I have been trying to write this review for over a month. Not only have I been in the middle of a blogging lull, but I find it really hard to write reviews for books that are the second in a series. Add on loving it and I fold under the pressure. So on that note I’m going to push through my reviewer block and get the fangirling started. Oh and there will be spoilers for Along The Razor’s Edge, (review), I will do my best to keep them to a minimum.
The Lessons Never Learned picks up immediately after Along The Razor’s Edge. We are very quickly thrown right back into the middle of Eska’s chaotic world and we witness the fallout from Eska’s actions. She often made rash choices and now her friends have to deal with the emotional turmoil left behind. She also has some physical changes that she needs to come to terms with, but in typical Eska fashion she compartmentalises and ploughs forward. Once again violence and mayhem follow. She is being hunted by multiple parties, she is still learning to deal with the darkness that has found a home inside of her and in looking for a safe place, she puts herself in sight of the gods.
I absolutely loved the world building. Along The Razor’s Edge was a story confined to a dark pit, we heard about the outside world but didn’t get to see it. Here we are back in the outside world. The sky is bright but the darkness that follows Eska is still lurking. A darkness pulsates from within her, so that even when all things are going well and she begins to feel happiness, she can’t let it linger. We explore amazing new cities and get into the history of the world. We watch as Eska and her friends discover the carnage left behind by the war. Entire cities are destroyed, all that’s left is rubble and ghosts. We slowly get the truth about magic and monsters and not all is as it seems.
Eska’s growth throughout is phenomenal. She is a very different person, although as ruthless as ever. She still has a cockroaches ability to survive anything. I loved that Eska became a physical threat. She trained and worked hard. She pushed even when her friends told her not to. Eska became many versions of herself in this story, but she never lost her thirst for vengeance. It is at the core of who she is. We are slowly getting a picture of how she becomes the narrator. Her battles and triumphs that forge the Eska we only hear about. I’m very interested to see if she actually does all of the things she talks about. Once again Eska’s ability to secure friendships from those who deserve better is beyond me, but the loyalty they show her is returned.
The story was nicely paced, it never lulled. In the slow moments Rob still manages to have you on the edge of your seats and I will admit he had me in tears. Actually I was a bloody mess for a while. He broke my heart. It was a book I took my time with because I didn’t want to miss a thing. I had to reread the ending… WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!!!!!!!
Once again Rob Hayes has you cheering for the bastard. Eska isn’t nice, tell her to smile and she would probably feed you your own intestines. She is flawed, she is vicious and she makes no apologies. I’m a big fan. Also if Rob felt the need to write more in this world I would be stoked.
I received a copy of The Lessons Never Learned from the author and I’m incredibly grateful. It in no way affected my review.