Chris, the Dalek King's Reviews > Rogue in the Making

Rogue in the Making by T.J.  Nichols
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While I’m not going to go into a whole lot of spoilers for this book, I will have to talk about several things that will be spoilers for book one, so if you haven’t read Warlock in Training yet, and still intend to, I’d advise you give this review a miss. I’m basically going to be spoiling the climax of book one in this review, so if you go further here it might make the reading experience a bit less enjoyable.

So, now that all that is handled…

Rogue in the Making opens up shortly after the end of book one. Angus’ father is dead–his blood and soul used to rebalance the magic in Demonside–and Angus himself is healing from the knife wound his father inflicted on him when he tried to kill Angus. The ritual performed at the end of the first book has also brought in the rains–for however long it will last–and the demons have agreed to give Angus and the other trainees a year to figure out a way to rebalance the magic without all-out war. But the calm does not last long as Angus soon starts to suspect that the Underground of warlocks who said they wished to bring down the college and their harmful ways are not as completely honest as they portrayed themselves. And it seems that not all demons are content to wait a year to see results. With both sides of the veil teetering on war from without and within, Angus and Saka must scramble to hold together a fragile peace all the while trying to find a way to save Demonside from drying to dust and blowing away in the wind.

There were parts of this book that I liked more than the Warlock in Training, and some that I liked less.

On the positive side, I think the author did a good job of making sure you felt the tension in this story from beginning to end. Even when things were good, you knew that it would not last. There was a constant sense of dread and impending doom that I think worked well towards making this a hard book to put down.

On the flip side of that, the way this book was structured, the movement from scene to scene–and the way it seemed to leave out some rather important, or at the very least impactful, scenes–made the narrative a bit choppy. The way the story moved from scene to scene–usually on a pov shift between Saka and Angus–had no natural flow to it. It was hard to tell how much time was lost between chapters. A lot of the times it would end with Angus in Demonside/Vinland, and the next chapter would have Angus back on the other side. Days, or even a week could have passed, but it never made it quite clear enough to the readers. Even though a lot of the times I could kinda guess that nothing important had happened in the missing time, there were some times where it felt like I missed out on things that I really should have seen for myself, instead of having related to me by other characters. There were several deaths in this book that had maybe a tenth of the impact they could have had, mostly because we don’t get to see them happen. The characters are sad that the people died…but I never was. It felt very removed and closed off, when it should have done something to me.

I did find the way the relationship(s) in this book progressed to work a bit better for me. At least by the end. I am not, and never have been, a huge fan of love-triangles. They annoy me. The whole thing with Terrance in the first book was probably one of my least favorite things about the story. Mostly because I could tell that it was bugging Saka. I’m totally cool with non-monogamous relationships, but they kinda have to be agreed on by all parties, and I could tell that Saka was not happy about Angus’ growing relationship with the other human. I think this story did at least start to move the whole love-triangle into a more palatable direction, for me at least, by the end of this book. I’m not sure what the next book will have in store but if it continues on the path it seems to be taking, I’ll be happy.

I was less happy with the way the book handled the Underground though. It all seemed a bit to cliched for my tastes. Maybe if they had spent some time going into why they would act this way, given us some clues as to what changed their outlook–or if indeed it did ever change–I would have bought their part of the story more. In fact the whole Underground aspect of this book was very underwritten. There were not many characters given more that just vague outlines, and I never got a feel for who they were, why they did what they did, how they operated, who was in charge, or what the end goal was. Much like the college they seem to be there just to push Angus more towards Saka and Demonside. I really do wish that the author had fleshed out this part of the book, because as it stands they just came off as cliched and a bit boring. Where I think they were supposed to be the antagonist of this story, I never really felt it from them. I certainly didn’t like them, but they always felt like more of a side boss, than a Big Bad. Which is unfortunate since there really wasn’t any one thing in this book to push the story to any type of climax and the story faltered near the end because of it.

This book just barely eked out a four-star rating from me. There were some real flaws in this story that almost kept me from rating it this high. But in the end…and I do mean the very end…it did manage to pull itself together enough for me to say that I did like it more than the first story. Just barely, but still. I do like this world, with its very grey morality and dark tone, but I’m kind a hoping that book three will have a bit tighter structure. It feels like all the ingredients are here to make a truly awesome story, and each entry is getting the recipe a bit closer, but it hasn’t reached perfection yet. But that doesn’t mean that what’s here isn’t worth consuming. It is still a good story, and it left me actually excited to see what will happen next.

This book was provided free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.
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Reading Progress

July 5, 2017 – Shelved
July 5, 2017 – Shelved as: coming-soon
January 7, 2018 – Shelved as: love-bytes
May 12, 2018 – Shelved as: on-deck
May 21, 2018 –
63.0% "I'm really not a huge fan of the way this story skips rather important, or at the very least interesting, scenes. It is kinda jaring, and makes it hard to connect with the characters and the story."
May 22, 2018 – Shelved as: to-review
May 22, 2018 – Shelved as: abuse-assault-torture
May 22, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy-mm-ff
May 22, 2018 – Shelved as: magic-and-supernatural
May 22, 2018 – Shelved as: mc-pairing-mm
May 22, 2018 – Shelved as: mc-pairing-mmm
May 22, 2018 – Shelved as: owned-ebook-or-audio
May 22, 2018 – Shelved as: shifters-and-things-that-bite
May 23, 2018 – Started Reading
May 23, 2018 – Finished Reading

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