Tristan Strong has battled guilt and grief ever since he lost his best friend to a bus accident. His journal is all he has left of him, but he can’t bring himself to open it until he’s on his way to his grandparents’ farm, where he’s meant to have time to process his grief. When a character from one of his grandmother’s stories steals the journal on his first night there, however, he literally punches his way into a new world that needs his help.
Tristan Strong is probably one of the most realistic protagonists out there. My favorite thing about this book is how he questions everything – why can’t the gods do the work they’re pushing on to him? Why can’t they give him anything more helpful? And while this is incredibly amusing, it works so well with his journey of overcoming his guilt. Even though those around him can give him little things to help, it’s ultimately Tristan himself who has to find a way to cope with what happened and be able to move on with his life despite it. The two mesh together beautifully and I really have to commend the author for it.
I also loved how involved the gods were in the story. They weren’t the type to appear once, give vague advice, and disappear for the rest of the story. Tristan almost always has a god accompanying him and guiding him on his journey. They’re very down-to-earth – literally – and their care for every character is a really refreshing thing for media that involves higher powers. This book was a fantastic read and though similar to other books, a refreshing change of pace. I’m interested to see what Tristan does next.
Yours in love and literature, Page.
Content warning(s): violence, references to slavery
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