Noir by Jacqueline Garlick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ms. Garlick picks up exactly where the last novel left off, so I would recommend reading this immediately after the first book, since I was a little confused for the first little bit until I remember what was going on. She uses this book to push the readers further into this world in two ways. First of all, she expands the POV characters so that we can get a first-hand look into more than just Eyelet and Urlick’s thoughts. Second, she dramatically expands on the world and the magic of the world that our characters live in. Primarily, and incredibly scary, is the exploration of the kingdom’s madhouse which not only leans hard on all the tropes of the evil madhouse, but also adds on top of that a layer of malicious magic. There is a bright spot with the comedic relief character in the madhouse that had me alternately laughing and gasping, given the circumstances.
Overall, this is a strong second book in a trilogy, so nothing is resolved by the end of the book, although many of our characters are closer towards various goals they wish to accomplish. There is some tragedy along with some relief and, for a series where I was a little unsure of whether I truly wanted to continue (yeah, I said I would…but I didn’t have to be bound by last year Eric;s commitments), I’m now very curious to see where Ms. Garlick is going and how she’s going to conclude the series.
For the most prudish of readers, there is a sex scene. That said, if I recall correctly, it’s more implied than anything else once the skirts are up, so to speak. In other words, I’ve read more explicit scenes in YA books.
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