**I received an eARC of this book for free in exchange for my honest review**
Author: S. Jae Jones
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publishing date: Feb 6th 2018
Genre: fantasy, historical fiction
Page count: 384
Goodreads synopsis: Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.
When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?
My thoughts: First and foremost, this book felt disjointed. It may be the content or the will of the author or perhaps it was because my e-book had jumbled letters and misplaced sentences. Either way for this reason alone, I will be rereading the physical copy of this book to see if that changes my opinion at all.
I can tell this was a very personal project for the author. Not only because of the author’s note in the beginning but also because the characters felt so real. They were complex and complicated and dealt with real life emotional issues. Nothing was black and white for the characters. Everything was deep and complex.
I must admit, I did not like this book as much as the first. I felt as though many of the chapters could have been left out and much of the action didn’t happen until the last 5 percent of the book and happened all too quickly for my liking.
That said the things I did like about the book was of course the ending. I felt, as the reader, the story came full circle and had a satisfying resolution. Notice I didn’t say happy but rather satisfying. This does not imply that the ending was happy but rather I felt resolution. I highly enjoyed the characters, and I loved getting more backstory on the Goblin King. His story was both intriguing and heartbreaking.
Now for the things I did not like. Again this may be because of the jumbled ebook or because it was the story itself, but some of the plot points felt muddy, unexplained, and often times confusing and conflicting. But (and I am not speaking for experience as I do not have bipolar disorder) I imagine that’s how the mind of someone with bipolar disorder feels. So if that was the author’s intention, then job well done.
Again like the first one, this book is not for everyone. There are trigger warnings of self harm, mental disorders, and suicidal thoughts so please heed caution if these things effect you. I gave this book three stars not because I didn’t like it but at times felt it was difficult to read (again may be the formatting) and confusing. I think once my hard copy comes in I will give it a reread to see if my mind is changed.