The Malediction Trilogy Book Two
Author: Danielle L Jensen
Publisher: Angry Robot Books
Release Date: June 2, 2015 (TOMORROW!)
Hidden Huntress is the second book in The Malediction Trilogy by Danielle L Jensen. The first book was Stolen Songbird which I reviewed here. I enjoyed Stolen Songbird, so I was excited for the release of this book. Thankfully, I was able to get it as an eARC to review it again. Cecille is now living with her mother in Trianon as an opera singer, but secretly her purpose is to find the witch Anushka. While Tristan is still in Trollus being tortured by his father and dealing with the fallout of the events of Stolen Songbird.
If you plan on reading this book I will try my best to not include spoilers.
What I Liked:
In an odd way, I enjoyed the first half of the book when Cecile and Tristan are separated. They were together so much in the first book, which was wonderful since it was a love story, I liked seeing how they functioned individually as a characters. This didn't take away from my being glad at their reunion later in the book.
I also, again in an odd way, liked it when Cecile and Tristan argued. While I'm not happy when the characters are unhappy, I appreciate showing fiction couples having to figure out problems in their relationship. Every couple has spats, arguments, and disagreements. When these are shown in fiction, I appreciate it because it makes it more real.
I liked how when Cecile returned to her world, everything with her family and friends wasn't simply "We're so happy you're home! Everything is normal now!" There were consequences to her being gone for so long and her family and friends had their own problems to deal with because of everything which happened in Stolen Songbird. It added more layers to all Ceciele had to deal with in the story.
What I Didn't Like:
I didn't enjoy this book nearly as much as I did the first one. Hidden Huntress had a severe middle of the story syndrome. While it is the middle of a trilogy, and therefore needs the book ends of the first and third books, it still didn't have much of it's own story. The sole purpose of this book was transitioning from the beginning of the trilogy to the conclusion in the next book.
Whenever I read a second book in a series, especially in a trilogy, I expect it to step up the game. New characters, new elements of the world, and then taking all of the rules set in the first book and breaking them. While there were a couple of new characters, there wasn't much else to expand the world of Trollus and Trianon. The end of the story was exciting, but there wasn't much building up to the end. When in the middle of the story it is difficult as a writer to keep it interesting, and when looking at this book as the middle in the grand scheme of the trilogy, it is understandable. But as a book on it's own, this would never stand.
Much of the book also felt rushed, while also having nothing going on. It was an odd feeling while reading. Then, when something major did happen, I didn't feel anything and it happened so quickly I didn't even comprehend what was going on.
The end, also, was rushed, and ended abruptly. When I was reading the last chapter and it was over it threw me off balance. While it's fine to have an ending with a cliffhanger or be more mysterious or obscure, it's another to have it abrupt and barely end at all.
I was disappointed in this book. I enjoyed Stolen Songbird so much and thought it was such a fun twist on a Beauty and the Beast story and wanted to know what happened next. While there were elements I enjoyed and I was glad to be connected to the characters again, the plot fell short. This book easily could have been divided up into the first and third books (I'm assuming, even though the third book hasn't been released yet) because there simply hadn't been enough story in this one. It was an odd mix of feeling rushed while also having nothing happening. Although, because I am invested in the characters, I do plan on reading the conclusion of the trilogy.
I gave this book three stars on Goodreads.
I received this book as an eARC from NetGally.com in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.