The second book in the Flame in the Mist duology. This one too was deliciously slow paced and engaging.
It took me longer time than normal to finish this book. Partly because of a hectic week and that this book was one I wanted to give my full attention to because of the nature of the book. Small details can have drastic repercussions. So make sure to be in the right headspace before opening the book.
Ahdieh has a magical way with words that can convey the workings of a characters mind and their growth during dark times in a beautiful way.
The slow pace might not be for everyone, but in this duo it’s what makes it wonderful! You really get into the characters heads, every change and growth is gradual and that is a thing I miss in many books. So having it in spades in this book was so refreshing for me. And since the books focuses more on brain than brawn, the slow pace adds more delicious heavy tension.
We get some added point-of-veiws to follow in this one, and they are great additions! Gives more layers to the story and makes Smoke in the Sun even less ”black and white” than Flame in the Mist was.
I did get a bit more of an emotional connection in this book too, which was one of the things I missed in Flame in the Mist. It came in the weird form of me starting to desire a future for Mariko that she herself might not want. So I constantly had to check myself and remember that I will review this book as it was and let things unfold as they must, not as I wish they would. That would have been unfair to Ahdieh who has created this wonderful book. But yeah, I struggled with some weird frustration of not being the puppet master. And that is kinda rare for me with literature.
Another thing I loved about the book was that the relationships between characters got a brighter spotlight. They became deeper, more raw and complicated. They were already pretty detailed in the first book, but they became more so in the second. Probably because we learn more about them, they about each other and themselves as they evolve.
The ending did disappoint me though. It was a bit to clean in some areas for my taste, and at the same time left some interesting threads loose. And I did not like it.. Cliffhangers are for books with sequels, and I have not heard of a followup yet. But I was not surprised at the ending. I noticed that I had 50 pages left and joust thought; ”Crap, ether everyone dies or I’m missing half the book..”That is the thing that dragged the books score down for me, but 75% of the book was so amazing that I still give it 4 stars!