This is the second book in the Temeraire series. The first book in a series has an advantage, at least in my case. If it’s written well, and especially if it takes a different approach than anything I’ve read before, its “newness factor” gives it an edge. The second book is a better test of whether I’ll be able to sustain my interest in the series.
I really enjoyed this book. I’m especially still enjoying the characters. Also, something about Novik’s writing style just holds my interest well. I haven’t found this series to be particularly “twisty” or surprising so far, but I still get wrapped up in the story even when I’m not on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next.
This book has some similarities, structure-wise, with the first book. It tells a complete story, with the main problems wrapped up by the end. Also, just like in the first book, we’re given a big hint about what direction the larger story will take in the next book. Another similarity is that the second half is quite a bit more action-heavy than the first half, and I enjoyed both halves.
I did think the ending was too abrupt. As I approached the end, I decided the problems at hand would surely be carried over to the next book because it didn’t seem like there was enough time left to resolve them. Instead, everything was wrapped up really fast. The earlier parts of the book covered events in far more detail, so I think that made the fast ending seem more jarring. I liked the way things ended, I just wish it had been drawn out a little more, with some more details and events to help me buy into it better. Some major spoilers to try to explain my issues are below within the spoiler tags.
In summary, I enjoyed it a lot, but maybe a tiny bit less than the first book. I’m headed straight into the third book. :)