A Review: The Serpent King

The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter is a young adult contemporary novel that follows the story of three teens: Dill, Travis, and Lydia living in a small rural Tennessee town.

I actually got this novel back in March (part of an OwlCrate book subscription box) but I didn’t pick it up until the beginning of this month due to the large amount of books and homework (ya feel?) that I had at the time. I’m normally not a YA contemporary reader, but I have to admit, this book was fantastic.

My Goodreads rating: 5/5


  • The characters- The novel is told through the perspective of our three teens Dill, Travis, and Lydia. The story was mainly told around/ about Dill, but that doesn’t matter, I loved all three perspectives.
    • Dill- Dill is caught between a whirl of struggles throughout the book.
      1. His father was sent to jail in Nashville after being caught with underage pornography on his computer.
      2. His father was also arrested for making his followers drink snake venom.
      3. He faces constant bullying because of his father’s mistakes.
      4. He wants to go to college but his family has tons of debt from his father’s prosecution.
      5. He struggles in his faith as he cannot fathom all of the things that are happening.
        • This “line up of issues” per say created a solid story and I loved the way the DIll developed throughout the novel.
    • Lydia- Your typical female side-kick, I really liked her character and found her to be quite easy to relate (being a blogger herself) and a girl just trying to get into the college of her dreams. She pushed Dill to reach his full potential and served as his moral support.
    • Travis- Travis’s character was relatable in that he fanboys over books (like the girl who is writing this blog) and is obsessed with what as known as in the novel as the Bloodfall series. He has read the series multiple time and lives on Bloodfall forums. He is only featured in about 2/3 of the novel but it was cute to see his blooming relationship with a girl he met on a Bloodfall forum, Amelia. He serves as a level-headed medium between Dill and Lydia.
  • Good overall character development
  • The best thing about the novel was that it shed light on many, many, struggles that people face:
    1. Domestic Abuse
    2. Suicidal Thoughts
    3. Bullying
    4. Testement of Faith
    5. Stress of College Applications and Decisions
    6. The Value of Friendship
    7. Depression (after the loss of a loved one)
    8. Where you Come From Does not Define who you Become


  • Hmmmm… Maybe that this is a stand alone and there won’t be a sequel? I really don’t have anything negative to say about the novel!

I know this review was kind of short (the story was character driven rather than plot driven like fantasy novels) but I hope you enjoyed reading!


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