ARC Review // Wrath of the Rain God by Karla Arenas Valenti

Twins coping with moving to a new city get swept back in time by a magical book in this first book in the Legendarios chapter book series that’s Magic Tree House meets Heroes in Training!

Nine-year-old twins, Emma and Martín, couldn’t be more different in their personalities, interests, and even their looks. But one thing they absolutely agree on is that moving from Cuernavaca, Mexico, to Illinois is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, they’re not given a choice when their dad lands his dream job as a middle school principal in Chicago. To help the twins stay connected to their Mexican heritage, their abuela gifts them a book of Mexican legends. The book turns out to be more than a going away present…it’s a magical item that transports them directly into the legends!

In the first legend, Emma and Martín encounter Tlaloc, the god of rain. Tlaloc is angry because his lightning bolt has been stolen, and his rage is manifesting as a torrential downpour over the ancient city of Texcoco. The rain won’t stop until the lightning bolt has been returned, so Emma and Martín set out to recover it.

Will they find Tlaloc’s bolt in time to help the people of Texcoco save their home? Or will the wrath of the rain god mark the end of this legendary city?

Emma and Martin's dad lands his dream job in Chicago as a middle school principal which means moving away from their beloved home in Cuernavaca, Mexico. They'll be moving away from their friends, family, and abuela's delicious cooking. So not fair! Their abuela leaves them with a parting gift - a book of Mexican legends that promises great adventure. Little do they know that this book is magical and they'll have to use their wits to survive the wrath of the rain god.

Wrath of the Rain God is the start of an early chapter book series that introduces Mexican folklore. The comparison to the Magic Tree House series is spot on and this story should appeal to those same readers. Interestingly, the god of rain's thunderbolt was stolen, which may appeal to another group -Percy Jackson fans too young to read the middle-grade series. 

The story was fast-paced and perfect for adventure-seeking readers. It had an intriguing thief character who I would love to read more about in the upcoming books. In this story, I would have liked to learn more about Emma and Martin as individuals. We got a taste but there needs to be more character development for readers to want to follow along for years to come. Readers who enjoy magic, adventure, and a little bit of mystery would like this story.

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for providing me with a copy of Wrath of the Rain God in exchange for an honest review. It will be released on April 16th, 2024.