There are times when Heather, Aly & I finish a book, but don’t have time to write a full, comprehensive review… or even a shorter “flashbulb” review. BUT we still want to share our thoughts with you on what we’ve been reading. That’s why every Saturday we’ll be featuring 3 “snippet” reviews — short, sweet, to-the-point reviews that we’ll try to keep to 2-7 sentences. So we hope you enjoy these!!
Once again, our snippets decided to be not so snippet-sized this week. Forgive our loquaciousness. <– Isn’t that just a fantastic word? Say it with me. Loquaciousness. Lo-qua-cious-ness. It’s like the verbal equivalent of biting into a juicy, slightly overripe strawberry. Yum… and yes, I’m weird. And I’ll never apologize for that. 😉
Fantasy, and magic, and romance, OH MY!
You know that feeling you get when you start a new book? That lovely, small (yet pervasive and ever-increasing) feeling upon reading just the first few pages that you’ve found a new favorite novel?
That is how I felt upon beginning The Burning Sky. From the incredibly detailed, richly rendered, heavily storied world of elemental and subtle magic, to the complicated political games and intrigue, to the terrible burden of fulfilling a fated destiny, to the desperate attempts to hide Iolanthe from the ever-watchful eyes of Atlantis, to its dark fairytale-esque qualities, to the breathlessly paced plot, to the ever-mounting danger that surrounded Iolanthe and Titus constantly, to the tempestuous love/hate relationship between a world-weary, duty-bound (yet resolute) prince and the feisty, elemental mage who’s constantly setting him slightly off-balance, to Thomas’ beautifully lush writing style, to the historical setting (and resulting, completely fascinating, social microcosm) of Eton College — everything, everything, EVERYTHING, in and about this book enchanted me.
I love Iolanthe. I love her presence of mind, her vulnerability, her resolve, her cunning, her tenacity, her dreams, her spunk, her perseverance. I love Titus. His bravery, his underlying melancholy, his longing for impossible things, his loneliness; and conversely, his craftiness, his ruthlessness, and his cleverness. I love how their relationship with each other evolves over the course of the book. It’s just this fantastic, tumultuous dance of trust and mistrust, resentment and affection, attraction and duty, manipulation and authenticity. It’s one big, beautiful mess of conflicting emotions and purposes set against the backdrop of a shared, and probably doomed, destiny.
Overall, consider me well and fully head over heels for this book.
*** If you’re thinking about picking The Burning Sky up on audiobook, you totally should. Philip Battley narrates, and does an absolutely fantastic job.
Ann Aguirre is a genius. A total and complete genius. She can do things with characters and plots that I thought would never work or that initially I really didn’t like and then make me love it and beg for more. For example, I couldn’t stand Stalker in Enclave. I mean straight up did not like the dude AT ALL. It’s not that I didn’t understand why he was in the story, but I didn’t really want him around Deuce. In Outpost, we see a different side of him completely. He gets a chance to grow and change and learn things he never had a chance to in the gang. And honestly, now I sort of like him. I still want Deuce to be with Fade, but I also want some kind of closure for Stalker.
The development of plot and setting and romance were breath-taking and in some instances heart-wrenching. It was so exquisitely done that I wanted to immediately start Horde…alas I must wait until Tuesday. The pacing and rhythm are addictive and the characters are every bit as rich as in Enclave. The new secondary characters that are introduced in Outpost are vibrant and loveable/hateable (depending on the character). While the freaks were well…freaky in the first novel, they are downright frightening in this one. They go from being a distant, somewhat “out there” threat to a very present and disturbingly strategic menace.
Overall, Outpost was a stunning sequel to Enclave. Brilliant and captivating in both development and delivery, it is sure to thrill readers from beginning to end.