Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Sea of Always (Thirteen Witches #2)

Anderson, Jodi Lynn. The Sea of Always (Thirteen Witches #2)
April 5th 2022 by Aladdin
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Rosie and her friend Germ managed to survive in the previous book, and find themselves traveling the Sea of Always in a time whale to California in 1855, where Rosie's brother is supposedly sequestered by the Time Witch. It's very luxurious inside the whale, and anything they could want is provided, but it's also very boring. When the whale drops them suddenly on a coast, they are surprised that it isn't at their destination, but at a remote and dangerous looking location. Luckily, they are met by Aria, who welcomes them to the witch ruled world and grudgingly helps them. Her sister, Clara, has abandoned her, and Aria doesn't have a lot of hope. She agrees to help Rosie, and explains a lot of things to her. The Time Witch is still hunting Rosie, so the group tries their best to hide, but also catch the attention of the Nothing King, who is gard worse. They figure out, with the help of Ebb, a ghost from Rosie's home, that they need to steal the hearts of all of the witches and destroy them in order to further their goals and get closer to Rosie's brother. This involves a lot of traveling through space and time, and they don't have a lot of time to accomplish this mission. It's a game to the Time Witch, and finding the last witch, Convenia, is difficult. Will they be able to complete their mission, deal with the time witch, and save Rosie's brother and mother?
Strengths: Rosie is still intrepid in her endeavors to better life for her mother, and is determined to find her long lost brother. If it means stealing the hearts of a bunch of witches, she's not going to flinch. Aria was an interestingly mysterious character, and Germ remains stalwart. We find out more about the witches and their motivations, and I would imagine the next book will highlight the Nothing King. Ebb's story had a particularly satisfying conclusion. 
Weaknesses: Traveling in the Time Whale was interesting, but went on for far too long. In a world where there is magic, I don't have a lot of patience for travel taking an overly long time. (It's the one thing I remember about Armstrong's 2013 Loki's Wolves!) Sure, you can run into difficulties, but it shouldn't be the fictional equivalent of getting stuck overnight in Chicago O'Hare.
What I really think: I liked this one, but not quite as much as the first, which has circulated well. I'm curious to see if the third book will be the last, and to see what direction it takes. 
 Ms. Yingling

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