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The electrifying sequel to the national bestseller Smoke - bringing back readers to a world that Entertainment Weekly called "Part Dickens, part dystopia, and totally immersive." It has been ten years since Thomas Argyle, Charlie Cooper and Livia Naylor set off a revolution by releasing Smoke upon the world. But the consequences were far grea The electrifying sequel to the national bestseller Smoke - bringing back readers to a world that Entertainment Weekly called "Part Dickens, part dystopia, and totally immersive." It has been ten years since Thomas Argyle, Charlie Cooper and Livia Naylor set off a revolution by releasing Smoke upon the world. But the consequences were far greater than they had imagined, and the world has fractured. Erasmus Renfrew, the avowed enemy of Smoke, is now Lord Protector of Engand. Thomas Argyle is in India, on a mission to find out the origins of Smoke. Mowgli, whose body was used to trigger the tempest that unleashed the Smoke, now calls himself Nils and is a chameleon-like thief living in New York. Elizabeth Renfrew, Erasmus' niece is in hiding. Her uncles experiments endured has given her a strange power over Smoke. Believing her uncle's agents have found her, so she flees to New York with a theater troupe led by Balthazar Black, an impresario with secrets of his own. There they encounter Nils, and a Machiavellian Company man named Smith. All these people seek to discover the true nature of Smoke, and thereby control its power. As their destinies entwine, a cataclysmic confrontation looms, and the Smoke will either bind them together or rend the world.


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The electrifying sequel to the national bestseller Smoke - bringing back readers to a world that Entertainment Weekly called "Part Dickens, part dystopia, and totally immersive." It has been ten years since Thomas Argyle, Charlie Cooper and Livia Naylor set off a revolution by releasing Smoke upon the world. But the consequences were far grea The electrifying sequel to the national bestseller Smoke - bringing back readers to a world that Entertainment Weekly called "Part Dickens, part dystopia, and totally immersive." It has been ten years since Thomas Argyle, Charlie Cooper and Livia Naylor set off a revolution by releasing Smoke upon the world. But the consequences were far greater than they had imagined, and the world has fractured. Erasmus Renfrew, the avowed enemy of Smoke, is now Lord Protector of Engand. Thomas Argyle is in India, on a mission to find out the origins of Smoke. Mowgli, whose body was used to trigger the tempest that unleashed the Smoke, now calls himself Nils and is a chameleon-like thief living in New York. Elizabeth Renfrew, Erasmus' niece is in hiding. Her uncles experiments endured has given her a strange power over Smoke. Believing her uncle's agents have found her, so she flees to New York with a theater troupe led by Balthazar Black, an impresario with secrets of his own. There they encounter Nils, and a Machiavellian Company man named Smith. All these people seek to discover the true nature of Smoke, and thereby control its power. As their destinies entwine, a cataclysmic confrontation looms, and the Smoke will either bind them together or rend the world.

30 review for Soot - Limited Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Soot is set in a Dickensian world of darkness, grime and wretched brutality, with an additional Fantasy element. The magic part is that what to us is unseen in this world, our emotions, is physically visible in this one. Love, sin, greed, and desire are all extruded as a plume of Smoke from the body. Other people can therefore see, taste and experience our emotions in a physical form. As a result, some people have embraced the liberation and clarity that such things provide whilst others, usuall Soot is set in a Dickensian world of darkness, grime and wretched brutality, with an additional Fantasy element. The magic part is that what to us is unseen in this world, our emotions, is physically visible in this one. Love, sin, greed, and desire are all extruded as a plume of Smoke from the body. Other people can therefore see, taste and experience our emotions in a physical form. As a result, some people have embraced the liberation and clarity that such things provide whilst others, usually the aristocracy, wish for privacy and secrecy, see it as evil and wish to get rid of it. They use sweets to obscure the smoke so that others cannot see what they feel. Originally the Smoke seems to be a British issue but in Soot the problem has spread to other parts of the world. Three people seem to be initially important in controlling the Smoke – Thomas Argyle, Charlie Cooper and, Livia Naylor, whose story was told in Smoke (2016). Soot is set in 1909, ten years after Smoke. Although the events and characters of Smoke are summarised in this book as we go along, though there were times when I felt that I was missing something that may be important to those who have read more in this world. I would recommend that you read Smoke first. In this second instalment we have new key characters taking centre stage, some of whom the reader may have met before whilst others are new. Much of the new book focuses on Eleanor Renfrew, niece of Erasmus Renfrew, the Lord Protector of England. Eleanor has been in hiding in the care of Cruikshank to escape her evil Uncle because in Smoke her Uncle kept her imprisoned in some sort of torture apparatus until rescued by Charlie. After the recent death of Cruikshank, Eleanor travels to New York, where she takes up with a theatre troupe run by Balthazar Black. (It is therefore entirely logical that part of the book’s set up here is as if it were a play, in five acts.)  The troupe – with Eleanor tagging along – return to England, to the Minetowns of the North, where Balthazar hopes to stock up with a secret substance that can control Smoke, although his reason given is to return to England where the so-called Second Smoke has been and gone, although it has been taken up in other countries. In a separate plot thread we also follow Nil, once named Mowgli, who was abducted from South America and is now on a mission to find out about his past. To do this he spies on the Company, the global trading business. He finds a strange Beetle whose importance becomes clear as the novel progresses. Eventually the plot threads converge as Eleanor meets Nil and a strange character named Smith, who knows Eleanor, on her boat journey to England. There is a black storm over the Atlantic that seems to be generated by Smoke. The boat survives but Eleanor finds herself to be labelled as the ‘Madonna of the Storm’ who was able to sooth the storm. Eventually Eleanor, Smith and Nil end up in the Minetowns of Northern England and in particular to Ekklesia, where there is a Worker’s Council trying to serve the needs of the locals in a place where hardship rules. Balthazar is presented to the Workers’ Council meets Livia and is requested to write a play about the Workers.  Eleanor is captured and is blackmailed to return to her Uncle where she is once again put ‘in harness’. Meanwhile Thomas Argyle, is in the Himalayas, searching for an expedition that is searching for the origin of Smoke. Their discovery leads to horror. As one of the origin points of the mysterious Smoke, he feels guilty about what he is responsible for and is determined to find a way of controlling or even removing the Smoke to make up for his previous mistake. This has enormous consequences for him. In the end the plot meanders its way towards a resolution where the lead characters manage to thwart the plans of Eleanor’s Uncle, discover the origins of Smoke and the means of controlling it, as well as how to deal with the issues that the Smoke creates.  The ending suggests that we may not be entirely finished with this world yet. At 548 pages of small print, Soot is a big book. It’s also an immersive experience, and effectively evokes a world that is dark, dirty and creepy. This is certainly not a sanitised book, and in that respect taps into those Dickensian combinations of social niceties and squalor. This may be in part because of the detailed and colourful descriptions of places being as much a part of the book as the characters. In terms of prose, Dan can really write, and his descriptions of people and places are top class. The characterisation is detailed and nuanced beyond the basics, with a depth that is beyond many novels. Whilst I must admit that I really wasn’t sure about the whole concept of Smoke at the start - that idea of ‘visible sin’ just felt a tad too moralistic for my own tastes – but the author manages that difficult feat of making the impossible seem credible. Soot covers the world, with sojourns to India, the USA and Britain, and this breadth draws you in to give a full picture. This depth is also helped by the fact that the worldbuilding and setting is vivid and memorable. Whilst there are touches of genre that you may feel are familiar – you could see Soot as an alternative to Dust in Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials books, for example – this one is strong enough to stand on its own merits.  Dan makes his own path through an elaborate alternate history combined with a quest story, a thriller and a mystery set within a 5-act play. The downside of this is that there are many details and side-plots that may not be entirely necessary. Whilst they are enjoyable, I can see that for some they may make the pace of Soot a tad too leisurely, and when added to its mannered vocabulary they could make the novel a challenge – but at the same time and for the same reasons I can see many taking it to their hearts and it becoming a valued treasure. It is a book to be savoured - literate, thoughtful and memorable, a book that demands your close attention whilst reading. For me, I found it to be a superior piece of ambitious writing that managed to keep me coming back to read more, until it was done. Its pacing and detail meant that I appreciated it more than I loved it, though it is such a richly meticulous novel that I suspect that it will be one I’ll be thinking about long after I finished it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    The basic premise of this series made me want to enjoy this story. When I first requested a review copy of this book, I did not realize it was a follow-up to an earlier novel, Smoke. I immediately backtracked a bit...and read Smoke. Then came back to this sequel. While some of the original characters returned in this newest story, most of the magic and power of the first book did not. The plot in places just seemed muddled and confusing, and the magical feel of the first story just didn't carry The basic premise of this series made me want to enjoy this story. When I first requested a review copy of this book, I did not realize it was a follow-up to an earlier novel, Smoke. I immediately backtracked a bit...and read Smoke. Then came back to this sequel. While some of the original characters returned in this newest story, most of the magic and power of the first book did not. The plot in places just seemed muddled and confusing, and the magical feel of the first story just didn't carry through into this sequel. I enjoyed the first novel enough to give this series another go. I think I might enjoy this book more in audio format. So, once this is released, I'm going to listen to both books in audio....and see if that makes this story more enjoyable for me. Listening to a voice actor perform a story sometimes breathes some new life into a book that falls flat for me the first time. I liked Smoke enough to give this book a second chance at a later date. And, I will revise this review at that time. So, at this point, I will just say that this sequel just didn't work for me. I never really engaged with the plot or the characters. Not every story is for every reader....and this one is just not for me. But I'm willing to let the smoke clear (see what I did there?) and try it again in audio format. **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Doubleday. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  3. 4 out of 5

    Koeur

    Rating: DNF Review: I really tried to read this through but was unable. Stilted scene development coupled with flat characters rendered the process of reading interminable. Seemed like more of a personal rendition that met the authors fanciful ideas of an alternate reality i.e. not really written to capture at least a little portion of interest in everyone. What do they always say?……“Never write novels for yourself…save it for poetry”. ~ A. Mikkelsen

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cee Dee

    So disappointed by how scattered and meandering this is after I loved Smoke.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader

    https://thecaffeinatedreader.com/2020... 3.5/5 You give me a book that's Dystopia set in Edwardian times with a Dickensian vibe, and I am all there for it. This book checked off all of those, but, I didn't realize it was a sequel! [Mostly because I'm oblivious, so, that fault is my own]Luckily you don't need to have read the first book to read this one, they work as independent or connected novels. This work is dense, it is heavy, but it was fascinating, you felt as if this was a mashup between Dic https://thecaffeinatedreader.com/2020... 3.5/5 You give me a book that's Dystopia set in Edwardian times with a Dickensian vibe, and I am all there for it. This book checked off all of those, but, I didn't realize it was a sequel! [Mostly because I'm oblivious, so, that fault is my own]Luckily you don't need to have read the first book to read this one, they work as independent or connected novels. This work is dense, it is heavy, but it was fascinating, you felt as if this was a mashup between Dickens's novels and Pullman's ingenious world ideas from His Dark Materials. People smoke, they have different colours, tastes, smells, all based on their emotions/desire/rage, and that was SO unique. Not to mention this is something that wasn't always the case, that this smoke was actually a disease and that it has been in some cases welcomed as a new way to progress in society, to embrace the smoke. A+ for creativity in that. It's an Edwardian, Dystopian, Scifi, Fantasy riddled with personal stories of those characters most affected by the smoke/choices of those concerning the smoke. The cast of characters is widely varied in personalities and purposes, but they all tend to eventually weave together, so that was such an interesting thing to see progress. I suppose Eleanor was my favourite, though I found Smith absolutely attention-grabbing, any scene he was in, I just wanted to know more about him.  Overall, I really enjoyed reading this, I just felt it perhaps could have been a little shorter, that the density might intimidate people, but, it is truly worth the read if you find yourself intrigued by it/my review of it. 3.5 huge cups of coffee from me, thank you to Compulsive Readers Tours and the Publisher for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paula Lyle

    I didn't find this as immersing as Smoke, but I did like it all the same. What would it be like if our emotions had a smell and a taste and if we could not discern our own emotions without that aid, never mind the emotions of others? Strange that this is the reality we live in. This was a must-read for me, but I'm not sure it will be for others. Give it a try and see what you think. I didn't find this as immersing as Smoke, but I did like it all the same. What would it be like if our emotions had a smell and a taste and if we could not discern our own emotions without that aid, never mind the emotions of others? Strange that this is the reality we live in. This was a must-read for me, but I'm not sure it will be for others. Give it a try and see what you think.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Brilliant. Life imitates art, in this case COVID-19: “Only the memory remains: of the year of the Second Smoke. It came to New York late. Quarantine kept it at bay; the necessities of trade smuggled it in. Whoever it was that walked the Second Smoke into the city—whether it came by cart, by sea, or steamed down the East River—it took New York in a matter of days. A few neighbourhoods—Murray Hill, Gas House—defended their scars by force of weapon. It was hopeless: a chance gust, an inflection of Brilliant. Life imitates art, in this case COVID-19: “Only the memory remains: of the year of the Second Smoke. It came to New York late. Quarantine kept it at bay; the necessities of trade smuggled it in. Whoever it was that walked the Second Smoke into the city—whether it came by cart, by sea, or steamed down the East River—it took New York in a matter of days. A few neighbourhoods—Murray Hill, Gas House—defended their scars by force of weapon. It was hopeless: a chance gust, an inflection of the wind, would transform defender into prophet. Once in the Soot-soaked streets, the bricks themselves would spread the Smoke’s message. The deep blank of Central Park halted it until servants sneaked south to visit family, then carried it back into the pantries of the wealthy. It moved north. Yonkers caught like a match. Only the great emptiness of the woods beyond it proved an effective barrier. Much of New England remained clear.”

  8. 4 out of 5

    June

    I was drawn in by the striking cover and the description: "Part Dickens, part dystopia, and totally immersive." But I just couldn't get into it. I hadn't read the first book in the series, so perhaps that was a bit of a handicap. Still, it was hard to stay engaged with the meandering style. Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for a digital ARC for the purpose of an unbiased review. I was drawn in by the striking cover and the description: "Part Dickens, part dystopia, and totally immersive." But I just couldn't get into it. I hadn't read the first book in the series, so perhaps that was a bit of a handicap. Still, it was hard to stay engaged with the meandering style. Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for a digital ARC for the purpose of an unbiased review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    SPOILERS… SORRY NOT SORRY It is now ten years after Thomas, Livia, and Charlie release the Second Smoke to save humanity, but, in the end, it spreads across the World infecting everyone. This Smoke is different. It is full of evil and hatred rooted in Julius, who they used to ignite the Second Smoke. The World is no longer governed by politicians but by a Company that only thinks of profit over people. A rumor has spread, along with the Smoke, there is a cure. Now the Company and those that figh SPOILERS… SORRY NOT SORRY It is now ten years after Thomas, Livia, and Charlie release the Second Smoke to save humanity, but, in the end, it spreads across the World infecting everyone. This Smoke is different. It is full of evil and hatred rooted in Julius, who they used to ignite the Second Smoke. The World is no longer governed by politicians but by a Company that only thinks of profit over people. A rumor has spread, along with the Smoke, there is a cure. Now the Company and those that fight against them, race to find it. Livia, Thomas, and Charlie live with the horror they created, but the war against the Smoke isn’t ended by them but by the ones they left behind. Ten years ago, Mowgli and Eleanor were tortured by those that wanted to control the Smoke. One by discipline and the other by destruction. They survived and found themselves on the front line of the battle. Their different upbringings reflect on how they feel about the Smoke, but what they do share is a desire for a cure and hope for the future. Of course, I read a book about a pandemic during a pandemic. At first, I struggled a little. Like with Smoke, Vyleta fills the pages with vivid detail, and I got lost in the Smoke ;). Unlike with the first book, I didn’t smell the Smoke, but all I could see was gray and black soot. Even when they traveled through rain forests or the mountains of Nepal, I saw nothing but grey soot. Although this book was written at least a year before COVID, I couldn’t help to notice the similarities. The stories of maids visiting families and bring the Smoke/infection back to the wealthy families they worked for, and the jeweled masks worn to limit the effect of the Smoke upon them. I don’t read dystopian novels because they have a depressing interpretation of the future. This book takes place in the past, an alternative history, with a promise of a future without Smoke.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marvin

    For the idea of Smoke, Dan Vyleta got inspired by ‘Dombey and Son’ from Charles Dickens. I found Dickens’s style and ideas to be very present in ‘Smoke’. ‘Soot’ still reminds us of him, but he’s less present than he was in the first book. We have entered the 20th century now and society is moving out of the Victorian era. Vyleta also broadened the scope of this book outside of England. That explains it, probably. It makes this book very different from the first one. Vyleta has an appealing writi For the idea of Smoke, Dan Vyleta got inspired by ‘Dombey and Son’ from Charles Dickens. I found Dickens’s style and ideas to be very present in ‘Smoke’. ‘Soot’ still reminds us of him, but he’s less present than he was in the first book. We have entered the 20th century now and society is moving out of the Victorian era. Vyleta also broadened the scope of this book outside of England. That explains it, probably. It makes this book very different from the first one. Vyleta has an appealing writing style that matches very well with the time period and atmosphere of the book. It worked better with ‘Smoke’ though. ‘Soot’ is set-up as a play and each chapter enfolds as a new scene with a (mostly) static decor and characters that talk a lot but enjoy only limited freedom of movement. It makes this book hard to read. Characters have matured compared to ‘Smoke’, but they struggle to come to life and lack emotion. I never felt any connection to them (although that was not a problem in book one) and never had the impression that I was dragged into their story. I was curious to read the events after ‘Smoke’, but the magic never happened. I often wondered what was happening, and why. The ideas behind ‘Second Smoke’ and the explanation of how Smoke emerged, is all fine, but the entire evolution of the story around that, often felt unrelated to any of the previous events. I wanted to tie things together but couldn’t always. I never gave up on the book and kept reading until the very end, but the reward didn’t come. No fireworks at the end that saved the book, alas. (Thank you Edelweiss+ and Doubleday Books for an ARC of the book.)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    3Stars might be a little generous because the pace is slow and I didn’t ever emotionally connect with the characters. I can understand the abundance of low ratings. But I really liked the first in the series and still am intrigued by the ideas and the world created. The pace picked up in the last quarter as various factions begin to converge for the final climax. You have The Company motivated by greed, Renfrew’s desire to control and dominate and create a “virtuous” world, Livingston’s destruct 3Stars might be a little generous because the pace is slow and I didn’t ever emotionally connect with the characters. I can understand the abundance of low ratings. But I really liked the first in the series and still am intrigued by the ideas and the world created. The pace picked up in the last quarter as various factions begin to converge for the final climax. You have The Company motivated by greed, Renfrew’s desire to control and dominate and create a “virtuous” world, Livingston’s destructive hate, Eleanor and Nil want to save the world, Lydia, Thomas and Charlie are trying to repair what they created. Themes of individualism vs collectivism; how to connect with others but maintain a sense of self. Infectioness of emotions, good and bad and how easily inner anger is tapped into with a mob. The ending gives a hint of another in the series and I will read it if there is.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    I really liked Smoke, and it ended in an unexpected place, so I was excited when I discovered a sequel had come out. However, I found myself struggling to maintain engagement and really just plowing through long sections of the book, hoping it would soon be over. Ten pages from the end, I finally realized what the problem was. Nearly the entire book is narration and introspection. There is barely any dialogue, and though there is plenty of action, it all is described at a remove. You do not *fee I really liked Smoke, and it ended in an unexpected place, so I was excited when I discovered a sequel had come out. However, I found myself struggling to maintain engagement and really just plowing through long sections of the book, hoping it would soon be over. Ten pages from the end, I finally realized what the problem was. Nearly the entire book is narration and introspection. There is barely any dialogue, and though there is plenty of action, it all is described at a remove. You do not *feel* the book. Now, without spoilers, I will just say that there is at least one plot and theme related reason for the author to have chosen this style, and, having finished the book, I do understand the choice. I just really, really did not enjoy reading it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Mattarelliano

    When I read some reviews for Soot, giving it one or two stars, but with the preface they did not read the first book in the series (Smoke), I wanted to bang my head against a wall. This is obviously a sequel and is most definitely not a standalone novel. You HAVE to read smoke, first, to understand not only the main characters, as this takes place a decade later, but also the unique world Vyleta has created. Read Smoke and if you liked it, you will love Soot. Also, the way this leaves off, a thi When I read some reviews for Soot, giving it one or two stars, but with the preface they did not read the first book in the series (Smoke), I wanted to bang my head against a wall. This is obviously a sequel and is most definitely not a standalone novel. You HAVE to read smoke, first, to understand not only the main characters, as this takes place a decade later, but also the unique world Vyleta has created. Read Smoke and if you liked it, you will love Soot. Also, the way this leaves off, a third book is expected, to which I have to say "FUCK YEA." Thank you, Mr. Vyleta for creating this unique world, believable and lovable characters that keep me wanting more.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    The continuing story of SMOKE now that it has left England and has been unleashed out into the world. Our three heroes from the first book are apart and there have been many more characters and many more locations added to this tale. I admit that I still love Dan Vyleta's atmospheric writing style but the story in the first book that captured my attention from the first page, was more difficult to pick up the thread in this second book. Like the smoke the story is centered around - it now drifts The continuing story of SMOKE now that it has left England and has been unleashed out into the world. Our three heroes from the first book are apart and there have been many more characters and many more locations added to this tale. I admit that I still love Dan Vyleta's atmospheric writing style but the story in the first book that captured my attention from the first page, was more difficult to pick up the thread in this second book. Like the smoke the story is centered around - it now drifts to lands far away and is dispersed too easy to follow. If you have not read SMOKE I would read it before you continue with this book. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kyri Freeman

    This was so slow, and so long, and the characters were so impossible to relate to. The worldbuilding was really interesting and there were some exciting moments .... but it needed to be half the length and far more focused. The characters aren't active; they seem to do things but in the end nothing that they do makes any difference. Plot threads appear and disappear and never form a coherent thread leading through to a conclusion. I thought the beetles and the meteorite aspect were fascinating, This was so slow, and so long, and the characters were so impossible to relate to. The worldbuilding was really interesting and there were some exciting moments .... but it needed to be half the length and far more focused. The characters aren't active; they seem to do things but in the end nothing that they do makes any difference. Plot threads appear and disappear and never form a coherent thread leading through to a conclusion. I thought the beetles and the meteorite aspect were fascinating, but did any of that really mean anything? I really liked the first book, but found this one frustrating.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anne Goodwin

    A complex story unfolding through beautiful prose, it’s an intelligent novel about the return of the repressed and touching the darkness that’s in us all. Full review Darkness brought to light: The Sin Eater & Soot https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/1/post... A complex story unfolding through beautiful prose, it’s an intelligent novel about the return of the repressed and touching the darkness that’s in us all. Full review Darkness brought to light: The Sin Eater & Soot https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/1/post...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne Zipter

    I loved Vyleta's previous book, Smoke, and wanted to love this one as well. Soot does play off some of the same themes as the earlier book, but the interwoven subplots were intricately connected that it sometimes felt like a slog. In the end, I felt that, while the book was masterfully plotted, it left some questions unanswered and delved into to many esoteric philosophical issues for my tastes. I loved Vyleta's previous book, Smoke, and wanted to love this one as well. Soot does play off some of the same themes as the earlier book, but the interwoven subplots were intricately connected that it sometimes felt like a slog. In the end, I felt that, while the book was masterfully plotted, it left some questions unanswered and delved into to many esoteric philosophical issues for my tastes.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Complete waste of time. I understood nothing. Pretentious. At least I tried.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tim Butzen-Cahill

    I absolutely loved the writing style. This was an immense follow up to Smoke and while it ran it a little long in my opinion, it was a savory and thought-provoking read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tfalcone

    Thank you Net Galley for the free ARC. The smoke has now spread to the United States and Canada, the characters from the first book are still there but of course, older. The premise is still atmospheric, but the story becomes convoluted.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Csimplot Simplot

    Excellent work!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ali-pie

    I loved Smoke and I wanted to love this. It had so much potential, but the queerbaiting omg! After the ending of Smoke this was shockingly heteronormative and I am not happy about it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Too convoluted a plot for me at this time. Made it through about a quarter of the book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Forreste

    It dragged until the last chunk of the book. I only stuck it out to see what happened. (note: profanity and violent combat)

  25. 5 out of 5

    TJ Bibliosmia

    I really, really liked the first book and I know that it must be hard to top what was already done, seen that so many times - especially in the movies - but to me this second book had so much potential. There was so much more story to be told and I can't help but think, it there had been a 3rd novel so that this book could have spread it out a bit. I felt overwhelmed with all the different story lines going on - I just couldn't keep up with all of it. I really wanted to know what was going to ha I really, really liked the first book and I know that it must be hard to top what was already done, seen that so many times - especially in the movies - but to me this second book had so much potential. There was so much more story to be told and I can't help but think, it there had been a 3rd novel so that this book could have spread it out a bit. I felt overwhelmed with all the different story lines going on - I just couldn't keep up with all of it. I really wanted to know what was going to happen next, but it was just too much info overload. Maybe it's just me and my slow brain.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    After thing about it for two weeks, I still don't know quite what to say about this.. I did finish the book, although it was quite long. Some aspects really did interest me, particularly the actors and the idea of using Smoke to influence the audience's experience of a play. I also found interesting the search for the source of Smoke, and a "cure," but it went on far to long for my taste. I found the entire book rather dark and depressing. I am grateful to NetGalley and Doubleday for the opportu After thing about it for two weeks, I still don't know quite what to say about this.. I did finish the book, although it was quite long. Some aspects really did interest me, particularly the actors and the idea of using Smoke to influence the audience's experience of a play. I also found interesting the search for the source of Smoke, and a "cure," but it went on far to long for my taste. I found the entire book rather dark and depressing. I am grateful to NetGalley and Doubleday for the opportunity to read the eARC.

  27. 5 out of 5

    McKenzie

    I love the concept behind these books. It's a super interesting idea. However, I found this book to be so hard to read to the point that I actually couldn't finish it. I feel really bad about it. It was just boring. It's interesting how it was set up as a play and Vyleta's writing really works for the time period, but the story this time just didn't work for me. Smoke was better. I'll give it an extra star for having a unique world and an different set up, but I don't think I'm going to be conti I love the concept behind these books. It's a super interesting idea. However, I found this book to be so hard to read to the point that I actually couldn't finish it. I feel really bad about it. It was just boring. It's interesting how it was set up as a play and Vyleta's writing really works for the time period, but the story this time just didn't work for me. Smoke was better. I'll give it an extra star for having a unique world and an different set up, but I don't think I'm going to be continuing with this series. Thank you Netgalley for providing an ARC for review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ms Eclectic

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Rice

  30. 4 out of 5

    Trish

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