Dark
BISAC categories
JUV037000 - Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
JUV001000 - Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
JUV012050 - Juvenile Fiction | Legends, Myths, Fables | African
Library of Congress categories

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