Release-Day Review: These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch (Stream Raiders #2)

These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch // VBC Review

These Divided Shores (Stream Raiders #2)
Sara Raasch
Published: Aug. 27, 2019 (Balzer+Bray)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for and honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference previous events in the series. If you haven’t yet started, check out VBC’s review of These Rebel Waves.

It’s been two weeks since King Elazar of Argrid’s forces have stormed the shores of Grace Loray with the intention of controlling the island once more. His presence has caused a division between the free people and the raider syndicates. While trying to form a cohesive stand against King Elazar, Devereaux “Vex” Bell is still reeling from his cousin Ben’s capture and Lu’s death. All he can think about is to keep moving forward and the first step in his plan is to free Lu’s mother Kari the Wave from captivity. Kari was instrumental in the success of Grace Loray’s rebellion six years ago and Vex is hoping she can work the same magic this time around.

Meanwhile, Ben and a not-really-dead Lu are being held captive by Ben’s father King Elazar and forced to work on a magic that will ensure his triumph over the “evil” the permeates Grace Loray.

The stakes are high and while in the heart of the conflict, Vex, Ben, and Lu also represent different sides within said conflict. They’ll have to reconcile the parts they each have to play in order to ensure Grace Loray’s survival.

These Divided Shores was kinda tough to get through, starting out anyway. There is little to none as far as recapping goes. The story picks up two weeks after the end of These Rebel Waves and it starts running and pretty much doesn’t stop. It’s in the little bits and pieces of information thrown out that I was able to remember everything that occurred previously. If possible, I highly recommend a reread of the first book beforehand.

I think it’s in this constant state of go go go that the story loses the most momentum in terms of development and deepening the characters.

There is so much division between all the different groups who have a stake in Grace Loray’s success, or failure, and none of the groups can manage to speak to each other for the majority of the book. While I understand the bigger commentary going on here (how we all need to work together and come together to enact change even with our differing views), it creates quite the jumble.

During all this we see Lu, Vex, and Ben struggle with their place in the war and wonder what their future could possibly hold in the future. They struggle with holding fast to their convictions or if giving up a little of what they believe in, in order to win is worth it. These conflicts felt extremely relatable, but unfortunately they kind of get overshadowed by the fact that no one is speaking clearly to anyone else for the majority of the book.

Looking past all this, however, and you’ll still find a story that utilizes a wonderfully unique magic system in botanical magic. I loved Lu’s continued knowledge and experiments. Also, the so-wonderful-I-didn’t-know-I-needed-it-until-I-had-it romance between Ben and Gunnar (the Mecht fire-wielding Eye of the Sun). Their build up throughout the book was absolutely on point. In fact, I need Ben and Gunnar centered novella stat.

Overall, These Divided Shores gave a satisfying, I’d say even an excellent, ending, just getting there was a bit of a struggle, but maybe that speaks more to life than I realized.

Sexual content: kissing, scenes of sensuality, references to sex, implication of rape

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