Crazyjamie's Reviews > Knife Edge

Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman
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Noughts & Crosses was an excellent book. Not only did it surprise me in terms of its quality, but it struck that perfect balance between readability and grit. I was therefore looking forward to the second in the series.

This book shifts its focus slightly, necessarily so due to the ending of the first book. The main characters are now Sephy and Jude, Callum's brother. Both continue to fight their way through life in a very racist world, with Judge continuing his role as a 'liberation fighter', and Sephy trying to adjust to life as a mother of a mixed race child. Both are essentially starting new stages of their life at the opening of the book, and the story follows them through the first section of that adjustment.

It should be said straightaway that Knife Edge does contain elements of what made Noughts & Crosses so good. It is easy to read and has a good pace about it, to the point where I actually finished it in a few sittings very comfortably. It also does have the (now trademark) shocks in terms of the culture and the institutionalised racism on both sides.

Unfortunately what it lacks is a connection between the main characters. Sephy and Callum made the first book, not only in being strong characters themselves, but how the plot was intertwined around them whilst continually shifting perspective. There was also the added element of them growing up through the prejudice. Sephy and Jude do cross paths in this novel, but not nearly as much, and for the most part there are two separate plot lines at work here, which significantly dilutes the overall quality of the book.

It doesn't stop me wanting to continue with the series, indeed the inherent readability of the series makes it inevitable that I will finish it. But this book feels less directed and weaker than the first book, most probably because it will prove to be padding for the overall story. In which case I am sure that Malorie Blackman will return to form with the third book. But for now this one has to stand as a weak link.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
December 20, 2010 – Finished Reading
January 14, 2011 – Shelved

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