Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesdays in the Tower (Castle Glower #2) by Jessica Day George

The sequel to, Tuesdays at the Castledoes more world building than the first novel explaining the history of the castle and how it got its powers. It is more of a setup for the third book with its cliffhanger ending, but I enjoyed the mythical creatures, pacing, and heroine. Celie is back with her kind ways and important skills of mapping the castle and communicating with it. When she finds a mysterious egg in a new tower, she watches it everyday until it hatches a creature that imprints on her. The castle wants her pet kept secret and Celie must learn how to be responsible for raising it without the help of her parents.

When a creepy wizard comes to the castle to help her brother, Bran, decipher a storehouse of magical and powerful weapons, the castle starts to change in alarming ways forcing everyone to work together to try and make things right. The family decides to trust the wizard, but Celie and Pogue think he is up to something. When things reach a crisis it is up to Celie to make the right decision and save her family.

While the plot's pacing sputters a bit at the beginning, most of the threads from subplots come together and make for a fast-paced ending. I enjoyed the world building and explanation of the castle's powers. I think this is the strength of this book for it gives a better foundation for the characters. I would have liked more development of a diverse culture in the alternate world, but it suggests this won't happen until the next book. The villain or not - it isn't clear - is somewhat one-dimensional and I would have liked to know more about why he was so obstinate in his opinions about what action to take. The cliffhanger suggests it is to come. On the one hand, I liked the superpower explanation, but on the other I want more regarding the alternate world and its culture. Bring on book 3!

World building is not as important as the characters that drive the story. Celie is a likable protagonist. She doesn't change internally as much in this book as learn to be responsible for another creature's well-being. She's good at problem-solving and is not a royal snob. She doesn't fight with others and usually makes the right decisions. If you like flawed characters, Celie is not one. It isn't clear if Pogue is interested in Celie as only a friend or more romantically. She can count on him and while he is called a flirt he isn't one at all in this story. A nice fantasy and entertaining read.

3 Smileys

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