The Golden Specific continues the story of a fascinating fantasy world where time has shattered and so different geographical areas exist in time periods all the way from pre-human time to the far future! If you haven’t read The Glass Sentence, I recommend you check out my review instead so you avoid spoilers below ;-). If you have read The Glass Sentence, know that The Golden Specific is even better and certainly doesn’t suffer from middle book syndrome! This series is seriously addicting and I neeeed book three :D.
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Golden Specific from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Golden Specific by S. E. Grove (The Mapmaker's Trilogy #2)
Published by Viking Penguin on July 14th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 528 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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It is the summer of 1892, one year since Sophia Tims and her friend Theo embarked upon the dangerous adventure that rewrote the map of the world. Since their return home to Boston, she has continued searching for clues to her parents’ disappearance, combing archives and libraries, grasping at even the most slender leads. Theo has apprenticed himself to an explorer in order to follow those leads across the country—but one after another proves to be a dead end.
Then Sophia discovers that a crucial piece of the puzzle exists in a foreign Age. At the same time, Theo discovers that his old life outside the law threatens to destroy the new one he has built with Sophia and her uncle Shadrack. What he and Sophia do not know is that their separate discoveries are intertwined, and that one remarkable person is part of both.
There is a city that holds all of the answers—but it cannot be found on any map. Surrounded by plague, it can only be reached by a journey through darkness and chaos, which is at the same time the plague’s cure: The Golden Specific.
- The Golden Specific features much more of the world for Sophia to explore! While our main characters journeyed a bit in The Glass Sentence, Sophia goes all over in The Golden Specific and sees some awesome places :D.
- On top of that, The Golden Specific really digs in to how the heck these Ages came to be and what the Great Disruption really is. I honestly wasn’t expecting so much detail to be revealed this book and was quite delighted. I love it when a fantasy world explains more than I thought it would and it all makes so much sense but is still fresh and unique!
- Sophia and Theo spend most of The Golden Specific doing their own things, but this means that they both have the chance to meet new friends! I have to say that I love the new secondary characters introduced and can’t choose a favorite between the scrappy street-kid, the magical lady or the falconer ;-).
- I thought that things were intense in the last book, but The Golden Specific makes it clear that important things are happening in New Occident and they aren’t going to just all turn out okay because it’s a kid’s book! I got seriously emotionally invested in the politics happening in New Occident, which is not a phrase I often say about the real world, let alone a fictional one, haha.
- As I said, Theo and Sophia both have their own adventures in The Golden Specific, but they both ended up mattering significantly in their own ways. I liked that the adventures were definitely different, but equally important to the development of the series plot. I never wished it didn’t change PoV because I preferred one over the other.
- While I like separate PoV’s just fine, I find it clunky if the plot lines don’t intertwine nicely within one book. I’m sure that they will in the next book, but things don’t converge well before the end of The Golden Specific and that disappointed me.
- Sophia and Theo are definitely the two main characters, but the PoV of The Golden Specific was a bit hard to pin down since it jumped to other secondary character willy-nilly in order to tell about whatever necessary events. This seemed a bit lazy to me and confusing until I accepted that that was just how it was going to be, ha.
- I really liked the excerpts at the beginning of each chapter in The Glass Sentence and found they provided vital information quite timely. The excerpts in The Golden Specific felt much more random and I couldn’t see how they related to the chapter contents often.
The Golden Specific is a great sequel and fans of The Glass Sentence should pick it up immediately! You get even more world-building and awesome Great Disruption reveals along with some lovely new secondary characters. While some of the finer points didn’t seem as strong to me, the plot was so darn enjoyable that it didn’t much matter ;-).
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
The Golden Specific by S. E. Grove
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