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The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas
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The Perilous Sea

by Sherry Thomas

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What a great sequel! I love the two intertwining storylines. It was so entertaining to watch Titus and Iolanthe get to know each other all over again - their banter is hilarious. I also enjoyed their growth, both as individuals and as a couple. As far as the mysteries are concerned, I guessed some of them, but others managed to surprise me. Even though there's a lot of exposition towards the end, the story never felt boring. And, like the first book, the worldbuilding is intriguing, despite its holes.

The one thing this series has never clearly established is why the rebels want to overthrow the Bane. Granted, it has been demonstrated on multiple occasions that Atlantis is relentless and merciless in its mission to eradicate all dissent and challenges to the Bane’s authority. That, in itself, could be enough to spark rebellion, but I always wanted more - a concrete reason why the Bane is a bad guy. In The Perilous Sea, we get that reason.

Still, I find it interesting that the rebellion doesn’t hang on evidence of the Bane’s evil ways - it was going to happen (and had happened in the past) regardless of this new discovery. To me, the message can be summed up in a quote from the first book: “‘An occupier should always consider itself despised,’ she said. ‘Is there ever a population that is happy to be subjugated?’” The implication being, of course, that it doesn’t matter if the Bane is evil or not - people will always fight for the freedom to rule themselves, no matter how benevolent their overlord.

Overall, The Perilous Sea is a really fun sequel. The two storylines kept me on the edge of my seat and made the relationship between Titus and Iolanthe feel fresh and new again. It was also interesting to learn more about the Bane and finally get a reason to hate him. But, ultimately, these revelations served to drive home a larger point: that instead of focusing on Atlantis’ atrocities or oppression, the author chose to go a subtler route and show that the characters are fighting for freedom, simply for freedom’s sake. At least, that’s my interpretation. I can’t wait to see how the story ends in the conclusion to this exciting trilogy. ( )
  les121 | Dec 21, 2014 |
For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Honestly, I was a bit nervous to start The Perilous Sea or at least I was until the reviews started rolling in from friends. Though I loved The Burning Sky, I got into a Twitter conversation with some of its detractors and I started to worry I was wrong. What if The Elemental Trilogy fell apart at book two as series so often do? Such worries were completely unfounded. The Perilous Sea is, if anything, an improvement upon The Burning Sky. It’s a fantasy novel with a ship of gold, epic banter, and oodles of world building.

You guys, this is such a Christina book. So much. The sarcastic banter completes my life and makes it whole. Titus can be a bit of a stick-in-the-mud, much as I love him. Iolanthe, however, brings out the best in him, aka the sarcastic banter. I ship this ship like little else. They really do make an amazing team. They work together and protect each other and improve one another. It’s so beautiful. Normally I hate the “I’ll protect you” shtick in books, but that’s because it’s generally one-sided penises-must-protect-vaginas business, but Iolanthe also says that to Titus and the cute. Also, the two make dick jokes while traveling around the desert. If you don’t ship that, we’ll probably never ever see eye to eye on a ship, let’s be real.

I’ll admit that I was a bit confused as The Perilous Sea opened, and you probably will be too. It didn’t help that it had been ages since I read The Burning Sky and there have been hundreds of books in between. Plus, this world has a LOT going on. The Perilous Sea starts with Titus and Iolanthe in the Sahara Desert, both with no memory of anything before; the only thing they know is that they need to escape Atlantis. Whuuuuut.

This will make sense, though, I promise. The Perilous Sea runs along two timelines, the desert and the time before the desert. I know this technique annoys some people who don’t like flashbacks, but it totally worked for me. Because of this, we get to be carried through some relationship problems between Titus and Iolanthe by them bantering and falling in love again despite not knowing each other. MY FEELS. I mean, I also love that they have relationship problems to work through, because hello realistic.

One of the main criticisms I’ve seen of The Burning Sky is that people are so sick of the whole Chosen One thing. That’s not my favorite trope either, to be honest; I actually just reamed a book I finished yesterday for this trope. However, with The Perilous Sea, you’ll discover that Sherry Thomas also has some thoughts on the chosen one trope and they are beautiful. Things are not as simple as just following a prophecy, okay.

I’m sort of undecided on the world building. Sometimes I’m completely in love with it. I mean, the elemental powers are so cool, but I am admittedly a total sucker for such things. The Bane is creepy as fuck, possibly because he recalls Voldemort pretty strongly in how hard he is to kill. I feel like they may have to go find his horcruxes aka body parts in the next book. There are magic carpets and dragons and wands and basically every cool fantasy thing ever.

On the other hand, that’s a lot of stuff. The fact that the Elemental Trilogy is also set in the 1800s in an alternative history with magic is something I don’t know what to do with. I think the world building would be way easier to swallow if it were just in a fantasy world. However, half of the book is set in Eton. I don’t understand at all the divisions between the magical world and the nonmage world. Is the Sahara in the mage world or is it just unpopulated enough they feel safe doing tons of magic there? I could not begin to tell you. Then there’s the Crucible, the book that Titus and company can travel into for training. Mostly, it’s a safe space but in some areas you can die for real and there have been showdowns there in both books and that also is weird and wut.

What it boils down to though is that I really don’t care, honestly. I love the characters and the writing and the banter and the plot so much that I am completely willing to let some of the world building slide. The ending was intense and totally hurt my feels. The twist actually surprised me. The ROMANCE. The fact that Kashkari got to have a large role in this one, because I love him so much. Basically, this series is boss, unless you’re more of a world building reader than a character reader. You’ve been warned.

If you like your fantasy filled with romance that will make you squee from the amazing bantery connection, then you need Sherry Thomas’ Elemental Trilogy in your life. ASAP. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Nov 13, 2014 |
Note: This review may contain spoiler for The Burning Sky.

WARNING: This book will give you feels and flails. It will make you groan and wail. It will make you mutter things about “that witch, destiny.” It may make you punch your coworker in the shoulder. (Sorry, Melissa.)

My attitude has undergone a complete change regarding this series. I don’t know if you all remember, but I had a difficult time getting through The Burning Sky. I thought it was too derivative, too cliched, too novice. I almost DNF’d it before the action picked up and the romance started bubbling. When I reread TBS last month, I was more engaged, especially concerning the delicious chemistry between Titus and Iolanthe, but I worried about being tripped up by the sequel. But guys, let me tell you, Ms. Thomas has found her YA groove in this book.

READ THE FULL REVIEW AT: http://www.shaelit.com/2014/08/review-the-perilous-sea-by-sherry-thomas/ ( )
  Shelver506 | Aug 19, 2014 |
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