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Antebellum Awakening

Antebellum Awakening is the second book in the YA fantasy Network Series by Katie Cross.

I would strongly recommend that readers read Miss Mabel’s School for Girls before this – and warn that this review will contain inevitable spoilers for the first book. Therefore I recommend not reading this review until you’ve read Miss Mabel’s. Feel free to read my review of that first book here.

Half numb from the events at the end of Miss Mabel’s School for Girls and in deep mourning for her mother, Bianca finds herself suddenly at Chatham Castle – her father’s break in tradition in having a family known by all – and many not with a favorable outlook.

Though she’s surrounded by her friends, nothing can distract her from the uncontrollable chaos her powers have become since her mother’s murder. She’s putting everyone is danger by just being present.

Yet the most daunting thing is that she only has six months left before her seventeenth birthday – the day that her Inheritance Curse will kill her, as it’s killed others in her family.

Unless she can somehow break the contract with the cunning, powerful woman who killed her mother – her former teacher, Miss Mabel…

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls was very impressive to me – a suspenseful mix of intrigue, danger and magic. It was included on my Stand-Out Books of 2014, as you lovely bibliophiles know.

Antebellum Awakening was still good… but didn’t stand out to me as much.

It was still good and intriguing, the Network world is fascinating and I always want to know more about it, but the setting of Chatham Castle just wasn’t as gripping as the school in book one.

Whereas in the first book Bianca was in a sort of espionage position, confronting her enemy head on and having to be very sneaky to get away with it – this second novel is more focused on Bianca’s grief and education on controlling her powers.

This doesn’t mean it wasn’t good – it was! Great character development, definitely sympathetic and it’s realistic that Bianca would need to go through this – rather heartbreaking, really.

It just wasn’t edge-of-your-seat exciting and nerve wracking like Miss Mabel’s School for Girls was.

So, don’t expect the same level of suspense – but some relatively good development on the overall plot and a few new details about the Network and what was around before the Network came to be.

I’ll still be interested in book three.

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