Series: Madion War Trilogy #2
Published by Sun's Golden Ray Publishing on July 12th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
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They survived The Island, but can they cross The Chasm?
Four months after Prince Galian was discovered alive on a remote island, he's adjusting slowly to life at the hospital under the Kylaen media's glare. His promises to Theo remain unfulfilled as fear of his father keeps him from taking concrete action. And the more he learns about the machinations in Kylae, the less sure he is that it's possible to make a difference. Across the great Madion Sea, Major Theo Kallistrate struggles to navigate the tricky political waters of Rave's presidential staff.
To make positive change for her people, she must remain relevant and interesting to the Raven media and to the president. When he asks her to deliver a speech on her supposed two-month imprisonment at Mael, she's not sure she can stomach the lies. The Chasm is S. Usher Evans' breathtaking, fast-paced follow-up to The Island, which readers say is "not to be missed."
Disclaimer: May have slight spoilers from Book 1, The Island. My review can be found here!
Instead of falling towards second-book syndrome, The Chasm immediately continues off from where The Island left off as readers are introduced to exciting new plot twists, characters, and schemes. There is never a boring moment in the book, and we can clearly still see character growth happening from both ends of the Madion Sea. While the main characters Theo and Galian are separate for some time in the book, we also get to see some surprisingly smexy scenes (ooh la la) and progression in their romance as well! Additionally, Theo finds out the truth behind her beloved country of Rave, and Galian does daring things for the sake of what he believes in.
The beginning of the book carried some moping from both characters, but that was quickly rectified. Galian and Theo are finally experiencing life without each other and it’s hard to draw strength without their counterparts. Galian constantly thinks of his promise to meet Theo again, while Theo is trying to stir up media attention to spread awareness about the unsavory conditions at a concentration camp, Mael. Both Theo and Galian are struggling in what it looks like is a losing battle against the machinations of the politics around them.
I traced the distance between him and me. On this map, it was only finger-lengths. In reality, there was so much more standing between us.
But Theo manages to come through triumphant in her media publicity, while Galian starts getting involved with the management of his country as well (albeit discreetly). I appreciated how these characters, while hesitant at first, were also eager to get involved with creating peace against these warring countries. When they finally get to meet each other again, they draw up strength to continue doing what they think is right.
Theo starts discovering that the lies and secrets of her country’s president, Bayard, goes against what she believes in. And although she’s still fiercely patriotic for her country, she also can’t stand to witness more young children (and getting younger) getting enscripted in the army. Instead of taking a placid stance, she goes out and gets help from Galian’s side of the sea with whatever way she can. Help actually comes from a surprising place! While Galian’s father, the king of Kylae, refers to the Ravens as not even human, his mother and elder brother are much more sympathetic and are taking steps towards peace between the two countries.
Political maneuvering ensues, from entertaining guests for the sake of learning their secrets to getting tested on where loyalties lie. Like I said, there is never a dull moment as the characters consider all the complicated implications that go towards successfully running a country and creating peace and justice while still maintaining its economy and revenue. I think the author did a great job in exploring all these elements and having the characters go through these obstacles from getting the peace they are looking for.
‘Maybe you didn’t survive Mael because you fell in love with me,’ I said, taking her cheek in my hand and brushing away the tears. ‘Maybe you survived Mael because it’s your purpose to tell others about it. Falling in love with me just put you on a path to be able to speak the truth. And now you can. Now you can tell the whole world about it.’
Although the book is labeled a “fantasy,” it carries many modern elements such as planes, colloquial language, and radios. The setting is completely made up though, from the countries to the sea. It’s also interesting to note that the technology isn’t exactly caught up to the twenty-first century: there are not smart phones or the like to send messages. I think a radio and the news was the usual method of getting the word out.
The Chasm is definitely a part of an underrated series that deserves more attention! The plot is full of fun and twists as the characters try to navigate through the political machinations of others around them and fight for the peace they want. There is also a smokin’ hot romance (and tantalizing scenes) where the characters draw strength from each other that is seriously goals. It also covers a bit of a forbidden love aspect considering the characters are from opposing sides of a war. Either way, all of these elements are making me look forward to the final conclusion to this trilogy!
Rating: 4 out of 5