House of Sand and Secrets by Cat Hellisen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
House adds even more of what made book one different, especially as we take in the mistakes made and how things build up between them despite the same (or is it because of?) What’s said versus what’s not are both used to make it clear that the pair of them is from typical. She’s the stronger one of the two, but why that’s the case is a revelation, considering where her story started.
If at first she’s the girl who doesn’t want certain things, meeting all she did and doing all she had, here’s she’s left with the consequences of all that. She’s still far from perfect; there are jealousies that cloud things, sad sad sad moments of wanting because of the not having and then a failure on both their parts to say what’s meant and matters. Early on we know he is more than “bat” he’s perceived as; but it’s in seeing him be just as unprepared to deal as she was had me wondering more. I love that they’[re both so unsure; I love that they both hold notions of the other… at times right and in others so far from it. Basically, them together: neither easy nor sweet, and often times, it’s the difficult they encounter and more than just because they’re new to each other.
Yet, beyond this pair (and who they were to become to each other,) there’s another vital thing in this: the new city they’d landed themselves in and the roles they were set to play in it. Running as they had from the troubles in When, here they’re beset with other challenges of making nice with another pair similarly situated, and navigating through the perceptions and expectations of their peers (because they see them as anything but.) All her musings on what others think, what she thinks, what he does: a complicated mess, but interesting too… because it’s through all that that we see the order they live in or at least the order that others would like to maintain and others would like to change.
The threads of their personal drama plus the political aspect of Lammers then Hobs then Vampires are pulled together so that where one ends and the other begins, I was not quite sure and neither did I care to find out because it all meshed so well.
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