book reviews by Althea

Threading the Needle (Erenthrall #2) – Joshua Palmatier **

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Threading the Needle
Threading the Needle by Joshua Palmatier

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I picked up ‘Threading the Needle’ without realizing that it was the second in a series, and I tried to give it some slack, considering that I didn’t read the beginning of the story. Still, even for a second book, I felt like it had remarkably little dramatic impetus.

I did enjoy the setting, which meshed post-apocalyptic fiction with epic fantasy. This world previously ran on a system of ‘ley lines’ – natural forces organized by magic wielders into a network. Unfortunately, as the story opens, this network has recently crashed, with disastrous results. The city of Erenthrall is now shattered into ‘shards’ – separated from each other, with time running differently inside each of them, and impassable without special abilities. The accessible parts of the city are taken over by different gangs – one of werewolves, one of feral children, etc. A group of former ley line workers is c0mmitted to trying to repair the damage, but it’s a big task, and one that’s not made easier by the fact that there are large numbers of people – including the inhabitants of the village that’s sheltering them – that believe that the ley should never have been messed with to start with. And it’s hard to argue that the ‘magic’ users aren’t actually to blame.

So, it’s a decent set-up, I thought. But then, well, some stuff happens, and some more stuff happens, and then some more…. and I just didn’t feel invested enough in the characters or in what the eventual resolution might be. (There isn’t any resolution in this volume either… there’s more to come.)

Many thanks to Berkley and NetGalley for the opportunity to check out a new-to-me author. As always, my opinions are solely my own.

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