Hidden Huntress by Danielle Jensen. Angry Robot; 2015. Ebook.
**I received an advanced copy of this book courtesy of Angry Robot Publications and Net Galley**
Hidden Huntress, sequel to Stolen Songbird, is out next Tuesday, June 2nd! Mark your calendars!
After reading Stolen Songbird, I was incredibly excited for the second book. Stolen Songbird was like a breath of fresh air, and I loved it to pieces. Though it had many wonderful and intriguing moments, I'm sorry to say that Hidden Huntress was a bit of a letdown. Now, don't me wrong - it was still a wonderfully written and developed book, but when compared to its predecessor, it just falls a bit short. There were moments when I was fully enraptured in the story, but there were also moments that I felt were a bit too drawn out or just rather unnecessary to the story.
The story picks up with Cecile back in Trianon, performing with her mother like she always planned. But while doing this, she is also searching endlessly for Anushka in order to end the curse that has plagued the Trolls for centuries. Tristan, as this time, is still imprisoned by his father in Trollus, praying only for Cecile's safety. Now, on to the review!
Cecile and Tristan's relationship has definitely had its ups and downs (she was forced to marry him, after all - something neither of them wanted), but is ultimately a truly beautiful and heartfelt relationship. No matter what happens, they always find a way back to one another - even if things aren't always perfect. Now, here's where I had a problem: the playfulness, banter, and chemistry that was evident in the dialogue from the first book is pretty much nonexistent. Those elements that drew the reader in and made them fall in love with the characters in Stolen Songbird are no longer present. This is also unfortunate because, naturally, those were some of the elements that made fall in love with Stolen Songbird and Danielle Jensen in the first place.
The story also just felt monotonous at times. I got annoyed with Cecile or the many minute details that they had to get through just for one simple thing to happen. There was almost... too much going on at one time. Too many plots, names, conflicts, etc. Now, this could be a good thing in a book, but unfortunately it resulted in a slightly confusing and hard-to-follow story. There were some pretty decent and entertaining plot twists, but there were too many, and when there are too many they start to lose their appeal. Despite this, I did enjoy learning more about Anushka's past. She's a wonderful villain, despite any predictability, and has a very complex and interesting backstory.
All being said, I am still excited for the next book, as I have faith that it will shown and make up for the areas in which this book lacked, while also accentuating the wonderful plot and overarching story that Jensen has constructed. Overall, this was a decent, solid book. However, in relation to Stolen Songbird, there is almost no comparison. The wit and spark that made me love the first book is barely present in Hidden Huntress. Because of these reasons, I am giving Hidden Huntress three stars. I debated between two-and-a-half and three, but ultimately landed on three because it was an interesting and well-written story.
Hidden Huntress is out next TUESDAY, JUNE 2ND!