Search this blog

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
Series: Seraphina #2
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 608
Genre: Fantasy
The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways. 
     As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

Mini Review
I can't go into deep detail, but Shadow Scale rocked my world! Why can't I go into detail? Well, I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't yet read Seraphina. But, let me tell you. There are more dragons than ever. More half-dragons. Twists and turns. Different lands. Traveling. Many languages. Seraphina taming her garden. Mind control. And the handsome Lucian Kiggs. This story needed 600 pages to get it all in there.

Shadow Scale does go into great detail about the war with the dragons and humans. We find out more regarding the half-dragons and the remaining grotesques in Seraphina's garden, whether they be friend of foe. Sent as an envoy of the Queen, Seraphina also uses her time/position to kill two birds with one stone . . . and search for her uncle. All the while, plenty of things are amiss. The character development shines in this second installment, but the story does drag. But don't all good fantasy stories drag? It's in a good nature, and those who enjoy the details and enriching story progression will love this tie-in novel. The romance is paced nicely, and not overwhelming. Subtle and craving. Mystery and action are woven cyclicly, especially regarding the scenes between Seraphina/Jannoula and Seraphina/Abdo. Other than that, this behemoth of a novel is tough to tackle in one sitting, seeing as it took me over a week to read.

I am unsure as of now if the Seraphina series is only a two novel deal, but I hope that in the coming years that there will be another installment. It is sad to see all these wonderful characters go, and I felt as if not enough time was spend with most of them during Seraphina's long journey. I wish for one more adventure with these lovely half-dragons and the humans as well.

Definitely a sequel to read directly after the first to remedy loss of subject matter, characters, vocabulary, and all other things that happen when you forget the world-of-story.

four targets and a bittersweet ending?