View from the window seat:
After Templedark, when Heart lost many of its oldsouls forever, Ana is viewed with fear and hostility. People only see her as a reminder of those lost, and of the newsouls who might soon be born. Ana must fight to defend the newsouls as the hatred and anger grows in Heart. Soon she discovers that she has a lot worse to face than the citizens of Heart. As she uncovers the truth about the mysterious Janan and the frightening sylph, Ana realizes that not just the lives of the newsouls are at stake.
Now, this is a sequel. Too often you find in trilogies a middle book that’s severly lacking, an obvious placeholder between the beginning and the end of the story. That’s not the case here. So much happens and there’s so much development in both the plot and the characters that I can easily say Jodi Meadows topped her first book.
The prejudice seething throughout Heart from Incarnate blows up into full-on hatred in Asunder. The violence towards newsouls escalates, and people’s fear and disgust drives much of the tension in the book. It’s all so pointless and frustrating. I want everyone to change their stupid minds (because I love Ana and she doesn’t deserve to have rocks thrown at her), but of course that’s not going to happen right away. Something that Meadows does so well is make a five-thousand-year-old citizenry feel realistic. They’re resistant to change because they’ve had five thousand years of the exact same.
Speaking of loving Ana, my heart grew like the Grinch’s for Ana in this book. She’s always been insecure; having a mother emotionally abuse you for eighteen years will do that to a person. Watching Ana grow and become brave enough to speak up for newsouls was awesome. Watching her accept that not only can she be loved, but that she can love as well was heart-wrenching. Ana definitely deserves a “You go, girl!” for her arc in Asunder.
Ana isn’t the only one to develop. Stef, one of my favorite characters, is given depth in unexpected ways. Cris, a new character, is so unfailingly kind that you can’t help but love him. Tears may have been shed at the choice he makes at the end of this book.
At the end of Incarnate, I was left with a ton of questions. Asunder brings to light the truth about so many things I was wondering about. I was surprised at what I learned about Janan and the people of Heart. Terrible choices have been made and I really want to find out how people will deal with this information in the final book. There’s a good balance between gaining new knowledge and bringing up more questions about this universe.
Packed with action and revelations, Asunder had me flying through the pages and dying to get my hands on the final book.