The Stolen: Red Book II
The Second book in the Red series, this is definitely a work of art. As much as I enjoyed the fight scenes, the gore, and the creative violence—as odd as that sounds—from the first book, this second novel brings the gentle emotion and crafty characterization that the first book didn’t have.
Well … let me rephrase that.
The first book did have emotion, it did have characterization and development. BUT it was slightly overshadowed by the fast paced action sequences and world-building that took place. It wasn’t bad at all, just that these aspects of the story played a minor role in the first book but seem to take a stronger position in this second book. You can find my review of the first book in this series by clicking here.
The novel opens in a few pages of pure description. Don’t start shaking your head yet! It isn’t an information dump or a ‘list’ of actions, the first few pages is a detailed description of our protagonist’s reaction to finding her sister. It is almost like reading a different book, the writing is lighter, gentler, and full of curiosity. It was realistic and I enjoyed it very much. Witt’s talent as a writer really shined in just those few pages but the rest of the book did not disappoint.
We are carried through the journey of our main characters as they realize their battle has just begun. Red has found her family; she is no longer an outcast or a freak. She has a place she can call home, a place she belongs, but now she has to gather her own troops and defeat the Watchers for good.
One thing I liked about this book that’s definitely a theme throughout the series is the action. Even though the emotion was much stronger, we still got heart-pounding scenes and great sequences that will put you on edge.
Red is still a strong character but it seems like she changes a little from the first book. Her development with Farrell Dean is definitely there and believable, he is a character that’s so easy to love, he’s very well formed and fits right into the story. I don’t normally like to make comparisons between books but Farrell Dean and Red remind me so much of Gale and Katniss from The Hunger Games—that’s a compliment by the way.
Hopefully they don’t end up the same way though…fans of THG will understand what I mean.
I mentioned before that Red changed somewhat between the first and second book. It isn’t that her personality is different but that she seems to be in the background of most of the action. I could have interpreted it wrongly but it felt like Red was a bit more complacent this time while Farrell Dean stepped up. Not that I minded at all.
In the first part of the book there’s a small fight between Farrell Dean and some guys, Red jumps in to help and Farrell Dean actually pushes her aside. He even tells her she’s going to get herself hurt. I compared Red to Katniss Everdeen for a reason. She isn’t the type of girl to ‘get herself hurt’ not so easily at least. In the author’s defense, I believe Farrell Dean is a bit protective of Red and that particular time was an emotional ride for Red so that line may have been situational.
Other than that, I have no complaints about this story and I happily look forward to reading the next. Amanda Witt is an excellent author, one I fully expect to see on the bestseller’s list very soon.
I would recommend this book to young adults who love action, dystopian societies, strong characters with dependable friendships, and female leads. It’s definitely a book that will keep you turning pages all night long.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*