When the gate was opened and the curse lifted, everyone thought that life would be back to normal, but it’s too early to celebrate yet. Vienna decided...moreWhen the gate was opened and the curse lifted, everyone thought that life would be back to normal, but it’s too early to celebrate yet. Vienna decided not to wait for Rownan and set out to find a different entrance to Earth. Yara and Treygan won’t allow Rownan to travel through Harte alone. The three of them set out on a dangerous journey. Traveling through Harte won’t be easy, and no one returns from Hell the same. I felt like this book was much better than the first. The plot was far more entertaining and the flow was much nicer. Unlike Tangled Tides, the story was harder to predict and the manner of Harte was random and, in ways, terrifying. I found Harte to be a much more interesting place than anything we have seen so far.
I spotted better development with the characters but also, all of the mannerisms that annoyed me with the first book were toned down a bunch. The focus was also on Yara far less, which I enjoyed. It was nice to see the other characters get more attention. My favorites still weren’t seen much, but it was better than nothing. I was still not a fan of the characters.
This book certainly improves the series, but it’s hard to like a story when you can’t like the characters. So while I look forward to the next installment to see where the story goes, I’m not looking forward to dealing with Yara and Treygan again. If they were better characters and their romance more believable, I would be more fond of this series.
I really wanted to like this book. It has some problems though, which kept me from being able to really dive into it and not look away. The writing st...moreI really wanted to like this book. It has some problems though, which kept me from being able to really dive into it and not look away. The writing style is really stiff, which is hard to deal with, as the book is long. The flow was stunted and jerky and it became quickly obvious that English isn’t the first language for our author. It felt like the author came up with her ideas in one language and then wrote them down in another and a good part of things were lost in translation.
The writing style got to me. It was full of description. I read very far into the book and felt like I had read more details than dialogue, and when you do see dialogue, it’s awkward and superfluous. The writing is far too formal, for any novel really in my opinion, but especially a novel with teenagers. Teenagers don’t speak like that. It would’ve been fine if the Arkanians spoke formally only, but it leaks into other parts of the novel until the other characters are speaking and thinking formally and it doesn’t work. There were a lot of unnecessary scenes that could’ve been cut to make the book shorter, which would’ve been nice because the story repeats itself in places. There were a lot of plot elements that were tossed in there randomly for convenience with little to no purpose or explanation, which is one of those things I have problems forgiving. I hate when I can’t see the buildup. The lack of buildup leaked over into the plot as well. Usually, you can see threads of the climax as the story goes. You might not know which thread will be pulled, or how hard it will be yanked, but you know that you need to follow one of those threads because they will lead you to the climax. Having multiple threads is the way to keep the readers guessing and engaged. This story had no real threads, just wisps that were trying to become strings. By the time the climax happened, it was hardly led into and ended up being a let down because of it.
The characters needed better development. I couldn’t relate to them, or even care for them or their relationships. The interactions were unnatural, the dialogue uncomfortable to even read, and their emotions and actions hard to believe. Molly annoyed me the most, she could’ve been such a great character, but she spent too much time pining over Viktor (Who, by the way, switched between being “Victor” and “Viktor” often through the novel) and stressing over nothing. I hated being in her head. She was dull. Her motivations were shallow and tedious.
Despite the flaws with the story, lack of climax, poorly executed resolution, and underdone character development, the winning ticket of this story is Whelan’s imagination. I found the descriptions of Arkana to be captivating and beautiful. It is such an interesting place that it actually makes me want to spend more time there. So while I probably won’t rush out to continue the series post haste, I will eventually get the next because I want to see more of Arkana. I feel like this could’ve been a really great story with more polish. It needed more storyline input before being sent to publishing and probably more editing to make the writing and dialogue feel more real.