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Sunday, April 11, 2021

The Girl and The Mountain by Mark Lawrence review

 

Order The Girl and The Mountain over HERE
Read FBC's review of The Girl and The Stars


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Lawrence is a research scientist working on artificial intelligence. He is a dual national with both British and American citizenship, and has held secret-level clearance with both governments. At one point, he was qualified to say, “This isn’t rocket science—oh wait, it actually is.” He is the author of the Broken Empire trilogy (Prince of Thorns, King of Thorns, and Emperor of Thorns), the Red Queen’s War trilogy (Prince of Fools, The Liar’s Key, and The Wheel of Osheim) and the Book of the Ancestor series (Red Sister).

FORMAT: The Girl and The Mountain is the second book in Mark Lawrence’s Book of The Ice series, published by HarperVoyager in the UK, and Ace in the US. Print length: 384 pages.

OVERVIEW: The Girl and The Mountain picks up instantly after the cliffhanger ending of The Girl and The Stars. Yaz has left the pit, but at what price? And what has just happened to her friends? We don't have to wait for the answers; Lawrence throws readers into breakneck action delivered through 3 main POV characters: Yaz, Quell, and Thurin.

Having lost her found family, Yaz continues to fight the good fight against the cruel regulators, as well as the monstrosities of the Abeth. In the meantime, her friends try to survive and I'll stop right here, right now, before I spoil the story for you.

The one part of The Girl and The Mountain that I preferred to The Girl and The Stars was Yaz’s character progression. Her growth, development, her personality. She shows more of herself in this entry, much more than before. She finally felt like a character of flesh, blood, and wild magic. I found her more compelling this time around, somehow more real. In the first book, I felt Yaz lacked something, the spark that made Nona, Jalan of Jorg unforgettable. Compared to them she still falls a little flat, but not forgettable. Other characters are strong in their presence. Thurin is a big favorite for me, as is Erris. 

The worldbuilding remains exciting; I was thrilled to be back in the claustrophobic and freezing icescapes of Abeth. Black Rock and its secrets give a thrilling look at the possible link between magic and technology. I loved the mix of science, mythology, and magic. Monsters roaming the world gave me chills, prepare for some insane stuff. Lawrence proves once again he knows how to pack plenty of information into a few lines, and his ideas continue to surprise and thrill. 

In terms of criticism, I had an issue with the inconsistent pacing. After a strong start filled with the edge-of-your-seat moments, I felt that the foot came off the gas pedal in the middle portion of the story. Perhaps it's because long journey arcs aren't my jam,  and the middle part of the book focuses on the perilous journey through a hostile world. 

Book of the Ice series takes a grim turn with this one. I wouldn't call it grimdark, but don't get too attached to characters. Still, there’s a lot of hope and heart here, and this makes the book shine. The ending ties Book of the Ice with The Book of the Ancestor series and the ending chapters delivered plenty of thrills. And another nasty cliffhanger :)

CONCLUSION: I can only wonder what the future will bring. Will the trilogy conclude on a happy note, a sad one, or somewhere in-between? There's only one way to know. And I'll read the third book as soon as it's available!


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