This book was written by one of the co-creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender, a show I absolutely love, so of course I had to give it a shot!
The story follows Giacomo, an orphan living in the sewers of Virenzia. The ruler of this kingdom, Nerezza, has outlawed all forms of art and hunts down all artists who have Geniuses, bird-like muses who can bring their artist’s creations to life. One night Giacomo is attacked and discovers he has a Genius of his very own! After being discovered by other children with Geniuses, he is taken away to hide outside the city to learn about art and how to use his Genius’s powers. The children’s master, Pietro, sends them on a quest to discover lost relics said to belong to the Creator so that they can use the sacred power to dethrone Nerezza and allow artists to practice freely once again. Also on the hunt for the Sacred Tools is Ugalino, an artist set on taking over Virenzia for himself, and his Tulpa, Zanobius, a living statue.
I really liked this book because it felt reminiscent of Avatar. The character development for some characters was very quick but well done. There was plenty of action and mystery. DiMartino does an excellent job of painting a beautiful scenery as well as descriptions of each character. If you liked Avatar: The Last Airbender, I’m sure you would like Rebel Genius. The sequel is set for fall of 2017 and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Giacomo and his Genius Mico!