Crisped + Sere is the second dystopian, or post apocalyptic book written by TJ Klune. It continues the story of the protagonist Cavalo, and it’s still located in the state of Idaho, USA. If you want to read my review of the first part of this 2-part book series, click here.
In the first novel we were introduced to the Dead Rabbit named Lucas, who turned out to be the key to eliminating the leader of the Dead Rabbits, Patrick. On Lucas’ skin, parts of a map is tattooed and Patrick has the remaining coordinates and whatnot so they need to get to him. They have 21 days to come up with a plan before Patrick comes to take Lucas from them, seeing as he is his son.
Cavalo and the inhabitants of Cottonwood does everything they can to prepare for the upcoming battle, but it is on a way larger scale than they expect and they are temporarily defeated as they capture Lucas and bring him to a different location. They send a rescue mission after him which leads to the end of the novel, so I won’t talk too much about that.
The ending of the novel felt a bit dragged out for me, it could have ended a chapter before it, but it wasn’t too bad. It just didn’t add much that I cared for. There is also a sex scene or two in this one, which wasn’t too much of a bother, I just skipped over the few pages it went over. I don’t think the second novel was as gory as the first, since it was more about the large fight between the Dead Rabbits and the inhabitants of Cottonwood, so it focused more on what happened instead of isolated events.
It was a good follow up to the first and I am glad I read it, and that I got some closure. Again, if you cannot handle gory descriptions, you probably won’t enjoy this one, there’s not much but what is there is quite descriptive. I gave this 5/5 stars on Goodreads, since it’s one of the best series I have read in a while. TJ Klune is a great story teller.
In Ash Princess, we are introduced to princess (or rather, queen) Theodosia. Her mother was killed by the henchman of this mad Kaiser and she was captured and has to live under his rule, only staying alive because she is useful to him. The novel kicks off the drama pretty quickly. Theodosia is from a nation that the Kaiser hates, and every time someone with her own nationality does something wrong, she gets literally whipped for it. The novel is quite graphic when it comes to the physical abuse so if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, skip this.
As with most YA novels, there is a love interest, or two, or well, why not make it a triangle of sorts? For me, the second love interest didn’t do much, or add anything to the plot. Theodosia seduces the son of the Kaiser in hopes of overthrowing his power, which makes sense to the plot, but her childhood friend still being in love with her does not do much. It also reminded me of the lunar chronicles. Princess Theodosia is a scarred, dark skinned princess, and her childhood friend is a blonde boy. Sounds a lot like Princess Winter and Jacin Clay, right? I’m sure you’d get that reference if you’ve read the series.
The novel was quite easy to read, I finished it in a couple of days, reading it whenever I had time to do so. The language isn’t too simple, nor too complex but it was a bit lacking in some parts. The action scenes were written quite well, but it could be somewhat predictable at times. Ash Princess is Laura Sebastian’s debut novel, and it’s not terrible. It’s not exactly the best novel I have read, but it’s not the worst either. It’s supposedly the first novel in a trilogy, which explains why the ending was the way it was. It ends rather abruptly and really, none of the issues that needed solving are being solved. I suppose I would have to read the sequel whenever that is being released, but I’m not quite sure if I would want to.
I’d rate this book a 5/10. It’s okay, but not great.