First Lines: We run, with water in our shoes and the smell of the ocean clinging to our frozen skin.
We interrupt my Outlander gaga-fest to (hopefully) bring you a few new reviews. I moved this up to the top of my to-read list a while ago simply because I was tired of seeing it on the list. It’s been something like 4-5 years since I read Wither, but I still wanted to read this.
*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*
Having escaped the mansion, Rhine and Gabriel begin to believe that they are free…until they walk right into a trap that looks like a carnival with a ringmistress that collects girls. Determined to get to Manhattan, Rhine will do just about anything to escape again. With Gabriel at her side, she’s strong enough to do that. But the road to Manhattan is long and dangerous. They can’t trust anyone, no matter how kind they seem. Because everywhere they turn, Vaughn always seems to be lurking in the shadows, just waiting for the right moment to pounce. Can Rhine find her twin brother, Rowan, before Vaughn finds her?
As I mentioned, it’s been an incredibly long time since I read Wither. I remember about 2 things from the book and that’s it. So it was slightly like jumping into the middle of a series blind, except that I did remember the basic characters and their relationships. (Like I remembered pretty quickly that Vaughn was bad. Obviously.) But I just reiterate this to admit that this likely played into my rating of the book. How could it not?
I think, character-wise, I probably would have liked Rhine and Gabriel more if I remembered them from the first book. They were rough, tense characters this time around and I didn’t see much in terms of dimensional characterization. They were pretty much only tense and angry and negative, and that was about it to their characters. (Yes, obviously they do have more depth than that, but it’s really hard to want to keep reading a book when the characters are always so negative. That tends to stand out to me.)
But the minor characters were really cool. I was thrilled to see characters like Maddie and Lilac, who managed to bring a little bit of lightness to an otherwise grim story.
I thought the writing was quite clever and that really helped the plot stay interesting. While it’s clear what Rhine’s ultimate purpose is, there are enough twists along the way that you can be surprised by the action. And things that are mentioned early in the book become important later. I love that.
Really, though, I think this either wasn’t my book or it’s just been too long since I read the first book. I wasn’t over impressed with this book, but I am interested in seeing where this series goes next.