Friday, April 26, 2013

Crimson Rising by Nick James [Review]

Young Adult, Science Fiction, Adventure
Publication.Date  September 8th 2012 (Paperback edition)
Published By:  Flux
WebsiteNick James 

Crimson Rising
My review copy:Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

Our best-selling sci-fi series continues

Following their dramatic showdown in Seattle, Jesse Fisher and Cassius Stevenson find their world’s been turned inside out. The faculty at Skyship Academy is keeping Jesse a prisoner in his own home, fearful of his influence over Pearls. And Cassius, once a loyal Pearlhound for the Unified Party, has been pushed into hiding, fearful of his government's retaliation.

When Jesse smuggles a mysterious red Pearl onboard the Academy, he sets loose a destructive chain of events, which lead him to a reunion with Cassius and a confrontation with Theo -- a bloodthirsty Pearlhound with a dangerous secret. 

But a larger threat looms in the stars. An enemy is gathering, with plans to exterminate the entire human race. And Jesse and Cassius might just be the lynch pins that trigger mankind's destruction.

Cassius grit his teeth. This was it. He didn't have a choice. It was fire. Fire or die. 
Pearls are people. My people. Cassius and I were sent to Earth to break Pearls, freeing allies that would help us fight the invasion that's to come. But instead of following my parents' wishes, I've been standing by, oblivious, while my own people are snuffed out. Not anymore.
There's no downplaying the sensation. It's as if a missing limb has reformed itself. Nobody in the world knows this feeling. Nobody in any world. There's only one Pearlbreaker. Me. 
This is our planet, Jesse. We have the upper hand. It may seem dark now, but when we climb up to the Surface, we're going to be ready. You and Cassius? You're the champions. You don't get to be called that without a reason. 

      Crimson Rising totally awed me! It's a furiously fast-paced blend of action and science fiction set against a well-developed post-apocalyptic backdrop. A fantastic, intensely readable sequel to one of my favorite books of 2011! 

     Cassius is on the run. After he betrayed Madam and destroyed a government building, he was forced to escape to Canada's Polar Cities. His plan was to lie low, stay out of the radar of the Unified Party and learn how to control his newly awakened power. Ever since he ran into Jesse four months ago, his power has been growing, flames burning inside him, putting Cassius and everyone around him in a great danger. 

     Their chance meeting triggered Jesse's power, too. A different kind of power, one that allows him to break Pearls. Since the Scarlet Bombings, the entire world has been relying on Pearls for energy. No one knew where they came from or why they kept falling from the sky. And as long as they helped power the Bio-Nets, Chosen Cities and Skypships, they didn't care. It wasn't until Jesse broke the first Pearl, that they realized what they held inside. 

     And that's when they discovered the truth about their origin, mission and destiny. They're not only brothers, they're also the first Drifters to land on Earth. They're mission was to break the Pearls, freeing others of their kind - including their parents, founders of Haven's Resistance - and prepare for what's to come. An invasion that would lead to complete annihilation of the human race. 

     I absolutely loved the first book in Nick Jame's Skyship Academy series, The Pearl Wars. It was such a great, well thought-out, breath taking roller coaster of a book, my mind was literally blown to pieces. And guess what?! Crimson Rising is even better! The non-stop action is dizzying at times, but so, SO good! I was glued to this book. The 360 pages flew by in a blink of an eye! 

     The worldbuiling and character development is very impressive. Throughout the book, we learn so many things about the world, the history and the characters! The Pearl Wars left me wondering about some of the aspects of the story. I wanted to learn more about Pearls and the Drifters inside of them, the planet they were coming from and why they decided to leave and come to Earth. I also wanted to learn more about Cassius, Jesse and Avery. Thankfully, Crimson Rising provides some really good answers, expanding the world and exploring the history of both Earth and Haven (for example, we learn more about the Scarlet Bombings mentioned in the first book!). In fact, I was amazed at how neatly everything came together. 

     I really enjoyed the alternating POVs in the Crimson Rising. Jesse's POV is in the first-person, while Cassius' is in the third, and that seems to work really well for the story. Initially, I thought I'd probably enjoy this book even more if both of them were in first-person, but I must say I don't think so any more. Jesse is the lead character and, while Cassius is very important and essential to the story, it's Jesse's thoughts and feelings that take the front seat. I did, however, really enjoy all the insights into Cassius' psyche. He seemed to have a hard time accepting the fact that his brother's power is to "give life" by breaking Pearls and freeing the Drifters, while his own is more of a destructive one. 

     The ending is explosive. Nick James sure knows how to end on a totally epic note! The final scenes are beautifully executed, full of pathos and cathartic feelings. My heart was pounding fast, I was scared, but also hopeful and proud of Jesse and Cassius! The pep talk Avery gives Jesse in one of the final chapters is phenomenal. I couldn't help but to feel excited and pumped-up myself. The passion in the delivery of the closing lines is insane. I had goosebumps all over! I am dying to read the final book in the series and find out how this epic story ends!

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