→Bid My Soul Farewell by Beth Revis
| ★★★☆☆ | released 24 Sep 2019 |
Do you ever read a really really excellent book, and then read the sequel, and enjoy it fine but realize that you only enjoyed it because you’re invested in the characters and nothing really interesting happened with them? Same.
This book was not bad. I like the commentary on capitalism vs. tradition. The ending of this was genuinely really good, with a great twist I didn’t see coming.
However, I honestly think a lot of this story felt fairly rushed. Instead of making a new story, it rides off the energy of book one, which I found disappointing. Rather than explicitly dealing with the fallout of book one’s events, the book does very little, staying low on action until the very end. Grey’s storyline has more drama to it, primarily dealing with capitalist society. I still think Grey just isn’t nearly as interesting a character as Nedra, and their relationship storyline essentially playing out in repeat in the first half of this book did not help.
Nedra, by the way, feels really stagnant in comparison to book one. We know she wants to keep her sister alive, we know she feels alone, but what kind of growth will she undergo? I felt I wanted more from her.
I also think a lot of this book — and here I’m trying to be vague — depends on the reader feeling invested in Nedra’s hometown in the North. It is not at all that I don’t feel for her in this respect; on an objective level, what is happening to Nedra’s home is awful, and the parallels to real-world colonialism are clear and vital to the story. But in a story so dependent on us believing in her home existing, I craved a few developed side characters from Nedra’s home, and maybe more details on its operation and history.
Bid My Soul Farewell offers an excellent ending and a good story on the whole, but the way it is conveyed feels rushed and unimpactful. I think with another editing round this could’ve been one of my favorite duologies of all time.