Title: Crisped + Sere (Immemorial Year #2)
Author: T.J. Klune
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Page Count: 340
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
In a world ravaged by fire and descending into madness, Cavalo has been given an ultimatum by the dark man known as Patrick: return Lucas to him and the cannibalistic Dead Rabbits, or the town of Cottonwood and its inhabitants will be destroyed.
But Lucas has a secret embedded into his skin that promises to forever alter the shape of things to come—a secret that Cavalo must decide if it’s worth dying over, even as he wrestles with his own growing attraction to the muted psychopath.
Cavalo has twenty-one days to prepare for war. Twenty-one days to hold what is left of his shredded sanity together. Twenty-one days to convince the people of Cottonwood to rise up and fight back. Twenty-one days to unravel the meaning behind the marks that cover Lucas.
A meaning that leads to a single word and a place of unimaginable power: Dworshak.
The sequel to Withered + Sere is everything the first book promised. Seeing the violence which we only got a hint of in the first book was more satisfying than I was expecting –that’s me, bloodthirsty!
I am not sure how much of a review this can be, really, because one, I can’t talk plot, and two, I have started to sound like a broken record when it comes to Klune’s writing. I honestly cannot praise it enough. I just get it. It speaks to me. And the brilliance of the writing becomes even more pronounced when reading a story as dark as the one told here. But most importantly, the darkness did not feel gratuitous. There is a reason for Cavalo’s madness. There is a reason why his mind has splintered so badly. And there absolutely is a reason why someone as equally fractured is the one to call to Cavalo’s battered soul.
I am absolutely in love with these characters. I do not always understand them or their actions but I feel like I am getting to know them better than most characters I have read in books. They are unique but also relatable in ways than you would never think. They encapsulate each and every one of us. Not who we are, perhaps, but who we could potentially be if even a hint of what they went through happened to us. And that, right there, is why I could read hundreds of pages about them.
The world created here is not real. It’s fantastical and filled with the stuff of nightmares. It’s a glimpse of the human condition in its basest form and a study in human nature put under immeasurable strain. And it’s done so magnificently that I can’t but applaud the effort.
This is DSP publications so of course the romance is not the focal point. But like in real life, there is always a glimmer of hope in the bleakest of situations, as long as we are willing to see it.
Gorgeous, once again, and 5+ stars.