Review copy provided by the author via Good Choice Reading Promotions
So if Awaken reminded me of The Little Mermaid minus Sebastian, I’m not sure what to compare Descend to, honestly. (And it’s probably a good thing that I have nothing to compare it to.)
Descend is the second book in Skye Malone’s Awakened Fate series, continuing from where Awaken left off at after Chloe’s near death encounter with the Sylphaen, a cult supposedly dead for a century that wants to get rid of the world of people like Chloe. Descend takes us into the world of Nyciena, a world below the ocean that is the only place safe enough for her to seek refuge from the Sylphaen. But Nyciena isn’t the place Chloe wants to remain in for long - she wants to get back to the surface, where her friends and family have no clue where she has gone.
As much as I really enjoyed the Awakened Fate series in general, I feel like something is missing from Descend that didn’t hit the mark with me (really, I need to get better at figuring out why certain books don't work for me). For the duration of the book, Chloe is basically running from the Sylphaen and trying to figure out what she really is. Noah is hoping but not hoping that Chloe will come back to shore. Meanwhile, he’s trying to protect Chloe in his own way, who will no doubt get hunted down by his cousins should they ever find her. Zeke is trying to get his father and older brother to understand that the Sylphaen have returned - they’re not as dead as hoped.
The world and culture of Nyciena is little to none in Descend, aside from the few moments Ina, Zeke’s sister, tries to show Chloe around the kingdom. But the few that I did get to read about Nyciena intrigue me enough to hopefully learn more about the kingdom. (They’re also party people, so I hope that’s not what they’re really all about?)
The same goes for the greliarans, which are a group of people who hunt down the dehaians, the group of mermaid people Chloe seeks refuge from the Sylphaens. From Noah’s perspective, we learn a few facts about how they operate, but it’s even less than the world and culture of Nyciena. They’re extremely strong, and are humans who can turn into Hulk-like creatures with a desire to kill.
Descend is very plot driven - and the same can be said with the series thus far. It’s the book to go to for those who want a book that is somewhat slow in character and world development, but also those who don’t mind the slow progression throughout the series.