The series continues, and the world builds up, now...
you may have to expect some comparisons between this book, second in the Hidden series, and the first book... while it doesn't contain anything I view as a Reaper's Rhythm spoiler-and certainly not for Broken Bargain- if this bothers you or you'd rather get the picture from the first book, please feel free to instead check out my Reaper's Rhythm review (link in box below), either way... thank you for checking out this post!
You may be wondering, if you're still here reading, whether to continue the series, having read RR, and I'd suggest you do, in short! Why? Read on!
Source: Received in exchange for an honest review (thanks Clare!)
Recommended for: Those who like plots which are particularly aided by driven characters, but aren't just controlled by characters... (wait, does that make sense? I hope it does?)If not, I said in the Reaper's Rhythm review:
better to say who it's not recommended for. It tells you more. (I have a new example for this: not people who only care about hyped, popular books... quality would be lost on some & unfortunately, this is not YET extremely popular- let's hope I jinx it.)
It’s incredible to see how well character development has been sustained, especially for Kim. She is still a fabulous, relatable main character & its upsetting to see her friendship with Sophie, who was such a great support in Reaper’s Rhythm seem to unravel on the surface somewhat. Underneath though, the reader gets a fairly clear picture & we can understand why the characters feel as they do.
Magic hasn’t gone away, and Matthew isn’t far either, it seems. The closure with Matthew is good, and so is- but to a lesser extent- how she moves on. Actually, I would rather the former, not the latter, but I know I can’t have it & I’m not going to build up any expectations there!
|Sharing saliva didn’t seem to help much...|
at least not on the Maths front. If it makes you feel better/happier,
by all means Kim, snog some face off.
(GIF Source link on image: 10 Things I Hate About You)
Kim actually acknowledges that due to hormones & such, which she can’t control, she may have to move on & live, even though her sister can’t. Unlike in many books, her & an attractive, at first guy “friend” don’t play the friendzone charade, which is mostly an aside. I’ve got to say, he could’ve helped her with homework a lot unless he knows how to pass on knowledge to Kim through osmosis... or less scientifically (see gif).
OK, the romance wasn’t really here or there, but he was a nice new character, portrayed well & who later become very interesting, in his own right. It’s worth bearing with him, for his back story. He’s not just one of those troubled bad guys, and it’s refreshing to see a teen boy with his head screwed on... I mean, he may have started a relationship with Kim rather quickly but hey, he thought he wasn’t gonna be there very long & in all other aspects, I have to say I expect many readers to warm to him eventually. He’s not off the rails, and Kim doesn’t need to fix him.
Even from the blurb, I did wonder how he’d manage to fit him in! There was a bit of a panic moment with him & some of his... baggage but it doesn’t turn out too bad, hopefully ;)
It was resolved, and I love this about the books, they’re not too melodramatic about the intertwining plot lines through the series. The plot continued to be pretty proficient, and very gripping.
I hope in the next book, Kim keeps both AJ & Sophie at her side, though. Having a cast of relatable teenagers is a major plus point for me, I felt like the cast did expand & develop but it wasn’t as successful as in Reaper’s Rhythm. To some extent, adults dominated as secondary characters. In this book, there weren’t that many significant peers. Obviously, we caught glimpses of students in school, but her focus was (rightfully, I’ll admit, so it’s not really a complaint, just an observation) on Aunt Liz, AJ & where Sophie was... which wasn’t always at school (naturally).
(GIF source link on image: How I Met Your Mother)
As it may have sounded a bit like, sometimes it felt like Sophie was “third wheeling”, or sometimes left behind. This is reminiscent to real life, and not too badly played out, but when Kim finds out certain things regarding AJ & becomes more interesting, I still felt like Sophie’s family dilemmas which Kim should have been helping her with could’ve been focused on a little more.
I suppose it was easier for Sophie helping Kim in RR than vice versa, as in Broken Bargain, because she didn’t have a boyfriend... Not that Sophie knew what was going on, of course.
So, one more person shares the secret with Kim now, not her family, that’s all I’ll say... Will it make the events of Shrouded Soul easier for her? We hope to find out!
The world of the Hidden saga is deepening, and readers have discovered more of what lies within... The magic & how Kim is actually let in more by Matthew now (cos she’s damn well independent) is brilliant and I loved seeing the little touches.
In conclusion, its worth a read. The series is bound to continue in strength, while I feel like the quality hasn’t overall diminished between books, some parts were much better formerly. It’s still a sequel which has been carried out well & can, to some extent, stand on its own.