Review: Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on September 28, 2018 | 2 Comments

Review: Smoke in the Sun by Renee AhdiehSmoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh
Series: Flame in the Mist #2
Published by GP Putnam's Sons (6.5.2018)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 408 pages
Source: Library

3 Stars

For weeks, seventeen-year-old Mariko pretended to be a boy to infiltrate the notorious Black Clan and bring her would-be murderer to justice. She didn't expect to find a place for herself among the group of fighters—a life of usefulness—and she certainly didn't expect to fall in love. Now she heads to the imperial castle to resume a life she never wanted to save the boy she loves.

Ōkami has been captured, and his execution is a certainty. Mariko will do what she must to ensure his survival—even marry the sovereign's brother, saying goodbye to a life with Ōkami forever.

As Mariko settles into her days at court—making both friends and enemies—and attempting Ōkami's rescue at night, the secrets of the royal court begin to unravel as competing agendas collide. One arrow sets into motion a series of deadly events even the most powerful magic cannot contain. Mariko and Ōkami risk everything to right past wrongs and restore the honor of a kingdom thrown into chaos by a sudden war, hoping against hope that when the dust settles, they will find a way to be together.

My thoughts

“Ours is a love stronger than fear and deeper than the sea.”

Soo this makes me really sad to say but this story was really boring for most of the book?? *cries* Looking back I really can’t tell you what actually happened because NOTHING HAPPENED. After Flame in the Mist I expected much, much more. Not to say that I didn’t like it – I did still enjoy it for the most part because Renee’s writing is lovely, and I love the Japanese culture. But alas, it was really underwhelming – not nearly as good as the first book (which I gave 4.5 stars).

“I imagine the moon would be a thing of beauty on a night like this. But I prefer what I’m looking at now.”
“You likely say that to all the girls who rescue you.”
“They are a candle in the sunlight compared to you.”

To be honest, the only thing that kept me going was Okami. I lived for his parts, I love him so much!! Everything else: palace life, court intrigue, and politics – SNORESVILLE. I was bored out of my mind for most of Mariko’s parts.

None of this story really stuck with me, either. I had to crack the book back open to remember how it ended (that’s sooo bad, I just read it like 2 weeks prior to writing this review). Talk about second book syndrome.

I just realized this review sounds really bad? I promise I didn’t hate it. I was just really disappointed because it didn’t compare to the first book. I’m super sad that it’s only a duology. The ending left a couple of things kinda open so I’m hoping Renee will change her mind one day and write a third book to redeem it T.T

They’d given their son the gift of great power. Not the kind of power granted by a demon. The kind of power that people laid down their lives to protect. The power of hope.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 3.5/5
Premise: 4.5/5
Writing style: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 1.5/5
Feels: 2/5
Cover: 3/5
Overall rating: 3/5

Jessi (Geo)

Posted in: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , ,

Subscribe to Novel Heartbeat to get more posts like this!

2 responses to “Review: Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

  1. Oh bummer. I remember feeling very middle of the road over the first book. I read it as an ARC, so perhaps things were different come the final installment, and that glossary would’ve helped me a lot had I known about it at the time! Lol. Sad to hear that this one was kind of meh as well. I still plan to read it eventually because I love Renee’s books. Sorry to hear it was just an okay read, but nice review!!

    • I know a lot about Japanese culture (I’ve been obsessed for years lol) so I didn’t really need the glossary thankfully! But honestly if you didn’t love the first book you may not enjoy this one. I loved the first book! And Japanese fantasy is so few and far between, too. Sigh…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.