This review is spoiler-free!
The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee
Series: The Thousandth Floor #2
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Release Date: August 29th 2017 by HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover, 422 pages
Find it here: Goodreads || Book Depository
For as much drama as this series has managed to pack into it, the second book was a whole lot of mundane filler that didn’t really do a whole lot more than introduce a new character as an additional wrench to toss into the same fires and rehash the same details we were given in the first book. There was some character building and some character demolition, some new relationships and a whole lot of old ones. We learned a little bit more about all of the characters as we went, and there were some twists thrown in that weren’t as big as I would have hoped for. But, all in all, it just felt like nothing much of anything happened. It was 400 pages of, “… Okaaaay?” And then it ended.
I guess that falls into the “second book slump” issue a lot of series have, but, for some reason, I spent the whole book expecting it not to fall prey to that problem. There were a few things I liked! But it didn’t make up for the fact I was pretty bored throughout.
Like the first one, there was a lot of creativity to the technology of the era, and that was probably the most interesting part of the whole book. The different inventions we were introduced to as the story went on were cool to learn about, maybe even more so because they were clearly only inventions to help the already fabulously wealthy and continually perpetuate the class system that was introduced to us in the first book. Obviously, fuck the class system, but it’s still really interesting to read about in a fictional setting, especially with technology that only exacerbates the issue.
Also, and somewhat unrelated to the topic I just discussed, but there were a bunch of times where the characters read older than they actually were in this one. That just seems to be a continuing issue. I kept walking into walls where the character would be doing something and reading like a twenty-something-year-old and then they’d turn around and do something incredibly immature and I’d have to go to myself, “Oh, right, they’re seventeen.” It was really jarring. I couldn’t get over it. Anyway.
I also enjoyed the new character, Calliope, even if her connections to already-existing characters bored the hell out of me. Her background was interesting along with her methods, and I liked watching her worm her way into the scene via the crowd we were already familiar with. Towards the end I didn’t care quite as much what was going to happen (and that’s because I had already spent so long being pretty bored by the happenings otherwise), but, for a while, her chapters were my most anticipated ones.
All in all, not the worse second book in a trilogy that I’ve ever read, but not the best either. I’d like to see how the third book wraps everything up, especially considering how tangled up everything is now.
Thanks for reading!