Protagonist: At the end of The Inquisition, Fletcher's world got rocked when the prisoner he and his team were sent to recover wasn't Lady CaveReview:
Protagonist: At the end of The Inquisition, Fletcher's world got rocked when the prisoner he and his team were sent to recover wasn't Lady Cavendish as they thought, but Fletcher's own mother, long thought to be dead. However, before he could even let that twist faze him, they all had to jump straight into the ether, a place believed to be poisonous to humans. Fletcher's journey in this story is a pretty interesting one. His team looks to him as a leader and even when all seems hopeless he needs to think of something to get them through their ordeals in the ether. This isn't a role that Fletcher particularly likes as he hates the fate of others being in his hands. Over the course of this journey though that's not a feeling he can afford to have and he'll need to take action and lead his team if they're going to see their way out of the ether and protect the people of Hominum.
World Building: We finally get to see the ether! I mean, we technically saw a bit of it in the previous books, but not to this extent. This story definitely deals heavily with the world of the ether and the demons that dwell within it. Of course, there is the matter of the albino orc, Khan, and his plans for the world, that's a story that is woven throughout Fletcher's journey, both in the ether and after they've escaped. (If you think the fact that they eventually escape the ether is a spoiler than I'm sorry but it really shouldn't be.) Anyway, I did really enjoy what we get to see from this story. There is another major element to this world building that takes up a rather large chunk of the story, but I feel if I talk about it I really WOULD spoil something pretty awesome. There isn't a whole lot of new stuff that we get to see of this world, at least not in quantity, but the quality and in-depth look at what more we get to learn and see are pretty exciting and incredible.
Predictability: I'm looking back at the story and there wasn't all that much that I was able to predict. I mean, larger, more vague moments of the story such as the basic outcome for the main characters, sure, though even then there were a few things I couldn't predict. However, there was one thing, one thing that I was able to predict before ever even cracking open this story, and while I wish the author had taken this particular twist a bit further, it was still a pretty spectacular twist. As for the twists I was unable to call, there were some pretty intense things that go down in this story. This is an author that wants to show harsh realities over idyllic dreams and that means that things aren't always going to go the main characters' way, and well, that makes for some tension filled twists and revelations.
Ending: So I'm reading this story and noticing that I'm getting conspicuously close to the end. I mean, extremely close and while I can definitely see the potential for a final climax coming, it wouldn't be THE final climax of the series. As the end gets nearer and nearer I feel as though I've been lied to. I had heard about a "fourth" book in this series but was assured by the author that it was a prequel and that there would be a conclusion to the main arc in this book. As the end gets ever closer I begin to wonder if I wasn't given the full story and instead, like, ten chapters or so were missing from the final version. No, instead the ending is very rushed. There is closure, and THE final climax to this series does happen, but it all felt too rushed. There were so many things left to solve that are more or less addressed by the end, but honestly, as much as I hate this author's cliffhangers I kind of wish the "fourth" book would have been an extension of this story and given this story the ending that it deserved to fully flesh things out.
I seriously debated whether or not to give this book 4 or 4.5 stars. In the end, as much as I loved the bulk of this story, I needed a more fleshed out and epic ending instead of the rushed one that we get. Either way, it's a thoroughly enjoyable read and I can't wait to see what the prequel will cover in this world....more
Protagonists: While a majority of this story is told from the point of view of Neil Vapros, a boy who wants nothing more than the respect of hiReview:
Protagonists: While a majority of this story is told from the point of view of Neil Vapros, a boy who wants nothing more than the respect of his family, this story has many points of view and while not all of them are the protagonists of this story, a great deal of them are. What I love about all of the protagonists is that they aren't these paragons of goodness that you can easily take the side of, they are flawed and their logic of this ridiculous feud between their families is warped beyond comprehension. Each of the protagonists grows in some way or another over the course of this story, it's a growth that's easily seen but not in your face and obvious. I really liked each character who has a POV in this story, while not all the POV characters are good, they are still well layered and it's easy to see their logic, even if it's not something I personally agree with.
World Building: One of my biggest problems with this story, I almost feel too embarrassed to share. This book takes a long time to get fully set up, and while, once it's done, it's a really fantastic world that I'm totally sucked into now and I can't wait to see what happens in it, it was hard to get into at first because there was still a lot of set up. However, once a certain event occurs things speed up and kick into high gear. There's a lot to this world, and while it takes a while to set up it's quite a sight to behold. I mean the synopsis for the story sets it up a bit, but as you dive into this story the backstory for not only the characters but the families as well are incredible. Even after all this story has to offer in terms of set up there are still mysteries it hides and I just want to know more and to follow these characters as they hopefully discover more about the world they live in and the feud between their families that has consumed their entire lives.
Predictability: Other than one very large twist that I was able to figure out from the synopsis alone, this book does a spectacular job at keeping the twists of this book under wraps. If you're worried about reading the synopsis and getting spoiled on something big, don't worry there's enough foreshadowing for that twist that even without the synopsis you'd still see it coming a long time before it's actually revealed. As for the other twists in this story, I'm sure there might have been some foreshadowing for the larger twists, but I can't seem to remember all that much. For the smaller stuff, there wasn't all that much that felt like and intentional twist, but more like a part of the plot to move things along.
Ending: If I didn't know this book was part of a series going in, I would have known it by that ending. While this story doesn't end with a heart stopping cliffhanger or game changing twist, there is a lot that happens towards the end of this story. There are still a great many mysteries in this world and I just loved that the author used what I like to refer to as the "cooldown" period of this book, after the final climax, to remind readers that there's still more that won't be revealed until at least the sequel. The actual final climax of this story was incredible. Since there are multiple perspectives we got to see what was going down from multiple angles and through the lenses of different characters.
Audiobook Notes: As I've said in past Audiobook Reviews, I don't really have a great talent for articulating my thoughts about an audiobook unless it's something special and the creators and producers go above and beyond or the narration was so monotonously boring that I couldn't help but shut it off. While there wasn't anything in the production of the audiobook, such as ambient sounds, music, etc. that heightened the experience, the narrator does a spectacular job at bringing the characters in this story to life. His narration is anything but boring as he does good voices, and really adds a lot of great depth and emotion into his performance. When characters cry it really sounds like the narrator is crying, or when characters have to cover their mouths while talking in a certain scene, that comes through in the narration. Overall, this was a spectacular book to listen to.
While this story does take quite a while to get fully set up, and the story can seem to drag in certain parts until then, once things start going they don't stop and I can't wait to find out what happens next in this intricately designed fantasy world....more