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Review: The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie (The Abyss Surrounds Us #2)

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The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie // VBC ReviewThe Edge of the Abyss (The Abyss Surrounds Us #2)
Emily Skrutskie
Published: Apr. 18, 2017 (Flux)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, The Abyss Surrounds Us.

The Edge of the Abyss opens three weeks after the end of The Abyss Surrounds Us when Cassandra Lung became a pirate captain in training. Her routine is grueling, but not as painful as seeing her fellow trainee Swift every day and reliving her betrayal. Or perhaps struggling not to see it as a betrayal would be more accurate. One of the things I liked about the first book is that the romance plot was a very small part of the story. It’s much more prominent in this second book, and full of angst, which is my least favorite thing about YA.

But I can excuse some of the teen angst because there’s also pirate politics. We get to meet several other pirate captains and learn about the way their society functions when Captain Santa Elena calls them all together to deal with the smuggled Reckoners that Cas uncovered in book one.

The crime is much more serious than she originally thought. Not only do the rogue sea monsters attack ships, but also there are so many of them they are depleting the ocean’s fish supply and causing a worldwide food shortage. I thought this was an interesting (and non-preachy) way to address environmental issues that look a little different in this world with its larger percentage of water, but are still quite recognizable.

My favorite thing about The Edge of the Abyss though is the action. I’m even more convinced that these books should be on the big screen than I was after book one. I defy anyone to read Santa Elena’s “Independence Day speech” and not envision an action movie. Cas and her fellow trainees take on sea monsters on what are essentially jet skis and it is epic. But it gets even better after she reunites with Bao, the Reckoner she trained. Even though she’s done it once before, I love the image her riding into battle on a giant turtle. That is, a genetically engineered badass monster turtle. There are new types of Reckoners as well—I was definitely surprised by the sea ape.

Amidst all of that, Cas works to reconcile her old life with her new one, struggling to bridge the gap between land and sea and discovering who she really wants to be. Where she winds up is not exactly where I expected, but was satisfying nonetheless. I believe that the series is a duology, but there’s room to return the world in the future. I, for one, would be happy to.

Sexual content: sex

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