Book Review: The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie

Posted April 20, 2017 by Bekka in book review / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Edge of the Abyss by Emily SkrutskieThe Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie
Series: The Abyss Surrounds Us #2
Published by Flux on April 18th, 2017
Genres: science fiction
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Three weeks have passed since Cassandra Leung pledged her allegiance to the ruthless pirate-queen Santa Elena and set free Bao, the sea monster Reckoner she’d been forced to train. The days as a pirate trainee are long and grueling, but it’s not the physical pain that Cas dreads most. It’s being forced to work with Swift, the pirate girl who broke her heart.

But Cas has even bigger problems when she discovers that Bao is not the only monster swimming free. Other Reckoners illegally sold to pirates have escaped their captors and are taking the NeoPacific by storm, attacking ships at random and ruining the ocean ecosystem. As a Reckoner trainer, Cas might be the only one who can stop them. But how can she take up arms against creatures she used to care for and protect?

Will Cas embrace the murky morals that life as a pirate brings or perish in the dark waters of the NeoPacific?

It’s been a few days since I actually finished reading The Edge of the Abyss and I’m just struggling with writing the review. This sequel/finale was so satisfying. I haven’t finished a series in a good amount of time and as such I’m currently unfamiliar with this feeling: I loved the story, I love how it ended, I loved having my questions answered, and I miss the characters and want more anyway.

Skrutskie really amped up the romantic angst in book 2. I mean, there was a lot of push and pull in The Abyss Surrounds Us but if you thought that was broody and dramatic, just wait until you read this one. Swift and Cas are even more at odds with one another while still growing ever closer at the same time. They were pitted against one another but pushed into close quarters for the majority of the book. It made for quite the amount of frustration; but the good kind, the kind that makes you wanna bash their faces together and make them kiss. I loved where their romance sat when the final page drew to a close. I thought it was brave and I’d love to see more of it.

The best parts of book 1 were turned up to an eleven for book 2. Sea monsters!! And not just one sea monster as a companion to the Minnow, but an entire PACK of SEA MONSTERS. Like 50!! There was even more action and more thrills and more enormous, terrifying sea monsters in The Edge of the Abyss. This whole world is something I think this series does so well and getting to see more of it was great. The epic battle at the end was everything I was hoping for, with the exception of a single trope. It’s nothing offensive or anything I’d rant about, but it’s something I thought was on its way out the door and I was sad to see it here. View Spoiler »

The way a certain death went down just had me reeling. I didn’t even know what to feel, and it was over in the blink of an eye. I mean, I wanted to laugh, I wanted to cry. The whole thing was amazingly absurd but also perfectly hilarious. I wasn’t expecting it at all and I literally laughed out loud when it happened.

What lacked for me in this book was a sense of purpose. I understood that Cas was grappling with that, but I didn’t appreciate that the book and its plot were also grappling with that same issue. In the first book, the goal was clear: get the hell away from these crazy pirates and make it back home to safety. But this time, the whole future seemed like an amorphous black blob, and not just in the “what will I do now?” way that Cas was struggling with. There was no real solution to the problems that Cas faced, and honestly, they didn’t spend a whole lot of time working to find those solutions either. I don’t know how to explain this well, but I just feel like the plot wasn’t structured very well.

In the end, I thought this was a great conclusion. Structurally and technically maybe not the best book around. I wish the plot was stronger with more defined acts. But the characters were great, the romance was angsty and swoony and yay f/f sex!! I wish there were going to be more books but at the same time I’m left feeling wholly satisfied with where everything stands as it is.

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