Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Review: Descendant (Starling #2)

Release Date: August 27, 2014
Author: Lesley Livingston
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 336 pages

The last thing Mason Starling remembers is the train crossing a bridge. An explosion . . . a blinding light . . . then darkness. Now she is alone, stranded in Asgard—the realm of Norse legend—and the only way for her to get home is to find the Spear of Odin, a powerful relic left behind by vanished gods.

The Fennrys Wolf knows all about Asgard. He was once trapped there. And he’ll do whatever it takes to find the girl who’s stolen his heart and bring her back—even if it means a treacherous descent into the Underworld. But time is running out, and Fenn knows something Mason doesn’t: If she takes up the Spear, she’ll set in motion a terrible prophecy. And she won’t just return to her world . . . she’ll destroy it.

In this pulse-pounding sequel to Starling, Lesley Livingston delivers another electrifying blend of nonstop action and undeniable romance that will leave readers breathless.



Protagonist: Mason Starling, though she has been through many a supernatural and mythological fight, begins this novel in Hel, and believes it to be a dream. Now, I love Mason as a character, but I have to say that after everything she saw in the first novel of this series, for her to not fully understand that she is in the Nordic underworld was a bit stupid on her part. Obviously, she does eventually realize where she truly is and with the help of the mother she never met she tries to find a way home. Mason's growth in this book is phenomenal, even after finding out everything that happened on the bridge, why her father set her up and what exactly is going on with the parents at Gosforth, she takes it all in stride and shows a level of maturity that I rarely see in a YA heroine.

Romance: The romance in this book is also stellar. While it usually takes me a long time to get into a romance upon getting back into a series after so long, I felt that after a tad bit of adjustment I found it easy to not only care for the characters once again, but to root for them probably more than I did in the first place. While I can't remember how the romance went exactly in the first installment, or even if I would like it now that my tastes have changed a bit, where it's at and how it develops in this book is completely amazing, probably one of the best and most well developed romances I've ever read.

World-Building: Since reading Starling, I've come to realize that this series is sort of a spin-off to Livingston's Wondrous Strange trilogy, this has subsequently led me to feel more like I was left out of something while reading this installment. From what I gather there is a cameo from a Wondrous Stange trilogy character, or two, in this book and we see how they interact with Fenrys now that he has his memories back, and see what they're willing to do to help Fenn get Mason back. Now for stuff I know, the mythology in this world is impeccable, seriously how the author melds so many world mythologies into one world is remarkable and deserves some sort of award I'm sure.

Predictability: This book was surprisingly slower paced than I had anticipated. This made for some rather tame twists, though even early on there were some very powerful ones. However, as the story went on it felt much more like (in terms of pacing) one of the Raven Cycle books by Maggie Steifvater, which are wonderful. However this led to a lack or real twist for quite a while, and if there was a twist it was something that I was either expecting or fit so well with a certain character that it wasn't all surprising, but what I later found out was that the author was saving all the good twists for the very end.

Ending: Much like it's predecessor, Descendant, is chock full of crazy intense mind blowing twists to end off this installment, maybe even more so than Starling did. I mean seriously it felt like twist after twist as this book came to a close and left me with this overwhelming desire, no, NEED to read the next book in the series, as I just can't wait to find out how this series will end.


Even though this book was slowly paced, there was never a dull moment as this middle installment is full to the brim with fantastic world-building, mind-blowing twists, and realistic characters.


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