Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Perilous Sea: Review


After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.


The Perilous Sea is so much better than The Burning Sky. The plot is really different, dividing into two parts. I will call it the Before and the After to make things simpler. They are written in alternate chapters, one after another. Both are awesome plots individually. In the Before, suspicion is tense. I always love some suspicion because it makes everything unpredictable. There are quite some WTF moments that I don't expect at all. And there are things hidden in Iolanthe's past which makes her a great mage. Since the Before is just half of the book, everything is fast-paced. It's not as action-packed as you might think, but it's definitely exciting and heart-pounding.

Personally I love the After more. For one thing it's much more action-packed and more magic is involved. What's the point of mages if there is no magic in the book? It's also time for connections to characters, aka Titus and Iolanthe. It's hard to connect to both of them when so much is at stake. It's incongruous how sweet moments exist when the After is just as tense as the Before (and there's a lot). The After has a big question mark that isn't solved until the very end, which effectively puts me on edge. Yes, something happened to both Iolanthe and Titus. It's excruciating to wait for clues just to reveal part of the answer. Although both plots exist in different time, they are written simultaneously and for some reason that is not awkward at all. There are weird moments where I just don't know the purpose of a side plot. This time both are equally important. It's actually brilliant.

Although both plots are fantastic on their own, there's actually one big flaw. There's hardly any connection between the Before and the After. The book drops enough hint to tell us that the After is the consequence of the Before, but it doesn't exactly tell me how the After happens. It's a little frustrating because it's kind of ridiculous they are transferred from Eton College to the Sahara freaking desert with no indication of any possible transportation at all. They can vault, obviously. But that doesn't really tell me how they end up there anyway, because there's no way they just vault to the desert with no reason at all. This void goes unexplained. Seriously?

I like the ending. It's not your typical cliffhanger ending that makes me want to strangle someone. It's hopeful and bright, like they actually have a great future without all the darkness and obstacles standing between them. It makes me want to third book without wanting to kill someone. It's such a great sequel, which is rarely said these days. I hope there will be an ending suitable for this trilogy.

Rating: 8.5/10

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