Sunday, 6 July 2014

Harlow Whittaker & The Apprentice

Harlow Whittaker & The Apprentice

by Valerie Day-Sanchez

5 out of 5

Two weeks ago nineteen year old Harlow Whittaker discovered that being able to travel to different worlds, while she slept wasn't just a weird secret that she had hidden since she was a child. In fact it meant that she was extraordinarily special. She was the first human soothsayer, the savior of the worlds. After abandoning her world and surviving the treacherous journey to Carnelian Comba, where she was finally united with fellow soothsayers. She has little time to recuperate from her imprisonment by her attacker, because just as she sits at the round table with the council members they realize they are under attack. Once again there is no time to waste, in order to survive, Harlow must leave Carnelian Comba. As Harlow begins to discover who she is, as she leads her army, she realizes that seeing the future while she sleeps was only the beginning. Unfortunately as her own abilities grow so are those of her enemy, whoever that may be. To make matters even worse, unlike last time Harlow does not have Larken by her side. He has been asked by the Soothsayers Council to discover the identity of their opponent. As Larken travels the worlds searching for the person that is responsible for the mutant Shadow Reapers and torture of clones Harlow becomes more in danger. Will Harlow be able to master her abilities in time for the impending battle? Will Larken be able to find their mystery attacker? One thing is for sure, life as the worlds' inhabitants know it is going to be forever changed.

This book picks up right where book 1 finishes.  Harlow has finally made her way to the location of the Soothsayers, but she is far from safe.  The enemies are at the door, invincible and over-whelming in number.

First of all, I think this second part is even better than the first book.  Day-Sanchez feels like a stronger, more confident writer.  There were a couple of niggles I had with Soothsayers: some of the descriptions felt long-winded and almost nervous; and the switches between Harlow's and Larken's narrations broke the flow and mostly felt unnecessary.
It's great to see the writer much more confident in presenting the world she has created.  And the switches between Harlow and Larken simply work this time; probably because they spend most of their time apart, so it fills out the bigger picture, rather than repetition.

Harlow is a stronger person in this book, after all the training and trials she has been through.  She has a very sensible approach to every situation, mainly wanting to keep her friends safe.
The Archers start to show their flaws, as they get more attached to their human friend, and some of their shortcomings are brought to light.
Elias is a very interesting addition into the mix.  I don't want to say too much about him, I'm scared to spoil anything!  But I really started to like the character - and oh, that twist!
In fact, all of the twists as you get to the last section of the book!
I've got to say, the last few pages really made me question everything.  I can't wait for the final part of the trilogy...  Autumn 2015?  I've gotta wait a year now!

Goodreads link

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