Friday, July 20, 2012

Early Review - The Drowned Vault (Ashtown Burials, Book 2) by N.D. Wilson (4/5 stars)

Reading Level: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Size: 464 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 11, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0375864407
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Ashtown Burials series
Source: eGalley from Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the second book in the Ashtown Burials series. I got an eGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It was a solid book and really drags the reader deeper into the world of the Order of Brendan. We learn many long kept secrets and have many adventures with Cy and Tigs.

After the Phoenix steals the Tooth from Cy and Tigs in book 1, they become even more outcast than they already are. Now the transmortals are descending on Ashtown seeking retribution for the Tooth’s loss and Cy and Tig are in ever increasing danger. Trapped in their room for the duration of the transmortals visit they train hard with the strange Arachne. Then they head off with their Keeper to try to recover the Tooth...only to find that even deeper evil is at hand.

I am having a lot of trouble reviewing this book. I love the idea and the characters and the world, but had some trouble with all the different points of view (POV) The plot switches POV a lot and sometimes this got a bit confusing. There are a couple times when I was a little confused about what was going on in general and had to go back and carefully re-read parts. Part of this might have been that since this is an eGalley much of the formatting was lost, so it would take me a few lines to realize that we were in a different place with different characters talking. This made the book frustrating to read.

The above aside I really am enjoying the Order of Brendan. There are some great characters in this novel and both Tigs and Cy grow a lot in abilities and power through plain old hard work. One of my favorite additions was the character Arachne, who controls spiders and takes over the Smiths training for parts of the book.

There are some wonderfully creative things in this book. A maze of water, spiders that can weave armor, and numerous other wondrous and amazing things. It makes the book a lot of fun to read.

We also get to finally meet the most famous Smith of all, John Smith. It was great to find out the Smith history and find the reason why Tigs and Cy have been so disliked from the very beginning.

Overall I liked this book. I enjoyed the world, all of the creative things in it, and the characters. I had some trouble with the frequent switching of POVs; it made the story confusing at times and I had to go back a re-read parts to figure out what was going on. This leaves me a bit torn; I really liked the world and characters and plot...but had trouble with the writing just wasn’t as cohesive as it could have been. Still it’s a solid read. I recommend to those you are interested in middle grade adventure fantasy.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge

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