This was a fantastic second book in this YAFantasy series. This book definitely does not suffer from the notorious “second book slump” and there is little to no “filler” that is typically stuffed into second books.
The action picks up right away. I was glad the author inserted a bit of exposition in the beginning to explain what happened in the last book, because it has been quite a while since I read it. We find the crew scattered at the onset of the book. Severin is haunted by the death of his brother Tristan, as is everyone else. He vows to cut off all emotion and stick strictly to business when it comes to the crew in an effort to save them from Tristan’s fate. He is determined to find The Divine Lyrics, which is rumored to contain the secret for joining the Babel Fragments to build the Tower of Babel and thus access the power of God. Once he has those powers, he will be able to protect his crew forever. This search will drive the action for the remainder of the book.
The rest of the crew is also licking their own private wounds from the events of the last book. They notice the change in Severin, but decide to trust him once again and embark on this latest venture. It will take them to the frozen tundra deep in Russia in search of the Sleeping Palace, which is rumored to hold the treasures of the Fallen House. Of course, treachery is found around every corner and old and new foes put the fate of each crew member in danger.
This book is full of action and suspense. There are new characters to be suspicious of, and old characters that may or may not be friends. The tense relationship between Severin and Laila is hard to read, because I just want them to get back together and work it out, dammit! Hey, here’s an idea – how about you actually talk to each other?! 🙂
The book ends on an insane cliffhanger and I cannot WAIT to see what happens next. If you haven’t gotten into this book series yet, I highly recommend you do so. It’s a unique combination of Historical Fiction and Fantasy, with plenty of sciency gadgets that do cool things.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.