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My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Audio ARC Review: A Poison Dark and Drowning by jessica Cluess

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553535943/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=onderherose-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0553535943&linkId=5298cffa0f276c280ac42ab78d9806ca
Please Note:  I received an audio copy of this book from Random House in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.  Also, I have linked the book cover to Amazon.  If you buy the book through this link, I will get a small fee.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Henrietta doesn't need a prophecy to know that she's in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.
Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook s system is transforming him into something monstrous as he begins to master dark powers of his own. So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out strange new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and uncover the most devastating weapon of all: the truth.  


Review:
A year ago, I had the good fortune to read an advance copy of A Shadow Bright and Burning, by Jessica Cluess.  I fell in love with the world created by the author, and adored her main character, Henrietta Howl.

Now, a year late, we have been treated with an even more impressive second novel, A Poison Dark and Drowning.  This has all the fun of the first book, and adds even more romance, heartache, and kick-ass feminism!


What I Liked:

Audio Book Performance:
This book is performed by the amazing Fiona Hardingham.  I have now listened to several audio book performances by her (such as An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir) and she is always riveting.  The subtle changes she makes in her voice to create male characters is particularly impressive.  As Henrietta, I could feel the longing and heartbreak of this character come to life.
Backstory:
I loved that we get to find out all about the backstory of how the Ancients came into the human realm, and how Henrietta's and Blackwood's fathers were involved.  The mistakes they make are what creates the havoc that their children are dealing with.  Could this be a metaphor for how modern-day problems have their roots in the decisions of the past?

Characters:
With the introductions out of the way in the first book, this novel has the luxury of delving in to the heart of the characters of Henrietta, her fellow sorcerers, and of her enemies.  I love that no character is portrayed as completely good (or evil).  Author Jessica Cluess gives us characters who have faults and make questionable choices.  Even Relum, the leader of the Ancients, has moments where we see an (almost) human side.

There is also the addition of another wonderful female character, Mariah.  An orphan, Mariah is self-sufficient but guards a secret that could get her killed.  I love how assured Mariah is and that she bonds so well with Henrietta.

Henrietta, in particular, is wonderful and heartbreaking.  When I think about what her motivation is throughout the book, I come up with the notion that all she really wants is to feel part of a family.  This is a character who thrives on friendships.  When they go well, she is strong and capable.  But when things become complicated, as with Rook, Magnus, and Blackwood, she becomes very uncertain of herself.  Her choices are so human, as she waivers in what she thinks she wants.  

Feminism:
One thing that Henrietta never waivers on is her staunch determination to be her own person.  She will not "belong" to any man, and bristles at the idea that once she marries, she will have to "obey" her husband.  Women in that time really had very few choices when it came to marriage.  In high society, they were told that it was their duty to marry and bare children to carry on the next generation of the ruling class.  I was a bit surprised that Henrietta should have such a modern attitude.  But I loved it, all the same.

Tragic Romance:
This book is filled with people who can't be with the person they love.  As Rook is consumed by shadows (he was bitten by an Ancient in the first book), Henrietta clings to the hope that he can be cured.  Both Blackwood and Magnus are attracted to Henrietta, but see that her heart is tied to Rook.  My heart broke for these characters as they tried to sort out their feelings.  I just wanted them all to be happy!  But that would make for a very dull book, right?

What I Didn't Like:

                     
via GIPHY


                                                             


Rating: 





Release Date:  September 19th, 2017

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Publisher:  Random House Audio

Length:  12 Hours 58 Minutes

Page Length:  432 Pages

Source:  Random House Audio

Format:  Audio Book

Performed by: Fiona Hardingham

Recommendation:  This is a compelling second installment of this series.  With tragic characters, and plenty of action, this is a book that you will have a tough time putting down.

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1 comment :

  1. Good review. I wasn`t familiar with this story, but the book sounds like something I`d love.

    Carmen / Carmen`s Reading Corner

    ReplyDelete




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