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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Book Review: Tarnished City by Vic James

This is such an extraordinary series! I read the first book as an ARC last year, and was fortunate enough to win the GR giveaway for this installment and I can confidently report this book is as engaging, action- and surprising drama-packed, and wholly original as the first…

In this book, the world James has crafted is really coming into its own – beyond the exceedingly entertaining main plot lines (there are several, very skillfully intertwined but still distinct enough to stand out and remain memorable across the books), there is a little more background and stage-setting worked into this one, and it really fleshed out the world for me in a way that added depth to the main story lines without ever feeling like extraneous detail. And lest it seem like I’m saying the book is character- or world-driven to the detriment of action or intrigue, let me be clear: there are some seriously mind-bending head games and hidden agendas at play throughout, and they kept me turning pages as fast as I could manage without losing the details that keep the whole thing so perfectly managed (manipulated?)…

Second books often fall into the trap of serving as placeholders, necessary to tie the beginning and end together, but not very gripping on their own. Not so AT ALL here. The plot clicks along from the opening pages and I was just as hooked in this book as I was in the series opener. I was afraid I’d bee lost and have to re-read the first – there are so many things going on in parallel in this world, and so many characters with their own agendas and multiple balls in the air! – but James managed the transition beautifully, giving just enough detail to remind me of where things stand without an over-large rehash that would have slowed this book considerably. I’m sure there are still some details I missed but I never felt lost or confused or like I was missing something. Instead I felt like I jumped right back into the deep end along with Abi, Luke, and the rest of this exceptionally well-crafted universe – a place where nothing, and no one, is what it seems and devastating surprises lie around every corner. And lest you think you’re safe if you stick to the middle of the road, remember this: some don’t even wait for the corners… “Hiding in plain sight” seems to be a predominant trait of this version of Great Britain, and it makes for stark, startling, sophisticated storytelling that will sweep you off your feet. If you haven’t wandered into the world of Equals and the UnSkilled yet, do – you won’t be sorry!!

My review copy was provided through the GoodReads giveaway program.

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