This series has a continuous story arc and the books cannot be read as standalones. If you haven’t read the first book, Year One, don’t start here.
The story resumes years after the last book where Lana’s child was identified as being The One and she escaped after the attack on New Hope. That child, Fallon Swift, is approaching her 13th birthday, the age when Mallick, “the visitor,” promised he’d return to the farm and take her away from her family for training. As that date looms closer, Fallon and her family make the most of their time together. Meanwhile, the residents of New Hope have created a viable city and formed close relationships as the country has not emerged from the apocalyptic effects of The Doom. Kate’s twins, Duncan and Antonia are now teenagers who have mastered their gifts for the benefit of the town and beyond and are vital to their continued development.
When I learned that Roberts was creating this series, I worried that she might not be able to pull this off. This story continues the excellence of the first, with minute attention to detail, lore and fantasy while keeping the focus in the realities of the present day. What’s also remarkable is how effectively the human condition is woven into the character development, clear lines between good and evil but also the acknowledgment that our natural human instincts don’t necessarily have us fall definitively in one or the other. It’s a very complicated, dangerous world but hope sits beside despair.
Most of the story is Fallon’s narrative but we do get others’ points of view exactly when I felt I needed them. Julia Whelan delivers such an outstanding performance I had to remind myself that she was the only narrator. She doesn’t resort to attempts at baritone for male voices and yet I recognized the gender every time. My decision to listen to this series was one of my better ones as she just makes a great story even better.
Fallon’s maturation and honing of her gifts, skills and temperament was more interesting than I’d imagined. I loved Mallick and how their relationship developed and shaped. I don’t want to divulge much more about the story but rest assured there’s plenty of excitement, intrigue, tension and even romance as she connects with New Hope. There’s one particular scene that can only be described as spectacular with a huge twist. I was left in a good but uneasy place and am excited about the final chapter to come in this fascinating tale.
- Release Date: December 4, 2018
- Series: Chronicles of the One #2
- Narrator: Julia Whelan
- Audio Length: 13 hours, 42 minutes
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(I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)