The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
What I drank prior: Whole buncha wine. My mom came over before an early flight and there was much wine and talking to be had
Spoiler-free Overview: Well I sure hope you read the first book or this will be confusing as shit. Stuff is going down. Kai gets kidnapped. Poor winters/Irene gets to go on the coolest fucking adventures and then rescue Kai (Im not going to call this a spoiler. Its the second book in a series that has at least three books. This should not be a surprise to anyone) but we get to see worlds of high chaos (say hello more asshole-y fae than we are used to) qords of high logic (that might not be the right word – Seanan Mcguire has ruined me- BUT THERE ARE DRAGONS!) Ta Da!
Spoiler-free Thoughts: this book was still a lot of fun but I felt it sufferes suffered from something a lot of urban fantasy suffers from which us the relentless need to upscale the danger. No matter what something bigger is needed to heighten tension. I VERY MUCH DISAGREE, the world doesnt need to end in order for something to be painful. Not everything needs to end in a war to end all wars… but that might just be me. This has that constant upscaling of events which I liken to – how are you going to fight with a broken hand? Oh now your leg is broken too haha. Okay. I think that all sounded negative. That was not my intention
Characters: the characters were well fleshed out. with the addition of a great number of characters it was still easy to tell them apart. Dont get me wrong, this story (and whole series) is strongest when Irene has Kai and Sherlock with her, but the new additions added some flair. I loved how clear it was the the distinction between the dragons and Fae are far in the way they think but close in the way they affect their surroundings. I do want to say that the book felt a little weaker to me in that Irene was both taken out of her comfort zone without her help. I think one or the other could have been enough to unbalance her.
Plot: the plot was a little overwhelming. I felt there were a few more plots than necessary, the kidnapping alone would have been enough, the jumping through worlds was interesting but could be a bit distracting. I guess some of it is that I prefer the fantasy to the mystery. I enjoy all of the worlds and the world building but could have done without the four plotlines that eventually lead back together.
Writing Style: Do I ever really comment here? The writing was lovely. I really only say something if something makes a huge impact or if there are egregious errors.
World Building: Mmmm worldbuilding. This is my jam where this kind of fantasy is. I adore learning about the different worlds. I love seeing the way languafe is affected by the different worlds. Each world cam be given full airs with only a few lines. Genevieve Cogman is really good with this. Each world feels distinct and makes sense in its own special way (I would suggest anyone who likes thos aspect of the book yo check out the Wayward Children series). And goodness I want to learn so much more about the language. Its clearly affected by the world that its in, Im sure a later book is going to delve into it and Im so ready.
What to pair it with: house red wine! This book has a large portion set in Venice during Carnivale. It just feels right.
Rating: 3.5/5 very enjoyable, still gonna read the next one.