Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: Borderlands by Skye Melki-Wegner

Title: Borderlands
Author: Skye Melki-Wegner
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: The ReadingRoom. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

The action-packed adventure continues in the second book of the Chasing the Valley trilogy!

Danika and her crew of escaped refugees are seeking the safety of the Magnetic Valley – and trying to evade Sharr Morrigan, the king's most lethal hunter. But the borderlands they must cross to reach the Valley are smugglers' territory: lawless, wild and steeped in ancient magic. When one of the crew is badly wounded, Danika turns to the smugglers for help – and accepts a bargain that might prove deadly.

It is Lukas, however, who hides the most dangerous secret. What has he seen through the eagle's eyes? The answer can be found in an alchemy charm and a smuggler's tale, and will lead Danika and her friends to an electrifying, unputdownable showdown.

Review by Nara

'You can't have light without dark, and you can't have stars without the night.'
Just as fast paced and action packed as the first book, Borderlands was an entertaining read that managed to answer all the questions I had from Chasing the Valley. I really liked how there is a nice recap weaved into the first few chapters of Borderlands. It'd been a while since I'd read the first book, so a lot of the details had slipped from my mind, and having that subtle recapping was really quite useful.

Written in first person present tense, there's a very modern narrative voice which seems to suggest to me that it's targeted at younger readers. Things are often also very overtly stated- and the twists are sort of (by which I mean very) obvious. Again, I think this is probably because it's targeted at a slightly younger age group.

A lot of the things that were left unexplained in the first book, such as why the proclivity marks were covered up and where exactly charms come from, are explored fully in this one, definitely decreasing the issues I had with the world building. The general world building was pretty good, with more of the magic system being explained. Although I must say, there was a sorrowful lack of foxaries (these massive foxes that people ride around like horses, omg me wants one) in this book haha.

Whereas the first book was very centred on action and adventure (and trying to reach the Magnetic Valley), the sequel is more focused on the development of Danika's character. I mean, obviously they're still trying to reach the Magnetic Valley in order to be safe from the King and the Hunters etc, but the plot was also about Danika trying to get over the guilt of causing a character's death as well as her attempting to overcome her fear of using her proclivity.

Everyone who enjoyed the first book to some degree should be reading this sequel- it's just as fabulous as the first. Much like Chasing the Valley, Borderlands ends on a slightly cliffhangery ending with the promise of more adventure to come.

Really liked it

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 2/5