After the amazing hit of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo you know I had to track down the sequel! The Iron Will of Genie Lo is an introspective, but action packed, sequel about being a good leader and figuring out our future.
Genie Lo thought she was busy protecting the Bay Area from demons. But now, as a Heaven- appointed Guardian, even the well-being of demons is her responsibility—and their numbers are multiplying. Guanyin and Quentin are doing their best to help; but what they really need is for the Jade Emperor to get off his butt and deal with the crisis.
While he’s AWOL, Genie nominates Guanyin to fill in his shoes, unaware that the role will go to the god who can defeat a mysterious threat to the supernatural order. Along with a few other contenders for the throne, including a former enemy, Genie and her friends embark on a Heavenly quest to an in-between world. But when faced with true danger, the group realizes that what will save the universe this time is sacrifice, not strength.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Iron Will of Genie Lo is a sequel that examines responsibility and being a leader. Faced with more decisions and pressure than before, Genie has to figure out how she can balance her own dreams of the future and her new life. While Genie Lo has plenty of introspection about her own identity, especially as she’s faced with the prospect of college, there’s also plenty of action. Sometimes it feels like it all comes down to us, but we have to realize that we can let others help us.
This sequel really struck a chord with me. Maybe it’s because, like Genie, I’ve felt pulled in different directions. Whatever it is, The Iron Will of Genie Lo allows Genie to evolve and develop. Can she manage her friendship with Yunnie and her future? Additionally, The Iron Will of Genie Lo talks about privilege. Because of Genie’s finances, can she afford the dreams she has? The direction she thinks her life has been heading? Other people have the ability to fail, a safety net. But what about Genie?
While we may have saved the world, while we may be considered a hero, or powerful, what does that do our dreams? To our ability to balance our new power and our daily lives? The Iron Will of Genie Lo also has some precious moments of side character glory, especially when one of them talks about how hard it is to deny what people tell us about ourselves when we heard it over and over again. What Genie has to figure out, besides being a good leader, is when to sacrifice and when to stay and fight.
It can feel like we’re being overwhelmed by the future, of the choices, and not knowing who we are. The ways family can hurt us and we can still love them. But The Iron Will of Genie Lo is a fantastic sequel about the corruption of people and power, their pride and ego. The people who fall under the guise of darkness. It’s a story about being a leader, friendship and love, rage and sacrifice, power and corruption.