I eagerly anticipated reading Smoke in the Sun, the sequel to Renee Ahdieh’s well received novel Flame in the Mist. I adored Flame in the Mist! The Japanese culture and the heroine, Mariko who was discovering her independence and starting to see the world outside her family’s domain. I had a lot of travel time in front of me so I decided to listen to the audio book for Smoke in the Sun, read by Nancy Wu.
As I started listening to the novel and re-entering the world that Renee Ahdieh created I really enjoyed the slower pace of Nancy Wu’s narration. It really fit the style of the novel and the colorful descriptions of the scenery.
My feelings for the story were very mixed. What I had enjoyed in the first novel, the styling of a new culture and intrigue between figuring out who was good and evil wore thin in Smoke in the Sun. The pace was sooooo slow. I can at times be an impatient reader, and maybe in this case listening to the novel actually gave it a disservice. Regardless, I wanted more from my heroine Mariko than I got in this novel. The beautiful descriptions that I enjoyed previously seemed to drag the story down. The elegance and styling grew suffocating. Where was my kick ass heroine? Too much time was spent on crafting the evil characters and not enough time spent on the resolution. The book had an imbalance that I just couldn’t get past as well as an ending that seemed unrealistic.
I know there will be people who will disagree with me and I’m ok with that! Reading is subjective, as it should be and what I like/dislike others will dislike/like. I do think Renee Ahdieh is a talented writer, but in my opinion she missed the mark with this sequel. Even though I’m giving the book a 2.5 rating, the cover still gets a 5.0. Gorgeous!
Click this link to purchase!* Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist)
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