Bridge of the Gods

Twelve-year-old Chloe Ashton is an only child living in the remote wilderness of Oregon. She spends her days happily exploring the forests around her home, and is astonished to find the animals seem to know her, to follow her, and even try to speak to her. When a family tragedy results in Chloe’s abduction and sale to the vagabonds, she is taken deeper into the woods, and finds out just how much the animals know.

Set at a time when technology is first touching the west, there is an evil rising in the land. The country is under attack, and all creatures, man and beast, must hide. The old legends speak of an ancient, natural magic deep within the mountains and rivers, and as Chloe struggles to survive, she finds that it still exists deep within the forests. Friendship can be found even in the darkest of places, and it doesn’t always come in human form.

Bridge of the Gods is a novel for all ages about the magical power of nature, and of finding friendship in the darkest of places.

I really hate Ms. Rios right now because I got sucked into her book with its mysterious plot line and OF COURSE it’s only the first book and ends without any answers so you’ll read the sequel which I really want to now and patience is NOT one of my virtues!

Rios knows how to write beautiful and vivid imagery that creates these moving paintings before your mind’s eye. She gives human personification to normally inanimate objects using lyrical descriptions all the while providing a wonderful lesson on anger and its consequences when left unchecked. That is just in the prologue. Throughout the book are really cute illustrations that seem to mimic the innocence of her protagonist Chloe.

This novel is very centered on nature, symbiotic relationships with animals, friendship, family, and finding courage in the face of fear, uncertainty, and injustice.

I loved the forest settings as they felt so real I wanted to journey through them myself to experience what Chloe did. The animal friends she made which could talk just like something out of a C.S. Lewis novel were wonderful characters and added a charming depth to her story.

Her plot devices often reminded me of stories from Native American histories and mythologies. Particularly the idea of new types of people moving into an area only to displace the original inhabitants and making their culture appear strange and frightening instead of rich and educational.

Her character work will definitely make you either love or hate people. Chloe in particular is such a wonderful little girl, she’s the type of kid I would encourage my daughters to be friends with and to explore the world alongside.

Laced through all of this is an intriguing puzzle about a hospital, mysterious ambulance, ethically challenged medical workers, inept law enforcement and unconscious patients.

Thank you to Netgalley and She Writes Press for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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