This story was tedious and disappointing for me on so many levels. It doesn’t touch book one, and I don’t think I can continue the series, not with how I feel right now. To be honest, I stopped absorbing the story long before it ended, so the hundred or so new characters who were introduced and never really fleshed out all kind of blurred together for me. I made a mistake in forcing myself to read on, instead of quitting. I didn’t want to give up, because I loved book one. I thought maybe, somehow, the story could redeem itself, but I only ended up exhausted and frustrated.
If I were guessing, based on reading book 2, I would say the author wrote book 1 with no clear plan or foresight in how to continue the story as a larger series. The arc of the series is absent in book 2, and instead of moving things forward, it wanders and falters and barely progresses the story beyond where it starts. Mostly, it just drags things out.
This story is the equivalent of intending to write an epic adventure story, but instead of getting the adventure started, you gather up your crew for 375 pages. Then you have maybe 25 pages left for any kind of adventure
I am sad, because I hate disliking a book I had hoped to love and devour. I come to every story with an open mind, wanting to love it. You can see by my overall Goodreads rating that I tend to rate books high (1,075 books rated, mostly YA, with an average rating of 4.27). I also will rarely rate/review a book, if I won’t give it at least 3 stars, because (assuming I finished reading it, which in most instances I would have just quit reading and quietly moved on) I don’t want to hate on a story that other people love. For some reason though, this one is bothering me a lot, and I just wanted a chance to talk that through and put it behind me, I guess.
This was a no for me on all levels, but that doesn’t mean I’m right about the story in general. To be honest and fair, I believe I brought a continually declining attitude to the story, each time I forced myself to return to it, so I might have created a situation in which by reading on, I just made things worse.
But here’s what I wish, after the fact:
I wish the story had begun almost where it ended.
I wish endless action scenes hadn’t been used as a replacement for a solid plot that actually moves the story/world/issues forward, rather than just dragging them out.
I wish the author thought I was smart and had let me decide what to think and feel, instead of telling me repeatedly or trying to manipulate me into agreement.
I wish there had been real character growth and development, and I wish that had been integral to the story and how it moved forward.
I wish this book made me feel even one true or deep emotion, beyond frustration.
I wish I could have identified some kind of point, purpose, or theme in this story.
I wish this had stayed truer to the fantasy and dystopian genres, instead of completely switching to a paranormal focus.
I wish there had been real world building, and not just a constant, tiring focus on new people with new powers.
I wish they would have marketed this as a villain story, because the MC acts and thinks in patterns that are much more suited to villainy. At least that would have been an interesting twist.
I wish there had been less repetitive, childish, petty, argumentative, self-involved, and pitying behaviors throughout, with many characters.
I wish I hadn’t come to dislike the characters so much, especially the MC, that I no longer even care what happens to them.
I wish the editors had interceded and the publisher had delayed publication until this book could have been improved to be at least half as good as book one, as the author has potential. This just fell flat and failed in too many areas, and it did that in a way that was long, drawn out, and exhausting. Perhaps there wasn’t enough story to drag things out for so many books and a shorter deal should have been offered. I don’t know, but I wish someone had said, “this doesn’t quite cut it, and I know you can do better.”