Sunday, February 2, 2020

Review: Rage by Cora Carmack

Book: Rage
Author: Cora Carmack
Series: Stormheart #2
Publication: August 27, 2019

Princess or adventurer.

Duty or freedom.

Her Kingdom or the Stormhunter she loves.

If Aurora knows anything, it's that choices have consequences. To set things right, she joins a growing revolution on the streets of Pavan. 

In disguise as the rebel Roar, she puts her knowledge of the palace to use to aid the rebellion. But the Rage season is at its peak and not a day passes without the skies raining down destruction. Yet these storms are different—they churn with darkness, and attack with a will that’s desperate and violent. 

This feels like more than rage. 

It feels like war.

I wasn't too sure what to expect with this book: I was afraid it would be one of those rebellion-is-rising-and-we-need-a-leader books that are common in dystopians. But this book took the plot in a completely different direction, much to my pleasant surprise!

This book picks up shortly after the conclusion of the first one. Aurora has returned to Pavan, where the Lockes have taken over the palace. Her mother, the queen, is no where to be found, and Aurora knows that there's no way her mother would have allowed the Lockes to take over unless something drastic has happened to her. So it's time to get to the bottom of it, all while trying to figure out what it means to have the power she now wields.

As I stated in the beginning, one of the things I enjoyed about this book was its fresh take on rebellion. There are a lot of books where a growing rebellion is reluctantly led by the main character, or they become the face of the rebellion. This was neither. There was no name for the rebellion, no planned statement attacks, no propaganda to recruit more people into their ranks, and no Aurora being forced to lead it because of who she was. It was simple, practical, and didn't feel forced in any way. I also really liked how the plot itself didn't centre around trying to fuel the rebellion; there was a lot more going on, things that made the rebellion pale in comparison of importance.

Unlike the first book, Aurora's character development was a lot more steady. Her magic was something that took a front seat, and we really got to see her work it. There was little to no hesitation to her character. She didn't have any blindingly painful naive moments; instead, it was strategy and practicality.

Kiran's name change in the book took a bit to get used to, but after a while, it started to feel right. I don't think I'll ever be able to think of him as Locke again, though I see the irony in that name of his past having been locked in the first book. Kiran's character himself was a bit bumpier than the first book after Aurora drops a specific bombshell on him, which irritated me slightly. Communicate! But once they did (though it took a while),  he was back in my good books.

There are a few mysteries the author dangles for us just who is the Stormlord? What because of the prequel story the author wove into the chapters, presumably of the Stormlord? What exactly is Cassius going to be doing in the next book? So many questions. But from the setup, the next and final book is going to be one epic showdown between Aurora and the Stormlord!

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