The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
Here’s a MG that’s a ton of fun. Ash Mistry visits his uncle in India, and stumbles into an adventure that involves deadly demons and gods. My first impression was WOW this is creepy. It starts out with an almost cobra bite, and then there’s a half-eaten water buffalo on the shore, snakes with baby heads. But if you know me, that’s right up my alley. The prose is quite visceral and toothy. It’s very well written.
Yet it is very much a MG. The kids act like kids and talk like kids. It’s an adventure that starts straight away, without taking its time. Archaeological digs, ancient mysteries, gods and demons. If you liked the Percy Jackson books, I think you’ll like the Ash Mistry ones.
My only disappointment was that, though there was a fierce demon girl who helps Ash, his sister doesn’t get much page time and her main function is ‘damsel in distress’. Hopefully, she gets her time to shine in the later books in the series.