Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved Incarceron, and perhaps had too high hopes for Sapphique... it's a good sequel, but not a great sequel. Part of that may have been my hope that it would be more like Fire was to Graceling than an addition to the original story - there's no reason for me to have thought that just wishing.
Anyway, Sapphique picks up shortly after Finn Escapes to Outside, with Claudia and Jared trying to figure out how to work the Portal and Sia trying to prove that Finn is not Prince Giles; Inside, Keiko and Attia are trying to figure out how to Escape as well. As with the first book, the action switches between Inside and Outside frequently. There are few new characters (Nix being the major exception) although several secondary characters play larger roles here.
Once again, the myth of Sapphique's escape plays an important part, as do the Steel Wolves and their opposition to Protocol/Era. The former is explained, while the latter is still taken as a given with little commentary until things start to change. I particularly liked the farmer's take on how Protocol effected him and his life.
The ending felt rushed, with a lot of action taking place in the last few pages, versus longer set pieces earlier (for example, in the Ice Wing). Tightening the pacing would have helped immensely.
ARC provided by publisher.
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