Faith: Greater Heights

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. (Faith: Bk. 2). Nov. 2021. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062899682.
Gr 7 Up–This story begins three months after Faith: Taking Flight’s denouement, when a web of mysteries coalesced in an inferno. Although its precursor’s busy plot is (thankfully) recapped, not all returning characters or relationships are memorable enough to carry dramatic weight. In Greater Heights, Faith has less time to spend fangirling over the fictional TV show The Grove or working with animals. Her two best friends, Matt and Ches, are back, but the friendship feels underdeveloped; it’s hard to reconcile their status as “get matching tattoos”-level besties with the many times Faith leaves them in the dark. They know, of course, that Faith can fly, but are unaware when she harbors both her ex, Dakota, and the last book’s “big bad,” producer Margaret Toliver. Faith’s feelings for Dakota read a bit more clearly than her friendships, but the most resonant story line is the teen’s changing relationship with Grandma Lou, who raised her after her parents’ deaths. Lou, now facing worsening dementia, is able to move into a posh continuing care facility run by George, her newly reappeared childhood sweetheart. But something is amiss at Cedar Hills. The prom-night climax is satisfyingly campy, if sudden. Connections between these revelations and the work of mad scientist Toyo Harada and fellow “psiot” Peter are teased, as is the next step in Faith’s evolution as a superhero.
VERDICT Readers who enjoyed the first book will likely embrace this sequel; despite some shortcomings, it’s still entertaining. A win for more varied representation, and a bridge to future installments in Faith’s saga.

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