Please don't count how many old "reviews" of mine say "review later", "more later", or variations thereupon. ... Actually, just ignore my blog until further notice.
Not decided on whether to give 2.5 or 3 stars. We'll see.
I liked Avatar Battle well enough. It's on about the same level as the first book.
I've met Chad Morris in person before, and he's a funny guy who's got some creativity up his sleeve. That shines through in the story. The plot is compelling. I stayed up late a few nights reading it, because even if I disliked other aspects, I was curious enough that I wanted answers. And I like a lot of the concepts--avatars, the Chair in Abby's English class, etc. Rafa was a good character. Derick's second trial especially holds more meaning if you know about the author's family situation at the time he started writing this installment.
The writing itself is the weak point. There are a lot of moments where I felt characters/the narrative said too much outright instead of letting implications be enough, or when I had to stretch myself to believe how the characters were talking. This may be a product of Chad Morris being a fairly new author, or not enough editing, or maybe I'm just outgrowing middle grade fiction? Hopefully not the latter.
Despite the flaws I found, I could easily see a class of 8-12 y.o. kids eating this series up, and that's what matters. It has some fun historical and educational aspects to it as well. So while this may not be the first series I'd recommend to my peers, to a young kid, or a teacher looking for a read-aloud? Definitely.