And here, my friends, is the long-awaited Book #20 for 20 Books of Summer!!!
“But wait!” you say. “What happened to Book #19?” For those of you who are crafty and wise will remember that Sea Star was #18. Well, #19 was The White Flower by Grace Livingston Hill, and, if I’m honest, was so incredibly forgettable that… well… I’ve forgotten most of it. It was a fine, if boring read, about a Beautiful Girl on a train, and blah blah these Bad Guys are kidnapping her and then this Handsome Young Man rescues her, but the Bad Guys are like totally unwilling to give up on this Beautiful Girl so they continue chasing her around and there are many Narrow Escapes and Harrowing Adventures. So wildly impractical! Perfectly fine when I was reading it, but just not enough material to give me a full review.
So… #20! This is the fifth book in the Codex Alera series, and I honestly put off starting it, not because I didn’t want to read it… but because I get nothing else done when I am reading these books! They are completely action-packed, with different stories happening in different places, but all coming together in beautiful harmony. The Vord are THE CREEPIEST EVIL FORCE OF ALL TIME and it’s all perfect.
The characters in this series are fantastic. Tavi is just an amazing hero, not perfect, but also not content unless he striving towards perfection, and I love that. I don’t mind having protagonists who aren’t perfect, but it annoys me when people act like having a character be “flawed” is what makes them a great hero. No – what you need is a protagonist who is “flawed” but who is also striving to become better, something more than they are. For me, that’s the difference between a book I enjoy and a book I don’t. Books where the protagonist just sits around being flawed and whining about how hard their life is (98% of contemporary YA, I am looking at you) just aggravate me to no end.
ANYWAY. The other characters are also fantastic. I love Tavi’s girlfriend, his best friends, Bernard and Amara, Isana, and a whole host of other characters who have really, really grown. In this book, Amara and Isana were especially AMAZING, with both of them totally willing to die for what they believed was right.
This book ended a little more on a cliffhanger than the rest. While some of the immediate storylines were wrapped up, there is still a lot going on, as this book is really ramping into the final installment. I was really, really tempted to jump directly into First Lord’s Fury, but if I had done that… well, we wouldn’t have had any clean clothes, the house would be even more of a disaster, and my husband would begin to wonder if this whole “stay at home for the summer to completely projects around the house” is really just a cover so I can read more books… shhhhh…