Here’s my link to The Abyss Surrounds Us the first book in this duology.
3/5 – When I finished The Abyss Surrounds Us, I was so excited to read the sequel and it felt like it took forever until the book came into my possession. I needed to figure out where Cas’s journey was going to take her next after the end of the last book. There was some moral ambiguity that I couldn’t get enough of in the first book and I wasn’t disappointed when it continued on in this book. In fact, they go more in depth and addressed something that didn’t come up in the first book. How her decisions in the first book affected her family. I really liked seeing that paid off and the contrast between her and Swift was even more obvious in this book.
For those who haven’t read the first book, and looking back on my review I didn’t actually give a summary of the book, here was the general premise: Cassandra Leung is a reckoner trainer who ends up kidnapped by pirates on her first solo mission. When Cas is forced to train an illegal reckoner pup for Santa Elena, the Captain who kidnapped her, she’s put in a compromising position of loyalty. This was her arc in the first book, and it continues on in the second book.
This was probably the most compelling part of the book. I cared more about her struggle with morality and loyalty than I did with the actual plot or the romance (we’ll get to that), but I also thought it was something that was a huge part of her character and I felt like it needed to be explored and I wasn’t disappointed there.
What I was disappointed with was the relationship with Cas and Swift. I praised the first book for not allowing the two to enter into a relationship with a clear power imbalance. This is eliminated, but the second book did the wonderful trope of will they/won’t they. Actually, it was more of a tug-of-war where they would have a scene together where they were kissing or sleeping next to each other and then wouldn’t speak for two chapters because one of them was upset with the other. It got to the point where I was annoyed. I liked where their relationship ended up at the end, it wasn’t happily ever after but I felt it fit with their relationship and how up in the air it had been for two books now.
The ending, however, was frustrating. It was clear where the book was heading and I wasn’t sure how things were going to wrap up. My issue was it wrapped up too neatly for my tastes. It was disappointing for a duology that had explored different arcs than ones I was used to in YA. The end just felt like everything was neatly wrapped up with a bow like it only is in movies and books. I’m not saying I would’ve liked an ending where everyone died, but a more realistic ending or at least one that wasn’t so predictable and neat.
The first book was far more superior and while I enjoyed parts of this one, it’s not a five-star book by any means and I felt the ending was beneath the duology as a whole.