Nightmares in Paradise (Ring of Solomon 2)

Nightmares in Paradise (Ring of Solomon 2)
Age Range
Release Date
April 02, 2024
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Aside from his best friend, Sandra; his annoying little sister, Naomi; and his friend Ash (who, by the way, is the King of Demons). Somehow, they’ve all managed to keep last summer’s fights against the Behemoth, the Leviathan, and the evil Knights of Apocalypse cult a secret for almost a whole year.

Zach and Sandra have their hands full practicing with the archangel Uriel’s flaming sword (in case they ever need to fight monsters again), dodging bully Jeffrey and his sidekicks at school, and doing typical seventh-grade things like homework and watching their favorite horror movies. But when Naomi starts blabbing their secrets—and then disappears during their family’s Passover seder—Zach’s parents are worried and mad. At Zach!

Since the sword went missing along with Naomi, Ash is sure that Uriel is to blame. Which means that Zach, Sandra, and Ash are off to Eden—the actual Garden of Eden—to save Naomi and bring her home.

The Garden is no paradise. It’s full of scary angels, monsters, and tricksters ready to lay traps, not to mention the Knights of Apocalypse, who still hold a grudge against Zach for interfering with their apocalypse plans last summer.

Can Zach make it through the overgrown, dangerous Garden to save his sister and bring her home? And will he still be grounded for life if he does?

Editor review

1 review
Trouble in Paradise
Overall rating
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What worked:
The book presents a familiar, middle-grade format as Zach must battle huge malevolent monsters to rescue his sister and save the world. He travels through the original Garden of Eden which has gone downhill through centuries of change. Dangers lurk around every turn and it seems that every threat is worse than the previous ones. Zach, Sandra, and Ash must reach the Tree of Life and an old “friend” of Ash decides to make it into a contest. There aren’t many unexpected twists so the plot is easy to follow. The author includes references to the Jewish religion which provides a different slant to some biblical details incorporated into the story.
Zach is forced to hide his true self from others and it’s taking a mental toll on him. He can’t tell anyone about the powerful demons and Knights of the Apocalypse he defeated last summer and his parents are concerned that he’s putting disturbing thoughts in his younger sister’s head. Her talk of battling monsters and Zach’s flaming sword convince them that he’s the reason Naomi runs away. Zach’s also hiding the secret that he’s gay and he feels more stress when his father tells Zach that he wishes he’d be a normal boy. How does Zach share his feelings with his parents after his father says that?
The demon king called Ash may be the most interesting character. He usually appears when Zach calls although Ash compares the requests to an annoying noise that he can ignore. He steps up to defend Zach against other creatures and provides advice and guidance when they enter Eden. However, Ash is a demon and he can be a terrifying beast when he chooses to morph. He warns Zach and Sandra to look away when he battles Uriel because his appearance will permanently harm them too. The school bullies who’ve been harassing Zach for years learn that the hard way. Ash is a valuable ally and friend to Zach but he can quickly change into a devastating, horrifying demon who unleashes his wrath onto formidable foes. Ash’s wide range of changes leaves readers wondering which character will appear throughout the plot.
What didn’t work as well:
The early pages mention events from the first book so readers won’t feel totally lost. However, characters reappear later in the story and readers may want to know more about them. Naomi’s character was surely developed more in the previous book but new readers, like me, don’t get a full grasp of her relationship with Zach.
The final verdict:
This book will appeal to lovers of monsters and adventure as Zach follows a dangerous path through Eden to save his little sister. The banter between Zach and Ash offers some humor. Overall, this is a fun story for young readers and I recommend you give it a shot.
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