Book Review: Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

I’m struggling to come up with the start of this review. I have so much to say about this book. I’ll start with a brief synopsis without spoilers and then get into the review part of this post.

If you haven’t read Foundryside, the first book, then I highly recommend you do and you can also read a mini review I did on February 18th. In the first book, which was awesome, the main characters, Sancia, Beranice, Orso and Gregor all come from different backgrounds but are united in a common goal. I hesitate to write about the first book because I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s been out since 2017 so I’ll leave it at this, they are trying to stop a house from bringing back the first hierophant which could potentially destroy Trevanne. 

Shorefall picks up three years after the events in the first book. Sancia, Beranice, Orso and Gregor have formed a small firm that is dedicated to sharing information so they can bring down the big houses. They’ve set up shop in the Commons where the poor and disenfranchised live and many scrivers have left the big houses to start their owns firms in this area. 

In the beginning chapters the main characters are at the Michiel campo and are going to share a scriving that will enable the Michiels to twin their lexicons. What they are not aware of is what the true plan is and this leads to bigger and bigger things as the book goes on.  That’s really as much as I can share about the story without spoiling the book.

So, let’s start with what I didn’t like. The story suffers a little from a lag after a great opening. I realize this had to happen in order to set up the things that follow but I struggled to stay engaged. It is a short part of the overall story so if you’re reading and find yourself a little underwhelmed stick with it. The rest of the story makes up for this in a big way.

Ahhhh now what did I like. The book did not suffer from middle book syndrome where you feel like the story is flat and uninteresting. Just as in the first book the story builds and builds and moves from one challenge to another as the stakes grow and grow. Each step the characters take seem to fail as they fight an enemy that is so powerful it seems impossible to make any headway in defeating it. They are also in alignment with another being of power whose true purpose is unknown but makes promises to help defeat the main antagonist. Normally I don’t care for the big bad being so big and powerful because it seems almost impossible for the protagonists to be victorious but in this case it was essential to make the challenge this big because Sancia had also grown in her power. The author brings back the city of Trevanne we inhabited in the first book and it is just as well written as it was in the first book. We also are treated to a particular character that I loved in the first  book who brought a little bit of humor coming back into the story. This reunion with the other characters is bittersweet as the magnitude of the situation and the plans of the antagonists are revealed. The ending was spectacular and leaves you with a desire to read the next book right now. I can only hope that is coming out soon. This is what I hate about reading a series as it’s being written. The wait is a killer!

I truly loved this book from start to finish. Even with the little lag I still enjoyed the ride. I am thrilled the second was even better than the first and left me feeling satisfied and a little sad that I had to leave the wonderful and scary world and come back to reality. I give this book a big 10 out of 5. Yep, that’s how good it was. I can highly recommend this book.

Libby and I are doing pretty good. She now wants to go up to the bedroom about two hours before bedtime to lay in front of her furry bed and snuggle with it like it’s another dog. It’s hilarious! I wish she would actually sleep IN the bed but if she’s happy then I’m happy as well. 

I recently borrowed Near Witch by V.E. Schwab from the library. It’s the audiobook and I’m looking forward to reading it next. I haven’t found any challenges on Booktube yet but I am on the lookout for one. I know I said I would wait but I feel like I’m almost ready for one. 

In our state the stay at home order has been provisionally lifted so I can actually go out and shop a little bit. I’ve gotten back into art journaling and would like to go to a craft store or the dollar store and browse for interesting supplies.

So, that’s it for this week. I hope my review was enough for you to decide if you want to pick up this book and give it a read. I hope you all stay safe as we start to enter into what is sure to become our new normal. Until next week my friends.

Therese

2 Comments

  1. I skimmed your review because I didn’t want spoilers. I’ve got about 100 pages left to read in Shorefall, and so far, I’m enjoying more than I liked the first book in the series. I really like the magic system!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I try to keep my reviews spoiler free as much as possible. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book. I agree with you. I think the second is better than the first even though the first was amazing. I love the magic system in these books. So inventive and different. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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