Last Updated on January 2, 2023 by ThoughtsStained
If you read my review over the first book in The Scorched Continent, Steal the Sky. It comes to no surprise that I was really, really excited to read the next installment. Unfortunately, I’m in a financial situation where buying books isn’t a luxury I get to partake in. Thankfully, I have within my grasp the glorious power of a library card. As soon as I realized that Break the Chains was already published, I immediately went to my library’s catalog to request it.
I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment when none of Megan E. O’Keefe’s works were there.
I’m also sure that you can continue to imagine my sheer and utter elation when I got an email saying that Break the Chains was on hold for me, because the library had bought it.
I just started using this library as my main hub for my book addiction, so I just discovered that you can request up to three books a month to be bought by the library and added to their catalog. So I requested O’Keefe’s second novel, but honestly, I didn’t really expect anything to happen. That just seemed way too good of a deal to be true.
Yet it did happen (and very quickly after I put in the request, too!) and I’ve read it and got completely floored by it and now I’m anxiously awaiting the publication of book three. So shout out to my local library for making it happen!
Publisher: Angry Robot | Release Date: September 2016 | Pages: 400
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Format: Paperback | Source: Borrowed
As the city that produces the most selium – that precious gas that elevates airships and powers strange magic – Hond Steading is a jewel worth stealing. To shore up the city’s defenses, Detan promises his aunt that he’ll recover Nouli, the infamous engineer who built the century gates that protect the imperial capital of Valathea. But Nouli is imprisoned on the Remnant Isles, an impervious island prison run by the empire, and it’s Detan’s fault. Detan doesn’t dare approach Nouli himself, so his companions volunteer to get themselves locked up to make contact with Nouli and convince him to help. Now Detan has to break them all out of prison, and he’s going to need the help of a half-mad doppel to do it.
On the Page
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- Don’t get me wrong: the entire book was lovely and lived up to the expectations that the first one set. Slipping back into cahoots with Detan and Tibs felt like returning into the familiar, warm embrace of a loved one. Seriously. I just want to third wheel it with those two, because I’m sort of in love with them? Then, Ripka’s journey in the prison with New Chum had some of my favorite chapters in the book. The characters they met and the situations they got themselves in were intense and also slightly heartbreaking. It was hard to watch Ripka have to restrain her actual personality through a mask, making herself lesser, in my opinion. Once again, the dialogue was awesome, the details were everything I wished all books would include more of and I continue to be fascinated by the harsh setting and great worldbuilding.
- But those last ten pages, y’all. Detan…freaking Detan…I couldn’t believe it. I actually got pissed. I’m no genius by any means, but usually, I can pick up a feel for a book’s momentum and not guess the ending, necessarily, but nine times out of ten, I’m not caught off-guard. I know where the book is headed. This ending? Completely caught off-guard. And not in a good way. Not at bloody all (which, actually, is a great thing, because O’Keefe masterfully manipulated my emotions and completely shredded my heart and, as a writer, I am so impressed; as the heartbroken reader, I’m anxiously awaiting for April 4th so I can read Inherit the Flame, with the full expectation that O’Keefe will FIX THIS. Because you can’t just ends things like this. You just can’t).
Obviously, you’re annoyed right now, because I have detailed you nothing about what actually ripped my soul to shreds. I’m not kidding. My chest physically hurt after I put the book down, floored. But just as obviously, I can’t tell you what happens. It’d spoil everything. And this is not a series to be spoiled. It is a series to be read and enjoyed.
So what are you waiting for? Go.
Invest your heart into fictional characters only to have it broken, which still hurts even though you know the pain is going to happen. Read. That’s what I meant. Go read O’Keefe’s The Scorched Continent.