Monday, April 24, 2017

The Edge of the Abyss ~ Emily Skrutskie (earc) review [@skrutskie @Fluxbooks]

The Edge of the Abyss (The Abyss Surrounds Us #2)
April 18, 2017
281 pages
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Three weeks have passed since Cassandra Leung pledged her allegiance to the ruthless pirate-queen Santa Elena and set free Bao, the sea monster Reckoner she’d been forced to train. The days as a pirate trainee are long and grueling, but it’s not the physical pain that Cas dreads most. It’s being forced to work with Swift, the pirate girl who broke her heart.

But Cas has even bigger problems when she discovers that Bao is not the only monster swimming free. Other Reckoners illegally sold to pirates have escaped their captors and are taking the NeoPacific by storm, attacking ships at random and ruining the ocean ecosystem. As a Reckoner trainer, Cas might be the only one who can stop them. But how can she take up arms against creatures she used to care for and protect?

Will Cas embrace the murky morals that life as a pirate brings or perish in the dark waters of the NeoPacific?

The Edge of the Abyss is the sequel to 2016's The Abyss Surrounds Us (see my review here). The division of the two books was very smartly done. As only weeks have passed since the events of The Abyss Surrounds Us's ending not much time has passed, the big change is with (and in) Cas. Especially when comparing the beginning of the first book and the beginning of the second there's a marked difference in Cas's mindset: how she sees the pirates, how she sees the SRC and Reckoner training and, most importantly, her role with either/both.

This novel does a great job building on the world and relationships introduced in the first book. We now know about Reckoners, why they need training and what they can do. We know about Cas, her past and the decision she made to stay on the Minnow - and why. Now we get to see some of the repercussions of decisions made and things discovered in the first book. It's time for Cas to figure things out, to piece things together, and hopefully right some wrongs. Maybe even without dying in the process.

Things between Cas and Swift are not easy this second go round and the complications in their relationship help show us more of the pirate world, of how things operate and just how tricky things can be. I liked learning more about both of them and seeing how what they find out affected them.

Events of The Edge of the Abyss were not what I would have guessed would happen but were definitely the natural progression of things introduced in The Abyss Surrounds Us. It was a fun, exciting, sometimes frustrating, at times frustrating but always rewarding read. The development of the characters' relationships was wonderful. The ending was different than I thought it would be - even right up until it happened (and I love that!).

This was a great read and I look forward to more from author Emily Skrutskie.

digital copy received for review from publisher, via NetGalley

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