BRIEFING NOTE: This is a fantastic end to one of my favorite series ever, chum. This is a trilogy that is excellently plotted into three acts and is never ███████ boring. If you haven’t yet read Illuminae and Gemina , tread with caution as this review has spoilers for the first two books.
“Every story needs its villain. And its hero. And its monster.”
I am so sad that this amazing series is over, chum. If I am being honest, it took me almost two months to read this book because I didn’t want it to end and was savoring every single page. I simply didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters I had come to love, especially Nik.
“But in trying times, truth is the first thing we betray.”
Friends, this book gripped me from the first page to the very last. Descendant of the Crane is a stunning debut fantasy that delivers on the “Chinese version of Game of Thrones” comparison that I’ve seen. This is a fast paced and action packed book that you cannot miss!
The plot of the book seems simple enough: the king died mysteriously and his daughter launches an investigation because she’s convinced it was murder and is determined to uncover the truth. But it is so much more than that. It turns out the truth is more than just with the king’s death, but the 300 year history of the country following the revolution against the previous empire. The oppressed rose up to make things more equal for everyone… except for the sooths. I appreciated Hesina’s sympathy for the sooths and the moral dilemma she faces while having to also not increase tensions and fear for her people.
“A dead king. A deceived populace. A truth seeker. Sounds like a story that could end very well or very poorly, and I want to spectate.”
“We have so much history…those ties go deep and aren’t easily cut.”
Friends, this was such an enjoyable read! I’ve been suffering from the worst reading slump for the past couple of months and just wanted to read and finish something. I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books, and I figured that there is probably no better cure for a slump that a dose of nostalgia — and how right I was!
One of the things I loved most about reading Nancy Drew was how strong, smart, and capable she a character she is. I loved the reimagining of the characters we know and love as modern day teenagers, and unlike some other reboots that I’ve read this is written in a way that doesn’t alienate a younger reader unfamiliar with the source material but also doesn’t alienate people my age that are in it for the nostalgia factor.
“I would rather die than do nothing.”
Friends, there are some books that just suck you into their pages from the start and stay with you after you finish. The Fever King is one of those rare books. I was captivated from the first page and filled every spare moment I had with reading this amazing debut novel. For two days I started and ended my day reading The Fever King, and actually went to work an hour later than normal so I could finish the book yesterday. (and I absolutely hate having to stay after it gets dark!)
I honestly have no idea how to even find the words to review this book. The Fever King is an amazing debut fantasy/speculative fiction novel that takes place in the year 2123 in an alternative United States. I think for me the thing that stuck out the most about this was that the point of divergence into this possible future was 2019, and even though we don’t have outbreaks of magic spreading (that we know of) it feels so incredibly authentic. And that’s terrifying to me, and the best parts of science fiction. In this 2123 new countries exist but there is still the same hatred and nationalistic rhetoric that we are experiencing today.
BRIEFING NOTE: After absolutely falling head over heels in love with Illuminae , I didn’t think it could get any better. Hahaha joke is on you, this one is ███████ fantastic and I loved it even more than the first book.
Chums, I was sucked into Gemina immediately. It builds on the action from Illuminae and starts with a court proceeding of sorts for BeiTech. The evidence provided are the documents provided by the Illuminae Group, and the briefing notes we read in Gemina are part of the official record. I thought this was such an innovative way to frame the story, and I love books that start at the end and watching how things got to that point.