Title: A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
A Torch Against the Night was probably my most anticipated release of 2016, and while it was still a great book, I didn’t think it was as good as its predecessor. Maybe it was because my expectations were so high, maybe it was because I had just reread An Ember in the Ashes in preparation for the sequel, maybe it was because I read a good chunk of it on a plane and my mind wasn’t really in it. It could be a combination of all three, but all I know is I felt unsatisfied when I finished, despite loving most of it.
To start, this book picks up right where the first one left off and I absolutely love that in a sequel. To be thrust back in the middle of the action really helped draw me into the book and the atmosphere of the story. As the book moves along, the pace becomes much slower which I wasn’t a big fan of. The middle portion of the book, especially, I struggled to get through although this could be due to the fact that I was reading it while on a plane and I can never really focus or become fully immersed in a story in that kind of environment. To that extent, it was my fault, but I was so excited for this book that I didn’t want to stop reading! Perhaps if I reread it later on my opinions will change.
In An Ember in the Ashes, I loved Helene as a character. I thought she was a fantastic secondary character and was excited to read a few chapters from her POV. However, I found myself, sadly, mostly bored by her storyline. I think I was too invested in Laia and Elias rescuing Darin that I didn’t enjoy being drawn away from their chapters. By the end of the book, I started to skim her parts, which is a shame because as I said, I really like her character.
Speaking of Helene, I really like the dynamic between her and Harper and whatever is simmering there beneath the surface. I found Harper’s character interesting as well, and although I guessed what the twist was with him pretty early on, it didn’t make it any less intriguing. I’m interested to see where it’s going to lead later on. Elias continues to be my favorite character in the series and his story line with the Soul Catcher, which I was pretty hesitant about at first, has me itching for the next book. As a big Laia/Elias shipper, I have to comment on the romance. Slow burn is one of my favorite things but it is almost TOO SLOW here. Come on, Tahir! The tension between them is killing me and the almost-but-not-really romance is leaving me both unsatisfied and begging for more.
A Torch Against the Night may not have been as amazing as the first book, I enjoyed it a lot and it was still a great sequel that has me not-so-patiently waiting for the next one!