Author: Leilani Wilson
Word Count: 109,851
Page Count: 292
Size: 6" x 9"
Cover Artist: NightlineZ
Interior Artists: Renz and NightlineZ
Series: Elancia Chronicles
Book Number: 2
Publication Date: April 2020
This title was nominated for a 2020 Leo Literary Award.
Verse is an amnesiac drifter with a past that scares them, friends they've abandoned, and a constant fear of having their own identity ripped from them. They return home in search of answers, only to find more questions: a hometown in shambles, an empire falling apart.
Forced back into a military life they thought they'd left behind, Verse once again becomes embroiled in a scheme involving rebellion, religion, and national security. This time though, there is no escaping into apathy. The spotlight is squarely on Verse, and all these plots and schemes lead right back to them.
A storm is brewing. Verse is starting to realize who they are, and how much trouble they're in.
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The second book in the series picks up on the first book’s cliffhanger and focuses on Verse and their return to their homeland of Qaimusu. The majority of the book focuses on Verse catching up with everything that has happened while they were away. This in turn helps them to find out more about their past and gets them a step closer to figuring out Lyrikos. I really appreciated that this book built on the foundation of the first and started to explain a lot of the unanswered questions that were left hanging at the end of book one. I feel as though I understand the state of Elancia and why the world is the way it is a lot better now. And that has gotten me even more invested in seeing what happens to the characters in the next installment. I felt like the pacing in this book was an improvement over the first. It didn’t have nearly the amount of worldbuilding to cover as the first either, but the scenes felt snappier and more tightly written to accommodate the plot. The new characters that were introduced were fun to follow throughout, especially the Nautical Dreamers and the Knights team. One of my highlights in this book is the spotlight that is put on Verse and Xan’s relationship. It’s really good to see friends who were having a rough spot talk openly about their feelings and I think that having that conversation between two male presenting characters is all the more important to highlight. My biggest criticism is that the one section of the book that delves into the backstory of the world comes across a little clunky at times, but with everything that needed explaining to the reader I understand the decision to go the route the author did. It makes sense in universe and clears up a lot for the future, so it still works for me. All in all, a solid follow up to the first and I’m excited to see where the story goes from here.