Monday, August 12, 2019

Review: Jade War (Green Bone Saga #2) by Fonda Lee

Jade War (The Green Bone Saga, #2)
Jade War (Green Bone Saga #2) by Fonda Lee
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2019
Hardcover. 590 pages

About Jade War:

"On the island of Kekon, the Kaul family is locked in a violent feud for control of the capital city and the supply of magical jade that endows trained Green Bone warriors with supernatural powers they alone have possessed for hundreds of years. 

Beyond Kekon's borders, war is brewing. Powerful foreign governments and mercenary criminal kingpins alike turn their eyes on the island nation. Jade, Kekon's most prized resource, could make them rich - or give them the edge they'd need to topple their rivals. 

Faced with threats on all sides, the Kaul family is forced to form new and dangerous alliances, confront enemies in the darkest streets and the tallest office towers, and put honor aside in order to do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival - and that of all the Green Bones of Kekon."

Book #1: Jade City

Oh boy, where do I even begin this review? I thought Jade City was an intense ride, but apparently it was child's play compared to the events of Jade War! I'll admit, as excited as I was to finally have Jade War in my hands, I was almost a little nervous since I read Jade City back in 2017 and wasn't sure if it would live up the crazy expectations I was holding out for--and it ended up exceeding them!

It was so easy to jump back into the Green Bone Saga and the rife struggles between the No Peak and Mountain clans. Lee did a great job of setting the scene and making it easy to fall back into this world. When there's a long wait between books I tend to have a hard time getting back into the story and remembering past events, but something about how Lee gave gentle reminders of past events and continued the emotions and past plot points of the first book made it unbelievably easy to slide back into the story.

Something that I have grown to love about Lee's work is how well she develops her characters. There are no cookie-cutter types in these books; everyone stands out on their own as an individualized and independent person with a variety of motivations and traits that shape how they interact with the world around them. Hilo, now acting as Pillar, has immense amounts of pressure weighing down his shoulders, but he manages his role with a surprisingly adept ability and works hard to live up to his predecessors. Shae, now Weather Man to Hilo, has many of the same pressures as Hilo, though they manifest in different ways that force her to overcome her own unique obstacles. There's also Anden, Hilo's nephew, struggling to navigate his life after the fateful and dramatic decision he made in the first book. He grows a lot in this book and embarks upon some fairly life-changing courses of action that only added to the intensity of the story. Watching these three characters in particular navigate their new roles and the relationships that come with them was truly enjoyable and made for a fantastic reading experience. There are many other characters that we follow and whose POV we get to experience and it's safe to say that all of them are equally engaging.

If you thought the politics--from family politics to international-- economics, and clan tensions were intense in Jade City, braces yourselves because things move onto an entirely new level in this installment. One of my favorite things about this series so far is how Lee writes the political and economic aspects of her world. No matter what tensions or drama might be going on in the family or between clans, the current political situation, potential ramifications, and economic issues are also just as present and important, cementing the reality of this world. As readers, we are taken into many intense meetings with either Hilo or Shae (or both) and their trade partners, enemies, etc. so many different times in this book and it's utterly fascinating. You might think reading a discussion between two parties about trading jade or how to handle another economic situation might be on the dry side, but I promise you it is anything but in these books. The tension is at a near-constant presence in this book and as a result everything becomes gripping with edge-of-your-seat consequences as well.

The world-building continued to grow in so many exciting ways. In Jade War, Anden finds himself in Espenia, a foreign land that brings a lot of new experiences for him. I liked not only getting to explore a new land in this world, but also seeing how various cultures live and the differences between growing up in the No Peak clan surrounded by Green Bones and now experiencing a place where Green Bones are not (overtly) present or even allowed. I think it was a great way of showcasing how different people and various nations are, while also pointing out that the motivations and drive behind so many actions can still be similar on a human level.

Lee's action-heavy sequences are incredibly detailed and well thought out. It's obvious that she has done immense research to make everything as realistic and logical as possible, and it absolutely pays off. As I've mentioned before, I find it easy to lose my attention in high action sequences and drawn out fight scenes, but Lee manages to write them in ways where I almost don't even realize I'm reading them because they're just so captivating and accessible to follow.

Jade War has a mostly steady pace, taking time to expand upon areas that need it, while also knowing when it's a good time to speed things up a bit. There are frequent larger time jumps throughout Jade War, which admittedly did throw me off occasionally, but at the same time I appreciate how it helped keep the plot moving at a swift pace.

Overall, I can't help but give Jade War five stars! This is truly an incredible series and I highly recommend everyone to pick it up!

*I received an ARC of Jade War courtesy of Orbit books in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating or enjoyment of the novel.*

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to start this series! I love that the second book was even better😁