This book frustrated me. I’m still a fan of Beam and I’ll buy the next book in this series. Furthermore, I’ll pick up his next series as well (if there is one, which I do hope so). But when looking at this book compared to others I’ve rated 4 stars, it just doesn’t quite stack up. Close, but not there. And please, keep in mind that, for me, 3 stars isn’t a bad thing. Hell, a lot of my Dean Koontz and David Eddings’s books are 3 stars and both are authors I thoroughly enjoy.
So why was I frustrated? There was so much recapping from book one that it dragged this book down. In addition, there was so much repetitive internal processing that I ended up skipping those sections about 30% into it. Furthermore, I think the writing felt a little rushed—not the story, the writing.
In this book, I liked the ending way better than the beginning (opposite from book 1). The last 20% of this book was a solid 4 stars for me. But I can’t ignore the numerous sections recounting book one. I really wish 1) I’d taken a month between reading the first and second book, and 2) I wish the second book was shorter. If some of the recapping and repetitive internal dialog were cut down, I’d have enjoyed this way more than I did, and it would have been a very solid 4 stars.
Now that the negative is out of the way, on to the positive.
There’s still a nice dose of action. While the story might not have advanced as quickly as preferred, there was always danger, fleeing, and fighting. For me, that’s a plus. There was one section that involved Korin, a green crystal, and ellifill that was done brilliantly, was harrowing for the character, and really added some depth to him. Little moments like those kept me going, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The ending was a rush of action and explanation. It awarded me a few confirmations to some theories, but more so, it gifted me a handful of: “Well I didn’t see that coming.” I thoroughly enjoyed the ending and sped through it with the burning need to know what was happening. Like I said, I really enjoyed the ending. If I would have rated this the moment I finished it, with the ending fresh, I probably would have given it four stars. But I slept on it and realized that 80% of the book needed to drop some stuff for me to feel that way about the entire book. If I could, I’d give it 3.5 stars. I liked it. And there were parts I really liked. And then there were a handful that I absolutely loved. It’s those moments and my investment in Korin that will have me buying the third book.
So in conclusion, if you liked book one, I highly recommend picking up book two a month or so from finishing book one. I think I’d have enjoyed it more if I’d done that, and probably would have been fine with the recaps.