Predator's Gold

On one hand, Predator’s Gold does a solid job of expanding on what was the best part of Mortal Engines: the world building all around mobile cities that eat one another. We get to see a few more cities–both predators and trading cities–along with more details on airships in this world. But the real worldbuilding gold1 is in the parasites that can attach themselves to cities and steal from them. It really makes the cities feel like gigantic living organisms as much as anything, which I’m sure is Reeve’s intention.

On the other hand, I very nearly put Predator’s Gold down several times during the first half of the book. There’s a rather blatant love triangle between Tom, Hester, and Freya (princess of Anchorage–roving city of the north nearly destroyed by a plague in the recent past). It really doesn’t make much sense given Tom and Hester’s relationship at the end of the first book and drags on way too long. Perhaps that’s what some people read the book for… but it’s really not for me.


Into the Drowning Deep

Well. That is certainly a book.

It basically reads like Mira Grant thought: you know what’s kind of creepy but doesn’t really have that many books written about them? Mermaids. And just went with it. It works though. Creepy as heck at times and once things start happening around halfway through the book, they really don’t stop. The ending is a bit weak and leaves me wanting more answers, but not enough to ruin the entire book.


The Rook

She came to a decision, pulled her feet out of the mire, and stepped carefully over the ring of bodies that were scattered around her. They were all motionless, and all of them were wearing latex gloves.

So far as openings go, that was certainly one to get my attention.


The Burning Maze

On one hand, the Apollo books are getting better. It’s mostly more of the same, bringing myths to life in the real world combined with a constant sense of the world ending, but if that’s what you’re looking for … power to you?

And then there’s a prophecy that either Pipe or Jason is going to die. Of course you expect they’ll figure out a way around it… Apollo is a (former?) god of prophecy after all? But madman that Riordan is, he actually does it. Ow. That was not at all what I expected to see in one of these books. Given the Doors of Death etc we’ve seen in these series, it’s still possible they’ll figure out a work around… but still. Wow.


The Dark Prophecy

The Dark Prophecy is straight up a sequal to The Hidden Oracle. Pretty much all of my comments from apply here. Apollo is still a decent but not great main character, Meg is still odd and weirdly powerful. The world still feels like something we’ve seen done better in Riordan’s other series.

The main different of the Dark Prophecy and the part that amused me the most: it’s almost completely set in Indianapolis. You don’t get that overly often in fiction and it’s always amusing to see it done. For someone that lives within spitting distance of Indianapolis, close enough.


Goldenhand

“Your librarians go into battle?”

“When they must,” said Lirael. “The Library is very old, and deep, and contains many things that have been put away for good reason. Creatures, dangerous knowledge, artifacts made not wisely, but too well … books that should not be opened without proper preparation, some books that should never be opened at all.”


Clariel

Compared to the original trilogy, both Clariel the book and Cariel the character have a rather different feel.

As a book, Clariel takes place centuries before Sabriel, well before the fall of the Old Kingdom. We’re in an entirely different political landscape and rather than the general feeling of things coming back together (other than the whole end of the world thing), there’s a feel of falling apart. We’re square in the height of decadence that comes before the fall, with a failing monarchy, an Abhorsen who’d rather hunt than deal in death, and Charter Magic fallen out of fasion. It’s an interesting time period to explore, don’t get me wrong. It’s just rather different.


Abhorsen

As I mentioned in , Abhorsen is really the second half of a book. It doesn’t stand alone, but it doesn’t need to. We continue where we left off in Lirael and things keep escalating.

Worldbuildingwise, we have a much deeper dig into the deep history of the world, into the roots of Free Magic beings and the Charter. We learn more about Mogget and the Dog both along with our big bad: Orannis, the Destroyer. On to the end of the world…


Zoe's Tale

In a nutshell, Zoe’s Tale is The Last Colony told from Zoe’s point of view.

It definitely has a different feel to it than the rest of the Old Man’s War books, matching the idea that it was written by a teenage girl (having never been one, I can’t guarantee the accuracy, but it worked for me).


Lirael

Lirael is a bit odd when it comes to a sequel. While it’s set in the same world as Sabriel (and Sabriel even has a part to play), Lirael takes place a fair few years later, following two new characters: Lirael–daughter of the glacier bound seers only mentioned in Sabriel–and Prince Sameth–Sabriel and Touchstone’s son and Abhorsen in Waiting.

Once you get beyond the initial surprise at the change in topic, it’s another wonderful book. I’m honestly not sure which I prefer. Lirael is a wonderful character. She’s an outsider among an entire people who have an ability she does not, which is a recognizable situation to be in who turns into what’s effectively a battle librarian–who doesn’t love a battle librarian?