I'm a writer, poet, blogger, illustrator, fractalist, and essayist. A wonderer, wanderer, and an unapologetic introvert. I'm old enough not to care how old I am. I'm a romantic and a movie lover; I'm inspired by the epic, the authentic, the numinous, and the luminous. Most of all, I'm blessed.
on July 29, 2014 :
I feel like I waited For. Ever. for this book.
It was worth it.
I can see now why it took so long for this book to be finished! This book is as intricately crafted as the first, and every bit as magnificent. In some ways it feels like a bridge. It takes place after Book 1 and before the full-on war, and covers the time leading up to crossing the Tangent and Melody's training after crossing. It ends with a MAJOR cliffhanger, and once you reach the final pages, you will see a whole new dimension to that transitional time period and its deep significance in the lives of our heroes.
Our heroes! Conor gets to announce that the Apprentice has come. Putting his long, long wait behind him, he struggles with the weight of the task ahead. Yaeko finally gets to return to the stage. We get to meet Anurag--a hero who puts a human face on the Saere Insu insurrectionists who have been fighting back on Aquanus all this time.
Highlights include wonderful journal entries by Maggie that bring a vulnerable, human angle to the story, even moreso than her adventures in book 1. We also get to learn more about Daphne, a bartender we were briefly introduced to in Book 1--who gets to come back, and gets to play her own role in the revolution. Even though Daphne's is a side-story, anyone who has ever struggled with the crushing mundanity of day-to-day life and felt like they were meant for something better will find her tale vindicating and deeply affirming. Another highlight is Anurag's exaltation and agony at realizing he has finally found love in his life--but for more than one reason, it belongs to a future he will likely never have.
Try to summarize this book and you'll come up with a fairly standard fantasy scenario. Evil, soul-sucking monster is devouring the universe (we also learn more about Necrolius' nature and origins--it turns out there is a lot more going on than meets the eye). 14-year-old girl from earth has special powers and must destroy the bad guy. An exiled kingdom prepares for war.
But that's not really what the substance of this book is. This book is all those special in-between moments that most fantasy books leave out. Everyone in this story is deeply human. Insecurities, fears, doubts, desires, temptations, the awkwardness that comes with growing up and new relationships are as much a part of this story of transition as the changes that come with going to war and crossing over into another universe.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)