Enemies are closing in and Aurora’s lies start to unravel in Rage, the second book in Cora Carmack’s Stormheart trilogy. This second installment is just as thrilling as the first, expanding the world and introducing new characters readers are sure to love.
In a world where storms are sentient, the ability to control them is everything. Unfortunately, Aurora was born without that power – at least, so she always thought. After running away from an arranged marriage with a man she believes is only after her kingdom in Roar, she discovered that her magic works differently than others. Now that the Locke royal family has usurped her throne in her absence, she has returned to her home to fight for what’s hers in Rage. Too bad her newly awakened ability has garnered some unseemly attention.
While Aurora’s character development backslides a little bit in this book (Where does all this uncertainty come from? This girl staged her own kidnapping, for crying out loud!), there is some unbelievable character development in Rage. I was most surprised by the changes in Nova’s story, as she is recaptured after Aurora’s escape attempt goes awry and is now imprisoned with Jinx. Kiran was not quite so over-the-top in this book, as well. The absurd over-protectiveness is a huge turnoff for me, but then Aurora does keep getting into trouble.
Because we stay in one place for much of the book (back in Pavan, joining the resistance), it is much more action-packed than the first one. Between the daring palace rescue mission and attempting to sneak out of an enemy-controlled city via giant bubble in the river, you will be on the edge of your seat, particularly in the last 1/4 of the book. This makes the pacing of the book a bit uneven – we lose a lot of time on miscommunication nonsense (my least favorite plot device) – and some things that are extremely important happen a bit abruptly.
I appreciate learning more about this world – the politics of other kingdoms, the different kinds of magic – and am eager to learn even more in the next book. I hope we also delve into the history of this place – why magic became forbidden and things like that. I also like the flashbacks detailing how the Stormlord became the way he is. A villain who is evil for the sake of being evil is boring; by exploring his backstory, Carmack is inviting the opportunity for empathy and understanding. Dude is still evil, but at least you sort of see why.
Rage is a solid sequel and an enjoyable read. It suffers a bit from “middle book” syndrome with a plot that gets a little too convoluted at parts, but in general, it seems to be headed somewhere good, and I am more than willing to come along for the ride.
Rage by Cora Carmack is published by Tor Teen and will be available August 27 wherever books are sold.
*I was provided with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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