Top critical review
This book caused me to have a major reversal of opinion on the series
Reviewed in the United States on August 16, 2020
How does a storyline fall so far so fast? Yeah, I know, this is obviously (very) 'young adult' fare so I don't expect big words, long sentences, or complex ideas, but I still expect a bit of logic applied to both the through-line of the story as well as the actions of individual characters. That expectation was not met, by a long shot.
After getting through 225 pages of 325, I decided to read other negative reviews to find out if it was only me and if there was any point to finishing it. Regardless of the majority of 4/5 star reviews, it was NOT only me, and for the same reasons: 1) a meandering plot that is going nowhere and 2) a child (whom I liked up to this point) leading grownups around by the nose. (I mean, she sabotages their ship, for the gods' sake, and nobody says one word to her about it...not even 'please don't do that again, dearie'. Really?)
Well, now that I look back on the previous books, there were signs that it could be going this way, but I had hoped that it wouldn't. However, it wasn't until this book that everything fell apart.
(Side note: R.C. Bray, who is an absolute marvel, narrated the first two audiobooks, but that's where the audiobooks ended. The entertainment factor is always greater when he's bringing characters to life. It's possible that his participation created too great an expectation for the rest of the books. Oh, well.)
SPOILER AHEAD: Anyway, I'd pretty much had enough of this book even before I read in another review that the child character, Piper, goes over to the dark side and takes up with the 'bad Jedi' stand-in after a couple of misunderstandings regarding the male lead, Magnus, including thinking that he had pushed her mother into the line of fire. Given the overused similarities to 'Star Wars' anyway, I'd started to suspect that this was going to take the same route, which is why I stopped to investigate. Finding out that I was right was extremely disappointing. END SPOILER
The last straw, for me, was also pointed out in other reviews, which is the female lead, Awen's, perpetually naive insistence that nobody should commit violence, much less kill somebody. I'm all for peace and love when it's possible, but when you have a highly-powered individual intent on dominating the universe, who can barely be stopped using his own sort of 'force', and you have a rare chance to kill him and thus end the inevitable threat...and you don't...well, that's the end for me. If the authors believed that killing the guy would end the storyline, then DON'T CREATE THAT POSSIBILITY IN THE FIRST PLACE! Excuse me for yelling there, but that's exactly what I did when they let him live, only in less PG terms.
So, I'm clearly not recommending this book, and I won't be going forward to the next one...and that's after giving the first book a (for me) really nice review.