Review: Unbroken Fire (Shadows of War #2) by Anne Wheeler

“But I haven’t—”

given you any information. The bells grew louder, desperately clanging a frenzied warning she should have listened to earlier. Some people never changed. She was cold, shivering. Then so hot.

He tilted his head at her again and smiled, just like he had when they’d first met. “You will.”

40058062After dealing what she hopes is a major blow to the enemy, Avery Rendon has found her way home to Asria. Safe for now, she spends her time adjusting to her new role in her planet’s future and reveling in personal victories. But Asria is still under the control of the Haederan Empire, and their grip has only tightened since the invasion. When the Asrian prime minister asks her to beg the Commonwealth for help in person, she agrees. 

It’s a harrowing trip to the Commonwealth’s headquarters, one which comes to an abrupt end when her ship is intercepted by the Haederans in deep space. Her traitorous uncle, the former King of Asria, is there waiting for her. Worse, so is the Haederan interrogator who has haunted her nightmares for the past year. And what he wants with her now? Avery isn’t sure she wants to find out.

Alliances will shift. Trust will be broken. And through it all, time is running out for the people Avery cares about the most.

Stop. Stop right now. Have you read Asrian Skies? If your answer is no, before you read this review you must, you simply must, go and purchase it. I won’t take no for an answer. (If you are unconvinced, you may read my review of it here. Go ahead, we’ll wait.)

Have you done that? Good. Please, proceed…

Welcome, and prepare to be blown away. Not by me, of course, not this time, but by Unbroken Fire. My rating of this book consists of five full days of heart-eyes. Seriously.

Those of you who already read and remember my review of Asrian Skies know that I very much enjoyed that book. Like, a lot. So when I tell you that Unbroken Fire is better, you will know that means it is not only good, it is fan-freaking-tabulous to the extreme.

Did I mention plot twists in my last review? Did I speak of never knowing who to trust? Politcal intrigue? Spies? Spaceships? Awesometacular characters who you will, at turns, root for and against even within the space of very few chapters?

All that and MORE is Unbroken Fire. Mulitply by five. Ratchet up the intensity, yes MORE intensity. Higher stakes, less certainty, where is all of this going? Is there a happy ending in sight? At what cost? You must know, you’re afraid to know, but you must.

Again I must resist adding spoilers, because what takes place within the pages of this book must be discovered for yourself. I will simply tell you a few small things:

Avery  undergoes some serious character development. Legit. Loved it.

Certain people who other certain people may have wished dead in book 1 (not in a mean way, just out of the way) redeem themselves and become bearable. (Don’t push me folks, I really didn’t like him in Asrian Skies, so bearable is an important achievement.)

Other characters you may have loved (Hadley <3<3<3) are still lovable, while the ones you loved despite yourself (themself? Hisself?) are also still lovable…in uncomfortable and inexplicable ways.

The twist, the twist for goodness’ sake! *happy sigh* Yes, this is what I am reduced to.

Nobody, and I truly, honestly mean, nobody, does character-driven sci-fi like Anne Wheeler. This book takes tested loyalties and strains them to and past the breaking point. Will you know who is on Avery’s side? Will you even know where the sides are? No. And at some point, sides will stop mattering to you and only the characters will matter anymore.

Asrian. Haederan. Commonwealth. Doesn’t matter.

You’re just here for the characters. Because they are people. Real people, each with their own agenda, each with their own loves, and interests and loyalties. And the loyalties of people are generally much stronger toward each other than they are toward any country or planet or monarch.

Is this a review or a gush-fest, I hear you ask? Well, it’s a little of both, I suppose.

World-building is continued with a light touch, never overdone or boring—Wheeler gives you the outline, the muscle, and lets you fill in the fatty bits.

The plot is a roller coaster from start to end, and not one of those tame ones either, this is a big kid ride, bring your Xanax. Don’t be a baby, don’t skip this ride. This is why you came to the theme park.

Unbroken Fire is available for preorder now and will be released on June 19th.

This gives you just over two weeks to catch up by reading Asrian Skies. I highly recommend both and will judge you severely if you skip this series.

Just kidding!


…Or am I?

Visit Anne Wheeler’s Website for more info on her series, and projects currently in the works.

Thank you for stopping by, subscribe for more Indie Book Reviews, and coming later this week: The Electrical Menagerie Blog Tour – Interview with the author, Mollie E. Reeder!

5 thoughts on “Review: Unbroken Fire (Shadows of War #2) by Anne Wheeler

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