Disclaimer: All reviews are the result of my personal opinion from a Christian stand-point. These reviews are provided for those who share my beliefs and morals, to help guide what fiction a reader may wish to pick up. For those who do not share these beliefs, please refrain from hateful comments. It is due to rude commenting that I must now include this note prior to all reviews. For more information, visit my purpose behind this blog. Thank you for your understanding.
Intended Age-Group: 12+
Issues of Violence: gunfire, explosions, knife fighting
Intimacy Level: minor kisses
Language: What the h**l, d*mn, some uses of "God" as exclamations.
Recommendation: 4 out of 5 stars.
Following their dramatic showdown in Seattle, Jesse Fisher and Cassius Stevenson find their world's been turned inside out. The faculty at Skyship Academy is keeping Jesse a prisoner in his own home, fearful of his influence over Pearls. And Cassius, once a loyal Pearlhound for the Unified Party, has been pushed into hiding, fearful of his government's retaliation.
When Jesse smuggles a mysterious red Pearl onboard the Academy, he sets loose a destructive chain of events, which lead him to a reunion with Cassius and a confrontation with Theo -- a bloodthirsty Pearlhound with a dangerous secret.
But a larger threat looms in the stars. An enemy is gathering, with plans to exterminate the entire human race. And Jesse and Cassius might just be the lynch pins that trigger mankind's destruction.
Initial Reaction: *****
This one didn't engage me quite as much as book one and I can't pinpoint why. I think it may have been the characters.
Jesse, for me, changed. Now, I know that finding out you're from another planet, you have a brother, and it's your job to save the world can change a teenage boy. I get that. I saw that change, but he also changed in a...confusing way. He seemed to make bad choices -- unintelligent choices. In book one, The Pearl Wars, he put two and two together almost as fast as I did, but in Crimson Rising he just seemed to be unthoughtful and rash -- like approaching someone (who looks obviously sinister, scary, and powerful) all by himself. There were also several times that I drew the conclusion of "the big shocker" much sooner than he (or Cassius) did. This is something that often frustrates me in books because I like to hope the main character is smarter, quicker, and more intelligent than me. When they're not as quick on the uptake, it's hard for me to believe they'd be that oblivious.
We've entered an all new world of Pearls, Pearl history, and Pearl destruction. The cnfusion was a fabulous addition to the storyline and terrifying at the same time because we didn't have control anymore. I love a plot that doesn't revolve around just one bad guy. The threats and "ticking time bomb" in Crimson Rising just rose and rose and rose, like the title says. By the end of the book, I found myself sweating and wondering, How in the world can they fix any of this?! And, because I trust the author to answer my questions, I have a feeling book 3 will be pretty phenomenal.
Spiritual focus: *****
None. As I said in my review of book one, I'm mostly thankful this is clean and engaging fiction for younger readers.
The writing quality is average -- easy to follow, but not necessarily challenging. I still like how Cassius and Jesse's points-of-view are different. This book revolved around a lot of descriptions -- both visual and internal -- and Nick James delivered quite nicely.
This book is a great continuation to The Pearl Wars and just escalates a delightful plot. I highly recommend it, even though I had occasional slower moments of interest. I still plan to read book 3. We mustn't leave Earth in chaos!
Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, released September 2014 from Enclave Publishing. When Nadine's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she is out pursuing adventures. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband. You can find out more about Nadine and her books at http://nadinebrandes.com.