I received this book via NetGalley in return for my honest opinion. Thanks to NetGalley, Patchwork Press, and Ruth Silver!
In Ruth Silver’s Morai, Olivia and Joshua are still living in Shadow, and are making a home there while working out the kinks of what they’re planning to do next. However, life moves at a different pace than planning, and soon they are thrown right back into their fight against an oppressive society again. Despite the ongoing battle, personal issues do not shift to the side, and they are also confronted with loss, betrayal, family secrets, and the question of when to forgive.
Morai is not without some minor issues. Some of the events, while action-packed, felt a bit random and disorganized, and I ultimately did not feel as though all of them contributed to the plot in a largely significant way. A plus is that a lot of secrets are revealed in rapid succession, and they are interesting and informative to the story. However, because there are so many of them, some of them don’t get fully explained or explored as much as I would like. A final issue is that there was one event that could have been an epic shocker, yet because of the amount of other shockers surrounding it, it felt a bit rushed.
Having said that, Morai is still a great read. Morai follows in the second-book-in-a-dystopian-trilogy tradition of picking up right where book one left off (in this case, some weeks later). This is done to great effect, as I felt immediately immersed in the novel’s action, rather than getting too much of a recap of book one, or excessive setup. Silver’s tense, riveting writing, combined with a quickly unraveling train of events, keep the book lively and engrossing, and I was easily hooked. I mostly read this book over three days while on the bus, and there were times that I was sorry that I was at my stop because I didn’t want to stop reading.
Another feature I enjoyed in the novel, was the use of secondary characters. There are a lot of them, but each one had their own voice and identity. Secondary characters from the last book continued to develop and become more nuanced in this book, and I found that I cared about many of them in the same way I cared about the main characters. A final positive feature is the wicked cliff-hanger at the end, which makes me super-excited to read Isaura, the final book in the trilogy.
Ultimately, while Morai felt a little scattered and had less of a strong story arc than Aberrant, it still is a highly recommended read, especially for fans of Aberrant. Filled with action, romance, and family secrets, this book will make you excited for book three. Three and three quarter stars.