Monday, October 21, 2013

The Drowned Vault

The Drowned Vault is the second novel in N. D. Wilson’s middle grade/YA supernatural adventure series Ashtown Burials.

Personally, I thought that the first Ashtown Burials book, The Dragon Tooth, was awesome. So, if you haven’t read it yet check out my review here, and avoid this review for potential spoilers!

All you savvy bibliophiles have already read The Dragon Tooth, though, right? ;)

It’s been nearly a year since Cyrus and his sister Antigone found a home at Ashtown – though not necessarily one where they are welcome.

Nearly a year since they’ve been introduced to a life of mystery, adventure and mythology come to life as they earned a status of Journeyman amongst the order of explorers who’ve guarded the world’s secrets and treasures for generations.

As Cyrus failed to protect the Dragon’s Tooth against villainous Dr. Phoenix, and the simple fact that they are Smiths’, they are not well liked at Ashtown.

In fact, they are in extreme danger.

It’s not long before Cy and Antigone find themselves on the run – and desperate for a way to save not only themselves, but Ashtown also…

I made an executive decision to not re-read The Dragon’s Tooth before diving in here. It just didn’t seem like I read it that long ago. I would’ve liked a little bit more of a recap in The Drowned Vault, but I felt refreshed quickly enough.

Ashtown Burials is a series I’m excited about. The Dragon’s Tooth gave me a strong, good vibe – and the characters felt vibrant while the plot felt new. Sometimes a bit of a rare thing in this genre!

The Drowned Vault, like its predecessor, swept me into an environment that is unique and hums with adventure. It’s not so much magical as adventurous, action-packed, and mixed with lore a bit. There’s excellent character growth and maturity in the way it is written in such a way to make these siblings believable.

Real danger looms in The Drowned Vault. Serious stakes are felt. And with the way N. D. Wilson causes me to care for this family, including the sympathy for the children concerning their comatose mother and deceased father, it’s quite effective.

Fantastically, it’s also really funny! Modern, smart characters with witty senses of humor plus a very involving, creative and exciting plot makes a gratifying dish!

I was surprised that I felt it got a little slow toward the end – a little mish-mashy.

Maybe I was just tired?

But then the CLIFFHANGER had me ready for book three NOW. And I remembered why I’m kind of rooting for this series.

It has some serious potential, people.

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