I’m not really sure how to feel about this. I think it was a good story, but I also feel like there was a lot of detachment from the first book that it felt more like two separate stories than a singular duology.
I don’t plan on rambling on with my review so I’ll try to be brief. I think a big problem with this was that, as I said, there was a lot of detachment from the first book and it almost felt like this second book had very little to do with the first other than the characters. But because Lim didn’t really make an effort to sprinkle in the plot summary and elements of the first book, like authors typically do, I could barely remember the first book which just added to the detachment I felt. I didn’t get what this book had to do with its predecessor and I could barely remember what happened, so I can’t really make a good judgement on the duology as a whole. While the first book was filled with magic, fantasy, and wonder, this was filled with confusion and muddled story elements that refused to mesh. I suppose there were stakes this time around just as before, but nothing felt like it fit. I don’t know.
I know that with the first book I wasn’t super in love with the writing or crazy about the narrative, and while this time around it did feel like a simple read, I was a bit irked by the writing. Not only was Maia’s voice incredibly repetitive and constantly reminding the reader that she’s a “new Maia” now and different from the “old Maia” (and yet Lim couldn’t remind us of what happened in the last book), but it was just so simple. Things would be happening but there wasn’t a whole lot of rhyme or reason for why, or even how. It was a lot of this person doing this, Maia being able to do that, but with lack of descriptive language and overall exploration of the scene, the reader can’t really understand what’s happening. I guess it was the type of writing more suited for an underdeveloped brain but I’m pretty sure that things would’ve flowed a lot better if it was in third person. Yes, I’m dying on that hill for all eternity.
I do think the story was interesting, and the pacing was actually a really strong point throughout, but it just lacked in a lot of ways that could’ve made it that much better. It was good, but not great. It was solid, but not strong. Maybe it’s a better experience to read both books back to back, but not a year apart thanks to publication.
Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.
But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.
YA fantasy readers will love the sizzling forbidden romance, mystery, and intrigue of Unravel the Dusk.