Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Book Review: The Infinite by Lori M. Lee

The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone #2) by Lori M. Lee
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Format: eARC from NetGalley

The walls of Ninurta keep its citizens safe.

Kai always believed the only danger to the city came from within. Now, with a rebel force threatening the fragile government, the walls have become more of a prison than ever.

To make matters worse, as Avan explores his new identity as an Infinite, Kai struggles to remind him what it means to be human. And she fears her brother, Reev, is involved with the rebels. With the two people she cares about most on opposite sides of a brewing war, Kai will do whatever it takes to bring peace. But she’s lost her power to manipulate the threads of time, and she learns that a civil war might be the beginning of something far worse that will crumble not only Ninurta’s walls but also the entire city.

In this thrilling sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Kai must decide how much of her humanity she’s willing to lose to protect the only family she’s ever known.

**WARNING: This review has spoilers for Gates of Thread and Stone. If you have not read the first book, I would highly recommend not reading any further. Unless if you don't mind spoilers... in that case, continue on. But for those who wish to remain unspoiled, turn away now til you finish reading the first book. For your convenience, the (non-spoiler) conclusion to this review will be bolded at the bottom.**

Also, thanks for NetGalley and Amazon Children's Publishing for an eARC of this book! 

It seems like everything is changing for Kai. The former leader of Ninurtia is now gone, thanks to her, and it seems like things would be better for her town. Surely things will be better for her now. But, even with Ninu gone, the result of his work are not. Everyone is now safe from his control, including Kai's brother, but it means everything is now safe from his control. On top of this, Avan is now an Infinite, and it seems like he's slowly becoming just another 'Ninu'...
With Kai's new responsibilities, involving trying to make her home town a better place, she travels to a town farther from her home... and where she slowly realizes that they're suffering thanks to the result of Ninu's work. 

This book's theme, I feel like, is focused more on 'cause and effect' compared to the first book 'Gates of Thread and Stone'. I, at least, felt like that things were going to get better thanks to Ninu finally being gone. I think I might have fallen into the ignorance trap as well as Kai did. Maybe because we were both hoping that things would finally improve once he was gone. I never thought about the results afterwards... or that the things he had in his control would retaliate back. 

Now there's another city that suffers as a result and Kai feels obligated to fix this mistake. After all, she was the one who killed Ninu in the first place. She feels like she needs to resolve this oversight. I don't blame her. I'd feel that way, too, and would want to do as much as I could to fix it.
Even still, she's determined to help Avan remain as human as possible. She still pushes herself to ensure that, even as an Infinite, he can still be his old self. 

The romance side of this story was more evident in this book compared to the first book, in my opinion, but most of it appears in the first bit of the novel. Once Kai starts traveling and focusing on other stuff, this aspect of the story diminishes. I'm glad that Avan and Reev remain back in Ninurtia. Nothing against them but I wanted to see Kai grow up and become independent from them. I wanted to see her grow up and I feel like she did a whole lot. 

During this whole event, she still has to remember that Kronos had made her an offer to become Infinite and take his place as time keeper. She's determined to remain human despite the fact that her powers are limited simply because she's still human. This is somewhat forgotten, probably because she lost her power at the beginning of the book and doesn't gain it back til much later (although I'm still confused on why this happened...), and the focus was making sure her city and the city she visited doesn't end up becoming history. That's a lot to carry for a teenager. 

Because Kai lost her power, though, not much is touched up when it comes to her magic. In fact, there was less talk about her magic than compared to the first novel. We learn new things about it- like how time flows through a river that's difficult to navigate from- but we're really only given a taste on what her magic really entails. I really hope this means that, in the third book (if there is one), we'll get the chance to learn much more about the threads that she manipulates and why she can only hold onto them for a short amount of time.  

In the end, there's so much that happens that... the ending of this book wasn't all that surprising to me. I won't mention why or what it entailed, to prevent spoilers, but the way that it was built up... even I felt the pressure. This book demands for a sequel and I can't wait for it to be here. 

**In conclusion: the overarching theme of 'cause and effect' will keep you wanting to read and read and read until it's almost five am. The romance isn't as heavy, if almost non-existent, and the plot focuses more on the tension and the result of Ninu's actions. Magic/ time-travel is somewhat touched upon, but not as much as I anticipated. I hope this is remedied in the third book. Still, it's a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it. Prepare to get your heart torn into pieces, though... this book might hurt.**

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