Blightborn (The Heartland Trilogy Book 2)
by Chuck Wendig
Book two of The Heartland Trilogy does not disappoint. The main characters from book one have been scattered by events beyond their control, and we are treated to many more perspectives as well as insight into the Empyrean itself. Myths and rumors only hinted at in book one become all too real, and new enemies and allies emerge.
Again, I love the characters, but I am especially impressed by the individual struggles that each one faces and how those struggles build in to the story as a whole. Lane’s in particular was a surprise, but I thought it was well handled. I felt really bad for him, not for his choices, but for the outcome of his first experience. I don’t know how all that will turn out, but I’m rooting for him. And, of the new characters, I found Balastair to be most interesting. He’s likeable, but I can totally get why Gwennie doesn’t trust him. Oh, and Eben. Yikes, what a creepy guy. I’d go on, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
As for the world building, it really takes off in this book, particularly with a good portion of the story taking place on one of the flotillas. The science that keeps the flotillas afloat, the span of the world beneath them, hints of other groups of people like the Heartlanders who have been enslaved by the Empyrean, and the depravity of the Empyrean itself. It’s fantastic. I love how each element unfolds and meshes with what has already been revealed. Oh, and don’t get me started on legends coming to life. I love it when rumors and legends turn out to be more than what they seem. I’ll leave it to you to discover which ones turn up.
I guess the only thing that bugged me was the ongoing wishy washiness of the characters who are trying to decide whom to love: obligated mates, former loves/enemies, or totally new love interests. It didn’t bug me much, but I didn’t always feel it, and I left the book with more questions than I had when I entered it. Good thing there’s another book.
So, for book two, yes, I love it, too. It has a lot more shock value and strife, and a lot more sexual content, though nothing all that explicit. I’d recommend this to folks who love science fiction and dystopia.
I received the review copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.