November 3, 2021

Tristan Strong Destroys the World (Tristan Strong #2) by Kwame Mbalia

Tristan Strong Destroys the World (Tristan Strong #2) by Kwame Mbalia 
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (Rick Riordan Presents)

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Tristan Strong is back once again! This time, he is forced to return to Alke to save his grandmother from the clutches of the new villain, The Shamble Man. The time between the ending of the first book and the start of the second book is minimal, but the Alke that Tristan returns to is not the same one he left.

I think Gum Baby is right, she is definitely the hero of this story. I now have mad respect for the narrator Amir Abdullah. I have no idea how he does the high-pitched voice for Gum Baby without snickering every other sentence. The intentional mispronunciations that Gum Baby makes (pre-coffin-ary instead of precautionary) are amusing and heart-warming. The banter between Gum Baby and Tristan (a.k.a bumble-tongue) alone makes reading this book worth it.

The idea of diaspora throughout the novel is beautiful. Kwame Mbalia’s wit and creativity shine through in this book and prove he did not fall victim to the “sophomore slump” in his second novel. The Shamble Man is such an interesting villain for this novel, and I was not expecting the truth of his identity. I loved how Mbalia weaved together a story filled with characters from the traditional West African stories, as well as characters of his own creation. Any doubters about whether the success of the first book was a fluke or not should be silenced after reading this.

2021 can’t come soon enough. I’m eagerly awaiting the third installment of the Tristan Strong series. Can’t wait to see what “bumble tongue” is up to in the future, especially with how this book ended!

About the Book
Tristan Strong, just back from a victorious but exhausting adventure in Alke, the land of African American folk heroes and African gods, is suffering from PTSD. But there's no rest for the weary when his grandmother is abducted by a mysterious villain out for revenge.

Tristan must return to Alke--and reunite with his loud-mouthed sidekick, Gum Baby--in order to rescue Nana and stop the culprit from creating further devastation. Anansi, now a web developer in Tristan's phone, is close at hand to offer advice, and several new folk heroes will aid Tristan in his quest, but he will only succeed if he can figure out a way to sew broken souls back together.

About the Author

Kwame Mbalia is a husband, father, New York Times bestselling author, and former pharmaceutical metrologist, in that order. His debut middle-grade novel, TRISTAN STRONG PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE SKY, and the sequel, TRISTAN STRONG DESTROYS THE WORLD (October 6, 2020), are published by Rick Riordan Presents/Disney-Hyperion. A Howard University graduate and a Midwesterner now in North Carolina, he survives on dad jokes and Cheez-Its.

Kwame Mbalia Author Photo Credit: Bryan Jones Photography

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