Children of Daedala
by Caighlan Smith3 out of 5
Six months alone in the labyrinth has made her strong. But the search for the exit means gambling on an old ‘friend’ and going against everything she’s been taught to survive. You know the labyrinth will have yet more horrors lurking in its depths. You’ve learned few people can be trusted. But freedom is tantalizingly close. Are you ready to take the risk?
The labyrinth is full of monsters and perils, not least the people inside it.
I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first book I've read by Smith, and I didn't realise that it was the second in a series. I wish I'd read Children of Icarus first, because it might have lifted the sense of vagueness, and answered some questions about the characters and setting.
From the start, you are following the main character, who communicates with glares and sharp weapons. She's clearly competent, and confident in her own skills. She has no patience for other people, and only trusts herself.
I really liked this strong female character, whose aim is her own survival. She disregards territories and hunting grounds of different clans, and lives by her own rules.
Even though the labyrinth is a dangerous place, she's made it her home, and she'd rather face the dangers she knows, than try and chase some freedom that might not exist.
I've gotta say, I was a little disappointed, when about 28 pages in, the character spoke. I thought it was interesting to have a nameless mute as MC. But, as it carried on, she was still pretty cool.
The only problem I had, was her age. I repeatedly forgot that she was sixteen. I thought she was much younger, perhaps eleven or twelve. Despite her physical and mental competency, she feels very immature.
The story is well-written, and it follows our MC as she reluctantly spends time with the various clans - the Fates, Kleos and Harmonia. All of which are populated by the children that are sent to the labyrinth (I'm guessing it's an annual festivity, or tribute. The details are sketchy).
It's very Lord of the Flies, as they all try to establish some sort of order and normality in their dangerous new world. Inevitably, the groups are somewhat splintered and people work on their own agenda.
I found it to be rather slow, in terms of any actual plot. It's a reasonably long book a 336 pages, but I felt it could be condensed easily.
Perhaps it's because I came in at the second book of the series, but I found the meandering around the labyrinth (that I didn't fully understand), to be long-winded. I didn't know where the labyrinth was, or what it looked like. Is it made of trees, concrete, magic? How tall is it? Do they see daylight? Can you climb over the walls? Why are they all there?
I was quite bored for the first half of the book and had to force myself to continue. The second half does pick up a bit, as our main character gets more heavily involved in the clans and their conflicts.
There was also a flood of characters from the different clans, with little to distinguish between them, so it was hard to feel invested in what was happening.
It's was an OK read for me, I'd recommend anyone interested in it, read Children of Icarus first.