*I received an ecopy of this book via Edelweiss. This has not influenced my review.*
I’m not sure what to say about this book. It wasn’t bad, but it went off the rails a bit too much for my taste.
The first book had a lot of strangeness and randomness, but I didn’t mind because the characters and the relationships between them were great and carried the book through. I could enjoy just being along for the ride. In this book though, the characters were mostly separated, and most things that happened in the plot just felt so random or unnecessary or convenient. I felt like I was just being thrown from one strange thing to the next. It made the relationships and emotions between the characters seem more forced too since I didn’t get to see them interacting much, and their interactions were kinda choppy.
I know that all sounds really harsh, but there were good things about this book too. It moved the overall story forward. It gave the readers answers about certain things and let us learn more about certain characters (like Aster’s father and the guidance counselor). There were some cute and funny moments. There was again a lot of creativity in this world the author has created. And I do like the characters individually. The erratic plot just made this one too difficult for me to really get into though. It may be more enjoyable for anyone who likes really unique fantasy worlds with lots of strange and unpredictable happenings.
*Trigger Warning*: Sexual abuse/assault (a man sexually assaulting a teen girl with plans to rape/kill her and also touching/kissing her while she sleeps).
Fans of Book 1 in Greg Keyes's High and Faraway series. Anyone who likes quests through fantasy realms, sweet friendships, character growth, a lot of magic, and just a bit of strangeness.
More Books in the Series:
Three young friends must navigate dangerous magical worlds―and their own inner selves―in this sweeping fantasy from Greg Keyes, the sequel to The Reign of the Departed.
Errol Greyson is awake and back in his own body, thanks to his friends Aster the witch and Veronica the half-dead girl. Unfortunately, due to the attempted suicide that led to his months-long coma and temporary reincarnation in Aster’s wooden automaton in the first place, he’s also in a mental hospital.
But when the last person Errol expects breaks him out and forces him back to the magical Kingdoms, he has no other option but to attempt to undo a deadly curse threatening reality itself, in hopes of returning the realm to equilibrium. It’s dangerous business, especially in Errol’s merely-human form, weakened from months in bed.
Fearing for their friend’s life, Aster and Veronica follow, but are quickly separated. Aster is captured by an ancient evil―the source of the curse―while Veronica confronts a mysterious admirer, her own evolving nature, and the dark spirit that murdered her years earlier.
As vast armies collide and dragons take wing, the friends must find each other―and themselves―again.