Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hartman, Rachel (Shadow Scale)

I truly loved Hartman's first book. I'll admit to being surprised because I knew her first as a comic book creator, so seeing her talent at writing fantasy fiction sorta shocked me. Silly me, I really should have known better (especially since her comic talent lay in perfectly realized faux-medieval tales).

She finishes off her story about Seraphina in this book. I won't say I was sorry to see her go, because I did love this world of real-as-can-be dragons, the humans who fear, care for, or despise them, and those who live in-between them. I won't redefine that in-between for the sake of those who haven't read the first book yet, although it's not much of a spoiler.

The reason I didn't love this volume as much as the other is because this one... well, it takes too long. She has a complex story, and I appreciate that she wrote it as briskly as possible while still taking time to develop her characters and lay the plot accordingly. But around 2/3 of the way in, Seraphina's journey feels like it's more than a fool's errand, it feels like it was never necessary in the first place. That's a real letdown when it comes to the impact on the story of your main character.

But, goodness, that's not going to prevent me from reading more books of hers. Her voice is fresh and invigorating, so bring them on, please.

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