Hail the conquering hero! After almost an entire month I finally finished this book. Whew! Now, don’t get me wrong, the writing in this book is beautiful. Laini Taylor has a way with description and world building that’s like blow your mind good. But the problem with this book was that nothing happened. And then more stuff didn’t happen. And then right when you thought something might happen, it didn’t. It was SO BORING! I had to force myself to continue reading it much unlike the first novel in this series where I was devouring it because it was so fascinating. There was WAY WAY WAY too much set up with this book and not enough action. You could probably get away with reading the first few chapters and then skip a few hundred pages and read the last few chapters. Honestly, it wasn’t until page 307 that I felt something significant happened and that I was maybe going to start getting reinvested in the story. I feel there was some major editing that needed to be done with this book. Or major cutting.
I find there is a common theme with YA series where the middle book of the series lacks action. They are merely “fluff” books. I hate this. Often the second book in a series is the worst because nothing happens and this book falls into that category. The Divergent series book two, ‘Insurgent’, is also guilty of this. Please, I beg of you, if you are a new writer currently writing a book series please plot out your second and third book BEFORE submitting your first into a publisher. I’m not sure if authors are just rushed to complete the second book by their deadline or what but book two is almost always a disappointment. Unless, of course, it’s the Hunger Games where Catching Fire was awesome but Mocking Jay was meh. That was a let down. Please don’t let your third book fall flat either, kids.
Also, can I mention one more bad book trope? Please do not build up an epic romance in book one and then have your love interest completely disappear for all of book two, or in this case, have your protagonist suddenly hate him for some reason. If you want your protagonist to be mad at him, fine, but let us see the conflict. Don’t keep them worlds apart for the entire book that just gets frustrating and the reader loses interest. Another example of this is New Moon from the Twilight Saga. We want to experience their pained interactions don't keep them separated the whole time!
We’ll end this review on a high note because once I got through all of the nothing the last two hundred pages were blow your mind good. Stuff actually happened, like crazy stuff that will propel book three to hopefully be a lot more action packed than book two.
Okay, I’m done. Overall I’m still enjoying this series, I will be reading book three after a small reprieve as I have been asked to read J.M. Miller’s new book Fallen Flame set to release on June 19th. I will post my review later this week!
So because the writing in this book is so rich and beautiful I’m going to leave you with a quote from the book:
“It was one of those dreams that invade the space between seconds, proving sleep has its own physics- where time shrinks and swells, lifetimes unspool in a blink, and cities burn to ash in a mere flutter of lashes.”
― Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight