Skip to main content

Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh- 3 stars

Smoke in the Sun is the conclusion to Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. Although I liked it, it was not -sadly- her best work.

Synopsis:
After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice—to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor's ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead. 

With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and very the safety of the empire.

This is not an easy review to write. I loved Flame in the Mist and had high hopes for this one. There were great moments in this book, but overall it felt short. It dragged, got confusing, had too many things happening at once.

What saved it from being a terrible book? RAIDEN. Yup, you guys read it right. Moody, cruel, obnoxious Raiden made this book somewhat pleasurable. All my 3 stars are for him (ok, maybe 2.8 for him and than a little for Mariko. Hehe). We learn a lot more about him here, just how cruel he can be, but also why and how he yarns to be more.

Okami drove me bananas!!!! The boy has no spine whatsoever. He won't fight for anything and/or anyone. His life is worth nothing to him and he treats the life of those who care for him as if they were nothing too. It is not until the end that he 'grows a pair' and by that point it is too late for me to like him. And as a side note- I did like him in Flame in the Mist even though he annoyed me. It was just too much here.

Mariko was just as brave, as wonderful, and as foolish. I liked her character just as much as in the first book. There was perhaps a little to many paragraphs in her head, got boring at times, but it didn't hinder her character all that much.  

The magic is... I don't even know what to say. 
Actually, I do.
It suffers from saying to much, being to much, and making little sense. Be ready for plot holes.
And really, that is all I have on that.

The side characters were... disappointing. In some instances it felt like the book wanted to tell everyone's story. And a duology cannot do that without ending up with rushed stories. In other instances it didn't say enough. The ever so important Black Clan is almost not present at all.

The ending felt rushed. Short. Abrupt. It left me with an uncomfortable feeling... Raiden was a BIG part of this book and he got no ending at all.

Did I love the book? No
Did I like it? it was entertaining enough.

In the end I believe this is one instance in which a trilogy or a series would have been better. Renee created an amazing world and I felt like she tried to put way too much in this one book and in doing didn't end up with a strong enough story. 

Find the book at: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - GoodReads


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Quickies, April 2021

I read a good amount of older releases this past two months. I will not write long individual reviews for every single one of them but here are is a little bit about each one of them:  - Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh It's unlikely I will ever dislike something Nalini writes. She is a master of her craft. This is the second book in the Psy-Changeling series and it is just as good as the first. Shy and isolated Faith is plagued by visions of blood and murder. She has questions and needs help but can't ask those around her. She turns to the changelings and the only Psy she knows that has defied her race (first book in the series). Vaughn is more cat than human but has to control his instincts not to scare Faith away. This was a fabulous paranormal romance read but you really must read the first book first! 4 stars from me :)  - Desperate Measures by Katee Robert Desperate Measures is the story of Jafar and Jasmine. But if you read Katee before you know it is not that simple at

A Touch of Darkness (Hades & Persephone #1) by Scarlett St. Clair

I knew very little going into this book except that it had my current favorite bad boy in it: Hades! Seriously though, I have a "hades tbr" at the moment, it's a thing. And if you know any good Hades based romances do tell me. Always and forever looking for more. Hades, the God of the Dead was phenomenal. I have ZERO complaints about his character. There was more to the underworld than known by other gods and humans, and the same is true about the man that runs the place. He is to the point and although not always up front and straight forward he is always honest and true. He has built a gambling empire but his bets are not always monetary and they are known for being impossible.  Persephone was very much still learning who she really was. Up until meeting Hades and for some time after she has no power of her own. Plants die at her touch and that is that. She is also known as the goddess of spring, but that is not because of who she is but rather because of who her mother

The Last Tiara by M.J. Rose

The Last Tiara  by M.J. Rose is inspired by a real missing Russian Crown Jewel. She explains in an article to The Adventurine  how she stumbled upon an NPR article about the disappearance of missing Russian Crown Jewels that to date, have not been found. Captivated by it and how such amazing items could simply disappear she decides her new novel will tell the story of the lost tiara.  It is apparent throughout the book that M.J. Rose researched well the Romanov Jewels, the Russian Evolution, and especially the impact it had on the Russian people. Although she never goes into details, the poverty and difficulties the people experienced at the time are carefully and respectfully mentioned.  The book is told from two different perspectives, that of mother and daughter. The alternating chapters reveal Sofiya's life in Russia from 1915 through 1922, and Isobelle's in 1948 Manhattan, US. First we have Isabelle, an young architect in post World War II Manhattan . While renovating her