Breaking Badlands (TaleSpinners #3)

by Scott Reintgen (Author)

Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade
Series: Talespinners

Having saved Imagination twice now, Indira is on a well-earned vacation when she is kidnapped by the Anti-Heroes. The covert group has one goal: overthrow the tyrannical leader of Fester and Antagonist Academy. After they plead their case, Indira agrees to join their secret mission and go undercover as a student at the legendary school for villains-in-training--where she gets drawn into a virtual warfare competition known as the Badlands. Facing monster teachers, plotting classmates, distracting love interests, and combative old foes is all second nature to a hero like Indira. But what happens when that heroic nature is turned against her like a weapon? Can Indira get to the bottom of what's going on in Fester before this virtual battlescape spills over into a real war for ultimate control of Imagination?

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School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 3-7-In this third installment, readers find heroine Indira in need of a break from the action and from her increasingly complicated love life. While vacationing at the Chapter Break Resort, Indira is whisked away by a group of Anti-Heroes with a surprising plea for help; they have discovered that Bainrow, the head of Antagonist Academy, is planning on performing a Final Boss Protocol on all antagonists. If he were to succeed, each and every bad guy would be "powered up": There would be no more petty villains or small revenge plots, just pure evil! The result? Dull stories, a bored readership, and thus threats to the very existence of Story. The only way to stop this treacherous plan is for Indira to take on the guise of evil, infiltrate Antagonist Academy, join a crew, and start competing in a nightly virtual competition called the Badlands. What could go wrong? VERDICT Reintgen is a masterly storyteller and blends gaming lingo with fantasy lore deftly. His love for the fantasy genre and literature overall shines through, and the romance angle is suitable for younger audiences. Strongly recommended for purchase.

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.


Starred Review
Literally and literarily hilarious.

Review quotes

Scott Reintgen
Scott Reintgen is a former public school teacher and still spends summers teaching middle schoolers dark fiction and fantasy at Duke Young Writers' Camp. The birth of his children has convinced him that magic is actually real. He lives in North Carolina, surviving mostly on cookie dough and the love of his wife, Katie. Scott is the author of the Nyxia Triad and Ashlords series and A Door in the Dark for young adults, as well as the Talespinners series and The Problem with Prophecies for middle graders. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @Scott_Thought.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2021

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