Gogi's Gambit (The Lost Rainforest #2)
Caldera always existed in harmony between the creatures who walk by day and those who walk by night—until an ancient evil awakened. In the year since the shadowwalkers’ narrow escape from the Ant Queen, the ants’ destruction has only spread.
Gogi, a shadowwalker monkey still learning to wield his fire powers, embarks on a quest with his friends—including a healing bat, an invisible panther, and a tree frog who controls the winds—for a powerful object that can harness the magic of the eclipse to defeat the Ant Queen.
But with just weeks before the next eclipse, Gogi must race to prove that he can control the mighty depths of his talent if he is to protect his friends, save the rainforest, and return home unsinged.
The book feels appropriate for the middle grade crowd overall, though it does have fighting and deaths (not in detail), as the friends and particularly Gogi fight the Ant Queen. This is told from the animals' perspectives and will appeal to children who like reading about animals with plenty of action and adventure. The book also subtly points out the need to save the rainforests for the animals who live there, which is a light conservationist theme.
Overall, GOGI'S GAMBIT will appeal to young middle grade readers who enjoy animals, magic, and action/adventure.
The Ant Queen is set on destroying the rainforest and is leaving lots of animals dead and homeless. As she creates her army of ants, she's almost become unstoppable, but she knows she needs a select few animals to help complete her mission.
When a meeting is compromised, Gogi and his friends learn there is a traitor among the shadowwalkers, but who? Gogi must draw forward his inner fire to save himself, his friends, and the rainforest.
I love that this story is from the animals POV and that the terminology is appropriate and well thought out. For example, instead of hand, they say paw. I love the twists and turns in this book and that you didn't know who could be trusted and who couldn't. Gogi is loyal to his friends and even though he's still learning his way with his fire, that doesn't stop him from being mentally strong. The destruction of the Ant Queen was interesting because it felt like something humans are doing as well.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this series to fans of animals, adventure, the rainforest, and magic.