My main complaint with The Explosionist was the sudden cliffhanger, which read like the author had abruptly run out of paper in the middle of a scene. Up till the end I had been quite enjoying that first book, so when Davidson produced a sequel I was all prepared to be forgiving. Unfortunately for my immortal soul, I was not called upon to produce any virtuous thoughts in the course of reading this. It has all the faults of the first book -- insufficiently explained alternate political history, not-entirely-convincing teen girl POV, abrupt unresolved ending -- without any of the positives.
This volume picks up a week or so after the previous one ended. Sophie has successfully escaped Scotland and is safely ensconced at the Bohr Institute (nice to be some refugees, eh?) in Copenhagen, along with her friend Mikael and his mother. There her activities mainly consist of eating cake, walking around in the snow, and waiting for news. That's really the bulk of this book: cake, snow, waiting, Sophie thinking stuff. And her thoughts are not interesting enough to make this work. Her angsty-teen-girl thoughts were boring, and the rest of her personality was too cool and controlled and introspective to be believably 15. I don't remember finding this a problem in the previous book, but maybe it was just less obvious because there was more action. Hardly anything actually happens
here, except for Mikael getting taken by the Snow Queen
which was the not only ridiculously contrived and coincidental, but didn't fit with the over-all tone of story. She would have done much better to stick with the subplot from the Explosionist where Sophie hears the dead talking to her over the radio
. And what the heck is up with THAT, by the way?! You cannot have something like that in the first book and then just drop
Anyway, this book was basically just useless filler eking out what should have been one 300 page book instead of a trilogy. I've read all three of Davidson's novels now and I think I'm done with her.