Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Torch Against the Night

A Torch Against the Night. Sabaa Tahir. 2016. 452 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: How did they find us so fast?

Premise/plot: A Torch Against the Night is the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes. It continues the life-and-near-death adventures of Laia, Elias, Keenan, and Helene. This time instead of two narrators, there were three. Helene has been added as a narrator.

Don't pick this one up if you've not read the first book.

My thoughts: Personally, I found the first half sluggish. But. I found the second half, particularly the last 100 pages to be really, really GOOD and oh-so-compelling. I'm not sure why I found this to be an uneven book. I am very glad I stuck with it. I can definitely say it's worth reading, because once it becomes good, it's GOOD.

The characters I cared about most were Laia and Elias. Their chapters were the ones I really looked forward to. I got swept up into their stories, their lives. And all was well. The Helene chapters were necessary, I suppose, because they give readers information that they wouldn't otherwise have. (A behind-the-scenes look at the enemy's plans.) But Helene's chapters felt like a third wheel.

This one has a couple of twists that are good and solid, in my opinion.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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