Author: S.A. Hunt
Personal Rating: 8
Book Rating: 8.7
Nothing short of awesome. The second installment of 'The Outlaw KIng' Definitely lived up to my expectations. First thing to note is where the first started of slow this book jumped right into the heat of battle. Action, and more action and swords, and escape tunnels and villains who can control dark beasts. The past coming back to bite you in the ass, friends reunited in battle and fields set ablaze. Whoa. Just too much excitement to handle. I liked it because you could feel the urgency of it all. I found it was written well enough that you couldn't quite tell if the heroes would survive. Fantasies are tragedies after all so the heroes can die. I found myself on the edge of my seat rooting for the survival of my favourite characters in just the beginning pages. The suspense was killing me but I came out alive. And so did some of the characters. Can't tell you who didn't though.
It was after the battle that I really started to enjoy this book. It was the character development. This tale lent itself to really digging into what makes all of the characters tick. Their emotional baggage their triumphs, strengths and weaknesses. I really got a feel for the characters in this particular novel. More though than in the first which is awesome. People usually shine, or show their true colors, in extreme circumstances and this book was definitely extreme.
The plot was particularly interesting in that there were two lines to follow in this particular book as one character gets separated from the pack. This served to keep me more on the edge of my seat. I wanted to get to the end of both plot lines that I just zoomed through knowing that separate plot lines are purely a device to slow down my reach to this particular goal. But I fell ploy to the scheme and made it to the end screaming Nooooo! Dammit now I must read the next book. I think I may be addicted to S.A. Hunt and his impeccable sense of humor at the most inopportune, or dare I say most opportune timing.
And the one character I was dying to see more of in the series just shines in this book, the madman, who I personally never questioned his sanity even in the last book. I honestly think the characters in this novel are insane to not notice his brilliance. Maybe the author shall rectify this in future novels. One can only hope (if writing things into existence works in the novel surely it can work for me too). But I found him, witty, brilliant, not quite as hilarious as Sawyer, my second fav character, but always managing to put things into perspective for someone supposedly insane. Seymour is definitely my favorite character.
The Deon seemed to want to shine in the last book, in this one he seems more a part of it, but still I could use more of him. He's my other first fav. If he met a kick ass warrior just like himself now that would just be too much badass for one book and I'm a sucker for non traditional love interests. Kind of like what goes on with one of the other mains Ross. (side note I might spell the names wrong but I remember them without having the book up beside me to cheat. So I really enjoyed this book.)
The flow was much better as well. The transition from one scene to the next, and then the next, filled you with just enough energy to want to propel through without feeling overly bombarded. And there are a lot of subtle hints that I have an idea brewing of how this world works. The definitions and explanations come in such a way that one doesn't feel they are sitting in a class being speeched. It's very organic as opposed to feeling like the author is just trying to get information in us.
The ending. Made perfectly logical sense. It just seemed like the logical place to go. And i'm definitely shooting for Noreen's cause in this novel. She's dead on point and I expect her to get her way in the next book.
All in all this book was a much better read for me because I got to feel the characters. If one of them died in the first part I might not have shed a tear. But the way they were delved into in this particular book I'm much more inclined to burn the pages of my book should any of these characters be eliminated from the series. And if walter, Seymour, or sawyer disappear I might just have to use my super ninja assassin skills and permanently remove the author from the face of this particular universe. This way he will no longer be able to do damage to characters I fall in love with. And I haven't been caught yet so success is very likely.
So in my opinion, character development, action, flow, and a bit of love interest combined in such a way that my interest level was piqued from page one until the end. If you like to be kept on the edge of your seat and drawn into a world that seems familiar feels familiar but isn't like anything you've known or read before, then this book is the book for you. My only one regret is that this novel was seriously lacking in coffee. And I have no idea how this managed to escape such an author but it is what it is.
For me the ending action scene of the first entire action sequence was a bit to hectic for me. Starting from in the tunnel. Thought it went on a bit too long in it's entirety too. I don't usually have problems with chaos, but every now and then I lost track of who was shooting who and who got punched by who and this persons father got shot or, it was just a bit much. But as stated above not enough to deter me. Just mildly annoying. There was a betrayal bit that I saw coming, so slightly disappointed that i preempted something that actually happened.
I"m secretly hoping by some miracle either walter or Seymour ends up being the hero and not ross. I mean I love him but those two are just awesome. And Walter's bit was handled very well. It came, it was revealed, and the story moved on. Just the way I like it. So much times when this thing i'm not mentioning happens in novels it becomes all about that. Whatever. I like that it was played out as it is what it is and life goes on, and so did the story.
I love that all the women in this story stepped up to the plate and kicked ass when they had too. Nothing I hate more than a woman in a war novel that cant do fucks. And the excerpts, again not a fan. But I will admit there was one that stood out amongst the rest. Where Seymour thought he was a glass on a table. I nearly choked up my diet sprite soda laughing at that. I actually read it twice. Just aboslutlyfuckingtastic that was.