I received an early reviewer’s ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review. (Sorry it took so long for me to finish it.)
This review contains spoilers.
I had no idea this was a sequel. I probably would not have requested it had I realized. None the less, I enjoyed this story. I was not very impressed by the first third or so of the book. I was confused. I kept thinking that it must be a sequel, but there was no point in the first pages of the book that stated what the series was, nor did it say on Goodreads or the LibraryThing giveaway that it was a sequel. It wasn’t until the end papers (if they can be called that in an ebook) that I finally found where it said it was a sequel. The part that confused me most was Christine’s and Tina’s parents. I was so confused when I was told that Christine didn’t trust Tina’s parents, and then a few pages later, that she got along well with her parents. Because Christine was adopted by Tina’s biological parents, and I was told that Tina’s parents (without mention that they were her adopted parents) had switched Tina with Christine to distract the demons. I was honestly thinking that the author had carelessly left two different versions of Christine’s relationship with her parents in the book, and I didn’t understand why, since Christine and Tina had learned of their switching, Tina didn’t come to the family dinner. I didn’t realize that whenever Tina’s parents were mentioned it was referring to her adopted parents (or, the people who stole her from her biological parents since Christine’s parents didn’t willingly part with her) and whenever it mentioned Christine’s parents it was referring to Tina’s biological parents, Christine’s adopted parents. I still don’t know why Tina doesn’t hang out with Christine’s family since they are technically her family too, and her adopted family kidnapped her from her biological parents, and should be in jail for that. The other part that confused me was Patrick the Ogre. He’s mentioned several times, but we never are told who he is, other than that he’s an ogre.
The book felt like a middle grade book at times. Not because it would be appropriate for middle grade (the content isn’t terrible, but there are references to sex and mild cussing,) but because the pacing was very fast. Almost too fast, which is how I often feel while reading middle-grade novels.
I thought it was kind of weird that Christine’s water elemental was not sentient, the fire was like a wild animal that had to be tamed, the wind was sentient and had to be bargained with, and the earth was practically another being that could have lived on its own without Christine.
I was convinced that the old troll was Christine’s grandfather. I was mildly disappointed that he was her uncle. I was also curious as to why Christine’s father was in jail because the king thought he’d kidnapped her, but the king has no heirs. I don’t remember the book saying this, but it seems as though Christine’s mother was the king’s sister? And so her father wouldn’t be an heir to the throne? I wasn’t sure.
I liked Christine a lot. I really liked Christine’s brother. I wish we would have seen more of him. I didn’t really like Joe from the moment he was mentioned. I’m glad he and Christine broke up. Christine’s parents seemed nice, but we didn’t get to know them very well. We heard a lot about Tina, but we barely saw her, so I’m still not sure how I feel about her. The wooden man (I forget his name) seemed interesting, but we didn’t get to know him very well. The demon seemed interesting. As a villain, he may have had some interesting motives, though we still don’t know what all of his motives were.
I don’t like to read books with angels as characters. They always mess up their angelology. Why couldn’t the angels be fairies or elves?
There were a few mild typos, but I assume that is because this was an early reviewer’s copy.
Because I was having so much trouble understanding the world I really didn’t get into the book until I was about a third in, and then, middle-grade-type pacing or not, the story really got interesting. I wish that the story would have concluded in this book, but I’m sure the third book will be good as well. I am sure that if you have read the first book in the series, this book will be excellent. As someone who came in to the series with this book, it was enjoyable, but mildly confusing.