Author: Rachel Hartman
Series: Seraphina #2
Rating: 1.5 / 5 stars
“You’ve seen me bluff guards before. What’s the worst that could happen?”
Oh Seraphina, you cocky little girl. A lot of bad things could happen, as you well know. A lot did go wrong in this book, and you put a lot of people in danger unnecessarily because you wanted everything to be about you.
In short, this book was a bit of a disaster. It has a time leap from the end of Seraphina, so it skips out on all the build up at the end of the novel (which was the only reason I wanted to try to read this one in the first place). And then instead of focusing on the dragon war, Seraphina goes off to band together with/find all her half human-human dragon pals. Which basically means trekking around in the mud and talking a bunch and dealing with the mind garden business. In short, this book was boring.
Seraphina’s saving grace was the elegant prose that Hartman used instead of trying to write anything close to an action scene. While Shadow Scale also severely lacks the action, it also suffers from its writing too, leading me to believe that Hartman was pressured into writing this novel and didn’t really have a good path or story set out for it. Lines like ‘I had to find a way to be monster enough for both of us’ are all we really have to work with this time around, and it certainly doesn’t help the plot limp along.
Seraphina becomes a little annoying too. She makes everything about her and is even willing to put Abdo’s life in danger just for the chance to do something she wants. And yet she really doesn’t have any power. The plot of this story is a little everywhere and none of it makes a lot of sense unfortunately. The last novel left itself open to be redeemed and improved upon, but Shadow Scale missed the mark by a mile.