Crimson Rising (Skyship Academy #2)
Publisher: Flux Books
Release Date: September 8, 2012
Challenges: Sophomore Challenge
Rating: 4.5 stars
After the events that transpired in Seattle, the faculty at Skyship Academy have kept Jesse a prisoner in his own home, fearful of his ability to break Pearls. Cassius has escaped to the Polar Cities of Canada, fleeing the Unified Party — the very organization he’d once counted himself a part of.
But when Jesse manages to smuggle onboard the Academy a mysterious red Pearl, he sets forth a destructive chain of events that leads him back to the Fringes and to a reunion with Cassius. It’s there that the brothers meet Madame’s newest protégé, a troubled youth with a dangerous secret waiting to be unlocked.
But a larger threat looms in the stars. Together, Jesse and Cassius must race against the clock, and those they thought they could trust, to prevent extermination at the hands of their ultimate enemy — an enemy hatched from crimson and ready to strike.
Crimson Rising by Nick James was a very different book from its predecessor, The Pearl Wars. I liked and enjoyed it, but Crimson Rising followed a completely path than I was imagining. Science fiction is such an underdog genre I feel like – there’s not a ton of it in YA, but when there is a science fiction YA, it blows my socks off with the sheer awesome of it.
The first half of Crimson Rising was good, but it was the second half that really sold me. There were a few shaky moments throughout the first chunk, but those were completely forgiven with the awesome that was the second half. Crimson Rising was action packed and intense – I was on the edge of my seat for probably the last 50 pages of the book, flipping pages so fast to see what was happening and how things were turning out.
The premise of these books is just so fresh and unique, which makes them so fun to read. There were so many twists and turns throughout this book, and I couldn’t see any of them coming. Crimson Rising really ends on a high note, and I cannot wait to see where Jesse and Cassius’s story will go from here.
I still feel like I wanted more answers. Crimson Rising answers quite a few of the questions I had in The Pearl Wars, but I still would love to a bit more about the government, Madame, and the Skyships. The focus is really turned away from those aspects in Crimson Rising, but Nick James has crafted such a neat, cool world, and that history I think would be just fascinating.
I loved the new characters in Crimson Rising, and I loved getting to know the books of the first book a bit better. Ryel was pretty cool – he had a smaller role, but I thought he was awesome. Jesse and Cassius both grew on me in this book – I liked them enough in The Pearl Wars, but they definitely developed a lot between then and in Crimson Rising.
Nick James is one heck of a writer, and I cannot wait to see what is next for him. I don’t think I loved Crimson Rising quite as much as The Pearl Wars, but it was still pretty darn good. I see this series as one of those rare gems, and think everyone should read it. I’m just gonna end with: read it, it’s awesome.