Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Title: The Perilous Sea
Author: Sherry Thomas
Narrator(s): Philip Battley
Series:  The Elemental Trilogy, book #2
Length: 10 hrs 38 mins
Publisher: Harper Audio
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Source: ARC received from publisher, purchased audio
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.

I just listened to The Burning Sky on audio as a refresher so that I could finally get to The Perilous Sea, a book I've been looking forward to since the second I finished the first installment. And after listening to that first book on audio and loving it even more the second time around, I knew I wouldn't be able to wait to start the sequel. Actually, I knew then that I'd have to listen to this one on audio because the narrator was just so right for this book. I questioned a single narrator -- and a male one at that since Iolanthe is such a big part of the story -- but Philip Battley really was the perfect choice for this series.

That said, when I started this audio, I felt that things were progressing rather slowly, compared to what I remembered of the previous book. I'm sure that had a lot to do with the story being split into a before-and-after type of narrative, with me waiting not-so-patiently for the two halves of the story to meet in the middle. But I'm sure it had more to do with Titus questioning the path he thought he was on with Iolanthe after a rather surprising turn of events early on in the story.

The pacing did pick up, and I kept holding out hope that things were not as they seemed. And I was rewarded with one surprise after another. Usually, I pride myself on picking up on things rather quickly, having worked out how the book's going to go pretty early on, even if it does make for a predictable read. But with The Perilous Sea, I never knew what to expect next. And I often found that I didn't care; I just kept listening, kept hoping that Iolanthe and Titus would continue to outwit and elude the Bane at every turn.

It probably didn't hurt that each chapter shuffles the reader between the present and back to the beginning of the term, when Iolanthe and Titus are only just reuniting after a summer apart. And at the end of each chapter is a cliffhanger that left me reeling, but I was so engrossed in the story that I just could not be bothered to press pause. I loved how much more prominent the secondary characters were in this installment -- especially Kashkari -- and I really enjoyed the focus on whether the hero writes his own destiny or if it's already been written in the stars for him. Honestly, I am just really captivated by the direction this series has taken overall, even more so than I was in the first book.

I'm immensely happy with what was revealed in this book and what remains to be discovered. And I loved the romance even more this time around, maybe because I got to see Iolanthe and Titus work their way back to each other in one time line and fall in love all over again in the other. The way Thomas wrote this novel really is impressive in that manner. The Perilous Sea was an amazingly strong sequel, and this series is fast becoming a favorite. If you love fantasy, girls disguised as boys, and all manner of magic, I highly recommend this series.

GIF it to me straight:
This sequel totally blew me away...and it's even better on audio!

About the author:

Sherry Thomas is one of the most acclaimed romance authors working today. Her books regularly receive starred reviews from trade publications and are frequently found on best-of-the-year lists. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

English is Sherry’s second language—she has come a long way from the days when she made her laborious way through Rosemary Roger’s Sweet Savage Love with an English-Chinese dictionary. She enjoys digging down to the emotional core of stories. And when she is not writing, she thinks about the zen and zaniness of her profession, plays computer games with her sons, and reads as many fabulous books as she can find.

Find Sherry:

Website | BlogTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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