Read The Golden Specific by S.E. Grove Online


The eagerly-awaited sequel to the best-selling The Glass Sentence -- a historical, fantastical adventure perfect for fans of Philip Pullman!It is the summer of 1892, one year since Sophia Tims and her friend Theo embarked upon the dangerous adventure that rewrote the map of the world. Since their return home to Boston, she has continued searching for clues to her parents’The eagerly-awaited sequel to the best-selling The Glass Sentence -- a historical, fantastical adventure perfect for fans of Philip Pullman!It is the summer of 1892, one year since Sophia Tims and her friend Theo embarked upon the dangerous adventure that rewrote the map of the world. Since their return home to Boston, she has continued searching for clues to her parents’ disappearance, combing archives and libraries, grasping at even the most slender leads. Theo has apprenticed himself to an explorer in order to follow those leads across the country—but one after another proves to be a dead end.Then Sophia discovers that a crucial piece of the puzzle exists in a foreign Age. At the same time, Theo discovers that his old life outside the law threatens to destroy the new one he has built with Sophia and her uncle Shadrack. What he and Sophia do not know is that their separate discoveries are intertwined, and that one remarkable person is part of both.There is a city that holds all of the answers—but it cannot be found on any map. Surrounded by plague, it can only be reached by a journey through darkness and chaos, which is at the same time the plague’s cure: The Golden Specific....

Title : The Golden Specific
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780670785032
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 505 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Golden Specific Reviews

  • Skip
    2019-05-15 11:00

    An excellent sequel to The Glass Sentence. Rather than continue to develop the bond between Theo Thackaray and Sophia Tims, Grove has them split apart by circumstances, with Sophia continuing her search for her missing parents, without the help of her guardian, Shadrack Elli, while Theo stays in Boston to help Shadrack face a political foe. Both stories are compelling and interesting, and were left off in a good place for the conclusion of the trilogy. Their new companions are interesting and diverse, and I especially liked the Inspector's daughter.

  • snowplum
    2019-04-23 09:10

    I stand in awe of this series. It’s got young leads in an intricate and highly cerebral plot that is most often compared with Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy, but there is an essential difference that makes me (admittedly in the minority, but hear me out!) prefer this series. Pullman’s series is a bit like Atlas Shrugged for a younger audience – the story exists to serve the philosophy (or theology), and if you don’t like (or outright hate) the philosophy, you won’t like the books. S. E. Grove’s Mapmakers trilogy, on the other hand, is a story for the pure joy of story. It is a story by an intelligent, spiritually curious, sensitive, enormously creative person for readers who appreciate going to some theological and philosophical places with their characters on the course of their abundantly exciting and unexpected adventures. There are times when you most certainly become aware of the author’s beliefs on major issues (she is emphatically anti-war, for certain, and not of any traditional Judeo-Christian persuasion), but I don’t experience the book as a platform to evangelize these potentially controversial beliefs. Grove has created an enormous variety of characters who are complex and rich, and they deal with abstractions as well as concrete obstacles and goals. Thus, some of them share some of the author’s ideas and feelings, but there is a coterie of characters that Grove clearly loves just as much and who are just as compelling drawn and thoroughly believable as the ones who have the most of her in them, and I think that’s the mark of a truly great writer.With that said, let’s get into some details! The Golden Specific started a little bit slow and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. It hit me hard at first: this is a book about pain.I wasn’t really prepared for that. The first book in this series (The Glass Sentence) contains so many wildly beautiful, intelligent, creative ideas that I was utterly enamored with it. There was an undeniable thread of melancholy through it – the villains were victims, first (souls through whom all of time had flowed, turning them into featureless white beings who endlessly and madly grieved for the loss of their very selves). And despite the fearsome and occasionally violent manifestations of their rage and sorrow, and the primary antagonist’s excessively forceful attempts to remake a world that felt like hers, Sophia was able to pity the Lachrima and show mercy in her moment of triumph.The melancholy that shadowed the bliss of the first book has utterly overtaken the first act of the second. Sophia has lost the emotionally nurturing relationship she had with her uncle. She has been seeing what seems to be a ghost of her mother, and these visions leave her feeling bereft when the ghost disappears. And then when the main plot finally kicks in, Sophia is abandoned by the one new character who seemed that she might have been an ally. Then comes the worst blow of all. Sophia and Theo are parted. Each feels the loss of the other keenly and constantly. They both have trials to face and cannot be paralyzed by what is missing in their very souls when they are not able to connect with each other at all. But Sophia, in particular, is utterly isolated and for a while has no idea how she will cope.Theo faces a sadistic monster from his past, while Sophia travels all alone across the world and through time, utterly bereft, grieving the most intensely for Theo’s unthinkable desertion. Theo, at least, knows what happened and does not doubt their bond; but there is nothing he can do about it once he is trapped in Boston and Sophie is off across the Atlantic. He misses her constantly, wants to protect her, and wishes that he had her at his side to help him see what he is missing while failing to outwit his foe or fully comprehend his schemes. Theo’s foe’s most obviously heinous acts are violent ones, but the thing Theo finds the most sinister and terrifying is that Graves takes such pleasure in forcing others to lie, thus destroying bits of their souls, perhaps in many small increments, or with one large falsehood he makes them create and sustain. Each lie he forces someone else to tell makes his own power grow, engendering deeper and deeper fear and powerlessness in his victims, and re-ordering the world to his wishes. I find Graves to be a beautifully drawn villain – perhaps a bit subtle for many readers, but with an evil deeply attuned to my spiritual cosmology. I think I should warn you, however, that there is a two page scene late in the book that flashes back to what Graves did to Theo the first time they met. I did not read it, so I can’t tell you for certain whether it’s as bad as I got the feeling it was. But you might want to skip it, as well, if you don’t think it’s necessary to read the details of sadistic things done to children by adults. Sophia, meanwhile, has traveled to a land threatened by a plague which is just as terrible in its own way as the plight of the formless Lachrima in the first novel. Lapena (The Pain, I assume we are to understand) essentially manifests as a terminal depression. Once caught, it slowly eats away at the sufferer’s strength, hope, and will, until the person allows him or herself to die. As the book goes on, we discover more about the true nature of this plague, of course, and all is not as it seems to the fearful denizens of a medieval Age. It called to mind the concept of Mushi somewhat on the nose; but even if this is Grove's riff on the idea from Mushishi, the wanderers have unique attributes of their own that weave deftly into this very complex and dense world without seeming grossly identical to Yuki Urushibara’s creation.Then, there are the specters which take the form of missing loved ones (seemingly) with the intention of leading those left behind into oblivion. One of the most compelling new characters in this book is a falconer named Errol who is hunting for his lost twin who followed a specter into a Dark Age over two years ago and never emerged. Each night, a specter in the form of his brother comes to Errol, and each night he kills it with an arrow, only for it to return, night after night, temping him into whatever torment his brother is suffering.So, this is a book about pain, loss, missing someone you love, desperately hoping that there is anything that you can do to be reunited and feel safe and happy ever again. For something being marketed as YA or all-ages literature, it is emotionally gutting at times. I am sure many people will argue that it’s empowering because Sophia and Theo both go to extraordinary lengths to fight for themselves and those they love, and both of them certainly become even stronger as individuals with meaningful convictions than they were before… and perhaps, melancholy as it is, it is an important message that one must go on, no matter how much one feels hurt, abandoned, broken, and alone. Sophia and Errol and Goldenrod make an unexpected connection, as do Theo and Nettie and Winnie. But I doubt there could be a reader in the world who doesn’t want to see Theo and Sophia reunited as much as each other them wishes to be, and I can admit that as a reader, I didn’t feel like Theo and Sophia needed to be tested any more by authorially contrived circumstances in order to earn the shared future that I believe is their endgame. They’ve suffered enough. They’ve proven enough already. They’re going to save the world…. again. So let them save the world, together, S. E. Grove! Come on, now! (And just so you know, there’s no end in sight to their missing each other… the end of book two makes it obvious they’re not going to see each other for most of book three, either.)Ah, but then there is the Mark of the Vine… and Goldenrod…. for her alone I would have read this book. She is a being of a mysterious race that the humans of Sophia’s age call the Eerie. When we first hear of the Eerie, we are told that they can heal almost anything. {spoiler alert} Later, Sophia is given a large, mysterious box to bring with her across the ocean – no mean feat, especially once she finds herself alone with no money and no means of transportation. The box is heavy, and all that she knows is that it has a plant inside – she can just barely make out its leaves through the slats in the box that enable it to breathe. Then, suddenly, after watering the plant through the slats, the box bursts open and out comes Goldenrod, a beautiful plant-woman who throws a bunch of golden blossoms at Sophia which save her from the plague that was already beginning to take root in her soul. And then she just gets more awesome. Yeah, I love plants more than the average person loves plants, so the imagery granted to Goldenrod particularly appeals to me…. But even if you don’t secretly wish you were a plant-woman being of pure goodness and beauty who can commune with the gods, I bet you’ll dig her, too.Oh, and then there is Groves’ fairy tale of Edolie and the huntsman. That story-within-the-story immediately catapulted into place in my top three fairy tales, ever. No spoilers here; just… look forward to it if you read the book. If you want to chat, tell me which interpretation you favor.Oh, and then there’s the Dark Age…. What is it. Why it is. Where and when it comes from. All the possibilities that burst into awareness when you comprehend the sheer audacious wondrous brilliance of it. Damn.And then there’s Sophia’s final act which saves an Age, and probably, ultimately, the world. Again, no spoilers. It’s simultaneously simple and profound, and I adored the prose of it. I said “Wow” out loud more than once. I seriously can’t believe The Golden Specific raised the bar that The Glass Sentence already set so high. (Especially after a couple of early chapters that might have you scratching your head and wondering what the heck snowplum is raving about.) I can’t imagine how the finale will live up to it. But I love the fact that I expect an extraordinary level of creativity and craft. I love the fact that I have no idea what’s going to happen, or how… and that I trust there is going to be a happy ending.I really needed this book. Maybe you do, too.

  • Heather
    2019-05-02 10:50

    Though this book was wonderful, I did not like it as much as the first. Yes, I did like the new characters, but I would like to focus on what did not work as well as the first one and hope the third will include many elements the first book has. SPOILERS! 1. Sophia and Theo are spilt up nearly the entire book. One of my favorite things about the first book is the interactions between them, and you get to see very little of that in this book.2. Normally "up-ing the stakes" for the sequel to a book doesn't have much appeal to me, but they saved the world in the last book! It's kind of hard to beat that when it comes to importance. While I really cared about Sophia trying to find her parents, it seemed kind of small compared to what they did in their last journey.3. I felt like this book didn't have a definite plot. Let me explain, in the last book, the reader is very clear what the mission is: go to the Notchland (sp?) and find Veressa. None of the characters seemed sure of which journey they should take and I found myself second-guessing whether they had made the right decision. It kind of felt like they were just wandering around much of the time and like they weren't getting anywhere because they did not know what to do.4. The setting wasn't as eye-opening and fascinating. For me personally, being in the lush and tropical landscape of the united indies was much more fascinating than being in the deserted and at times more desert-like Papal States. Learning more about Boston was awesome though.5. Virtually none of the "supporting" characters in the first book were in this one! We do not hear anything about Veressa and her father, and although the pirates were mentioned, none of these characters actually appear in this book.6. The first book had an entire arc, and while it did leave an open ending for Sophia to investigate the story of her missing parents, the story was definitely complete and whole. Now, I am aware that this book is in the middle of a trilogy, but the first story had such a beautiful and complete arc (which in many trilogies nowadays doesn't even happen) that I had hopes that this would feel like a complete story as well.Like I said, there are a lot of awesome parts to this story, but since everyone was mentioning how they thought this book was better from the first, I thought it was time to represent and show how awesome the first book was :)

  • Shannon
    2019-04-21 09:59

    Wow that was one hell of a sequel. I really REALLY wish that more people had read this series so that I could talk about it with someone. Even though my precious characters were apart pretty much the whole novel their stories intertwined. I'm in love with all the new characters introduced into the book as well. I know that this book is categorized as middle grade but to me it is not a middle grade book AT ALL. For one if I read this when I was younger I would have been very confused because it is such a complex world. Also the characters are so smart for their ages that they don't read as younger characters either. But seriously if you haven't read this book series yet please do

  • nat
    2019-05-14 15:02

    it took me about 100+ pages to finally get into it and I'm glad. the pieces of this plot puzzle are so masterfully woven, I love how it all comes together at the end. I absolutely loved the new characters, in a way they were whimsical and intriguing. the entire book seemed like a fairytale to me. a truly unique and magical read.

  • Lucie
    2019-05-20 09:56

    It took me forever to get around reading this one, because I've been waiting for the paperback release and I was scared it wouldn't live up to the first one. After all, it's been almost two years since I read The Glass Sentence. But, because I had loved the first book so much, I still had vivid memories of what had happened and I didn't struggle to follow anything.My favourite part of this book was the world-building. I'm obsessed with maps and the fact that the world is set in different time periods is utterly fascinating to me. It's so enjoyable to discover the world S.E. Grove created, because it's so original. I was so confused because Spain was called the Papal States though, I thought it was Italy but nevermind. The whole mythology about the Great Disruption was explored so much more in this second novel and we're finally getting some answers, but I am excited to get even more of them in the last book. The plot was quite interesting and I liked that we had two – or even three when you count the letters - different perspectives, set in different places. Anywho, I was always invested in it, but I thought this book was a little too long for what it contained. I'm struggling to imagine this trilogy is middle grade, if I'm completely honest. I think that the plot of the first novel was filled with more tension and urgency than The Golden Specific. The urgency only came towards the second half of the novel, it definitely hooked me. Moreover, after the ending, I'm interested to see where the author is going and how this story will wrap up for the characters.Speaking of the characters, liked them, but I still can't believe Sophia is thirteen (or fourteen now). I just can't. Moreover, and it bothered me a bit more than in the first book : I still don't have emotional connection to the characters, and I think it's because I can't believe how young they're supposed to be. I'm not saying they lack development or anything : they're well-written and interesting, but something is lacking for me.Overall, I really liked this second novel in The Mapmakers Trilogy and I'm looking forward to read the last instalment. I'm still in love with this world, but the characters are lacking something for me and the book was a little too long. But other than that, it was a good one.

  • Buho
    2019-05-09 17:05

    This is the sequel to The Glass Sentences. Sophia is still searching for her missing parents. But that journey takes some unexpected twist and turns. Sophia is separated from friends and family. Her uncle is accused of murder. Theo must try to find evidence to prove who the real murder is. The first book in the mapmaker trilogy left me more confused than anything but I found this book to be absolutely delightful. I loved the murder mystery element. I loved seeing our young protagonist being forced to grow and become independent from one another. I liked all the new characters that were introduced and I was actually able to keep them all straight. This was such a great sequel, that really improved upon the first book and expanded this world. ​I gave this book a B+.

  • J.
    2019-05-20 15:54

    I'm curious if I've ever given the second book of a trilogy more than a 3-star rating; I suspect not. I enjoyed this book, but not as much as the first, and I'm hoping I will love the third one. I guess we'll see! Since this is a second book, of course, the author had to amp up the conflict, so it was missing some elements that I loved from the first book.Most notably: I love Theo! And I love Sophia and Theo's friendship. So the fact that they were separated for almost this entire book was sad. I must say that I'm pretty impressed with Grove's command of omniscient narration, which is definitely not easy to do. She uses it in the best way possible, so that I don't feel constantly jarred, but instead feel like I get a deep sense of all the characters she introduces.Even though I liked this book, it just felt long. Don't get me wrong, I was still interested in much of what was happening--but I didn't feel the pageturning impulse until about the last thirty or so pages. Grove continues to build her world with great skill and imagination, and even though I'm sad because we also don't see much of Shadrack or Miles or Mrs. Clay, Grove introduces us to new characters who are also endearing and wonderful, like Errol and Goldenrod. Grove also weaves together several plots--the mystery of the Prime Minister's murder, the mystery of Ausentinia, and Sophia's parents, lapena, etc.But I can't get over how much I missed Sophia and Theo's friendship, and even Sophia's relationship with her uncle. I just didn't enjoy this book as much as the first. I can imagine rereading the first, but not this one. The ending of this one, while not the worst thing ever, was also kind of heartbreaking. And Sophia grows up in this book--which is not totally bad, per se, but made me feel a little wistful and sad. I hope the third one is a lot better, since that should be when the plot is heading towards its resolution.

  • Mel (Daily Prophecy)
    2019-05-13 09:59

    This series has such an intriguing, detailed and difficult world-building, especially for a middle-grade series. It's obvious that the author has put a lot of thought in creating this world (LOVE the map and information at the start of every chapter) The story is a bit slower than the first book, but I liked that both Sophia and Theo got their own story line. The ending leaves me with the wish of continuing right away :) Beautiful inside design too, by the way.

  • Lauren
    2019-05-20 14:10

    Really liked the storyline of this one, a little better than the first even. Although I think this one had a little less action than the first which made it move kind of slowly sometimes. Sophia's storyline had some trouble keeping my attention, but I LOOOOVED Theo's storyline, and I love Theo :) also... THAT ENDING!!!!!! That is all.

  • Maria
    2019-05-12 12:50

    во второй книге история движется быстрее и больше захватывает, да и автор как будто услышала про неинтересных второстепенных персонажей и придумала новых, поинтереснеев общем, нет повода не читать третью

  • Tallulah
    2019-05-16 10:08

    The Golden Specific: By S.E Grove:The Golden Specific by S.E Grove, is about a young girl named Sophia Tims, who is trying to find her parents. The paths that she chooses to take are not always easy, she faces many struggles along the way. The story takes place between many different ages with many different characters and religions. The book kind of talks about two different stories and places at once since the two main characters were split up from the very beginning, this created a more interesting feel to the book. I really enjoyed the book because it had a lot going on but not so much that you would not understand what was going on. I think that this book was very different from the last because unlike the first book each chapter or every two chapters it is written in different perspectives. Usually when I start reading a book I am not interested in it because I get bored easily but this book drew me in right away. This book is a real page turner, I think that this level of reading was a little easy for me considering that I knew most of the words but it is still a great read. You can really tell that each of the characters are perfectly made for what S.E Grove is trying to tell in the story. Each character has their own wow factor, none of them are dull and uninteresting unless intended. Each of the character makes you feel an emotion whether it is positive or negative. The imagery in this book was amazing, I think that it is a really important aspect of the book since that is what helps you understand a book the most.I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys fantasy and adventure, more specifically fans of Philip Pullman. This book is the second in The Mapmakers trilogy. I started reading the series because my grandmother gave it to me for christmas, I put it off for a while but as soon as I did I couldn’t stop. This book reminds me of one of Philip Pullman's books: The Golden Compass, Because it is also about a girl of around the same age as Sophia (the main character in The Golden Specific), who also embarks on a major journey, through different worlds. But the idea is almost completely different.

  • Isabella
    2019-05-06 16:59

    This was an amazing sequel! It can get a little confusing at some points, but the basic storyline is intriguing! I loved the new characters that were introduced and pleased to learn more about Theo's backstory. I would definitely recommend this book to any fiction lover! I love S.E Grove's work.

  • Kelley
    2019-05-07 16:00

    When I read The Glass Sentence last year, I absolutely fell in love with it, and I have to admit that I fangirled a bit when I met S. E. Grove at a local book event. That fangirling sparked a nice rapport between us, however, and she was gracious enough to send me an ARC of The Golden Specific! It was a challenge, not diving into that book immediately, but when I finally allowed myself to read it -- such delight!The Golden Specific was every bit as wondrous and entertaining as I'd hoped. It continued with themes I really enjoyed from the first book: maps, the time-sliced world, strange magic, mystery, danger, and whimsy. One thing that impresses me about Grove's writing is that she is able to weave so many threads together, pulling them along in varying degrees of intensity, but never letting them fade.We're treated to our favorite, familiar characters from The Glass Sentence, but are introduced to quite a few new faces who are sure to steal your heart as easily as they did mine. Remember when I said that S. E. Grove is the Brandon Sanderson of YA? IT'S SO TRUE, YOU GUYS. She knows how to make each and every character feel alive, like a complete person, no matter how large or small their part in the story might be. It is remarkable, and it truly helps to immerse a reader in the story.You know when you're really just sinking yourself deep into a world and story that you love -- just settling yourself in, locking arms with the characters, and sighing happily, never wanting to leave? Yeah, that's how this whole series has made me feel so far. Which is awesome, but also terrifying, because this is a trilogy, people! I don't even know if this is a review, or just me trying to tell you how much I loved the book without being spoilerish... Look, just... READ THIS SERIES! IT IS SO GOOD.

  • Amy B
    2019-04-25 09:20

    3.8 stars or something like that. (I know - I'm hard to please) :/I found the first book in this series a little dense and hard to get through. This one was a little easier for me, maybe because I was prepared for some deep reading. Its density, I think, is at once a strength and a weakness. Grove's story is so thorough, so full, so...historical, that it can be heavy to read, but at the same time gives the story an air of authenticity. I rarely question why the author chose something to happen, I simply believe that it happened. I love the world Grove created. I love the Ages and the Maps and the politics and the creatures. I love the characters too. It was unfortunate that there was so much going on that I didn't get to see a whole lot of Shadrack, or Calixta and Burr, or other staple characters. Theo and Sophia were also separated the entire time, which was disappointing.But I really enjoyed Bronson and Minna's part of the story, as well as Sophia's quest and the new addition of Goldenrod and Errol and even Nettie, I suppose. Broadgirdle is a great villain, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of him in the future.I think this would have gotten a 4 star rating if I hadn't realized - as I neared the end of the book - that this was, after all, amiddlebook. Which means two of the three main story arcs reached no conclusion. Boo!But I guess I'll just have to read the next one... :)

  • Phoebe
    2019-05-05 16:12

    3.5 stars. For me, a little bit of middle book syndrome. Between the parallel plots for Sophia and Theo the book somehow managed to feel a bit too slow and altogether too crowded at the same time. The world of the series remains interesting and unique, though some of the concepts introduced in these books, particularly the "old ones" are vague and don't feel quite at home in the lore to me. I'll still eagerly read the next book because the characters and world are still fantastic, this just had some odd spots.

  • Hannah
    2019-05-22 10:54

    Some other reviewers have rightly mentioned that this book doesn't have the same sense of importance or urgency as the first book, and I definitely agree. Despite the action of the book being divided up between so many different characters' perspectives and frequently shifting between them (Sophia's on the way to find her parents, Theo's as he tries to defend Shadrack's innocence, Minna's as we learn of Sophia's parents' trip to the Papal States, Cabeza de Cabra's as we see his view of what happened to Sophia's parents and their friend through his map, etc), the overall pace of the book felt plodding to me. It's a bit like the book itself had lapena, the mysterious illness that overtakes people in the Papal States and simply saps their will to live. Maybe it was because the rendering of the Papal States as such an illogical, arbitrary, unfeeling place was so well done that that mood pervaded the entire book. (Something gives me the suspicion that S. E. Grove has a history with the Catholic church somewhere in her upbringing/Latin American travels, and that it is not so pretty.)Maybe, though, this feeling also came from Cabeza de Cabra and Sophia's loss of faith, a gesture towards the overall philosophy of the books: Sophia realizes she no longer believes, as she did in the first book, that the Fates are guiding her to where she needs to be and when (which neatly explained a lot of the "coincidences" that abounded in the first book); instead, she comes to the conclusion that she is alone in the world and that life is what she and her friends make of it, and this makes her feel wiser and more capable (though I as a reader am not totally sure why she comes to this conclusion). At the same time, though, she seems to be placing a lot of blind faith in the residents of Ausentinia, that they will help her and that their maps will lead to the locations they promise they will (an unexplained seeming higher power if there ever was one)... so it seems like this "loss of faith" idea is a bit of a contradiction, and to me, made Sophia feel more self-importantly naive rather than truly grown up and matured.This brings me to Goldenrod, who I wanted to like but who also presented the biggest problem for me with the book. Goldenrod tells Sophia about the Eerie people's ability to communicate with many different animals and beings ((view spoiler)[including lapena, the tiny mothlike creatures that cause the illness that's so feared in the Papal States, and the "old ones," or the different Ages themselves, which are revealed to be living beings (hide spoiler)]). With that revelation, Errol's faith in the mark of the Cross is easily swept aside; all of the miracles that he, and pilgrims along the Spanish roads, revere are neatly explained away as kind gestures from denizens of the natural world like trees, animals, etc. While Goldenrod's powers are awesome (and an interesting way to dive further into the Mark of the Vine concept), at times, she annoyed me as a character because she just seems way too powerful and knowledgeable. (view spoiler)[For example, I liked how the mysterious expansion of the Dark Ages linked back to the first book with Sophia's realization that the Dark Ages' soil was human-engineered to support the living creatures in that age--including the lapena--and that outside interference in the "ecosystem" was both causing the unnatural expansion of the Dark Ages and the invasion by the lapena of human hosts rather than staying in their plants. However, that Goldenrod could simply walk through the feared lands of the Dark Ages scattering flowers (goldenrods, of course) and that this would immediately bring sunshine and lollipops back to the Papal States seemed too easy of a resolution. Goldenrod's ability to communicate with faraway animals and the Ages, talent for healing the lapena, and overall knowledge of just about everything seemed way too expansive, like she could probably solve all of the characters' problems then and there but just didn't feel like it. (hide spoiler)] Because she had no conceivable weaknesses, limitations, or failings, I had a pesky feeling that Errol and Sophia could give Goldenrod a good shake and the rest of the plot of the series would fall out.Addressing the other half of the plot, getting to know more of Theo's background (though not as much as I'd hoped) and learning more about Broadgirdle was the more fun part of the book for me; though the political intrigue level is pretty low, I was surprised by (view spoiler)[Broadgirdle's assistant Peel taking the fall for the murder of the prime minister in Broadgirdle's place, and by Theo's conscription as a prisoner into the army to fight the territories that seceded from New Occident at the end (hide spoiler)]. I like the concept of Netty, but wish she were a bit better developed (it seems a bit random that she decides to start helping Theo despite not really knowing who he is and what his motives are, considering that she is supposedly very conniving. This is actually something that bothered me about Netty and about Sophia in this book quite often: that characters often described them as being one way for us--Sophia as being very plucky and kind according to Errol, for instance--without us as characters ever really witnessing those traits much for ourselves... but I digress). It does interest me, though, that Netty seems (view spoiler)[like the beginning of a possible Netty-Theo-Sophia love triangle for book 3 (hide spoiler)].On to The Crimson Skew!

  • Tina
    2019-04-21 11:20

    Sorry, Mel! I had to finish!The Glass Sentence & The Golden Specific are the most inventive MG fantasy novels that I've read since Harry Potter. Highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended.

  • Meghan
    2019-05-08 14:51

    I wonder if this book felt as poignant when it was released a few years ago, as it does now with Trump as our president...

  • Jana
    2019-04-22 12:56

    This was even better than the first one! Is that even possible? But I LOVED how the POVs sort of split and we got to see more different characters in different places. I liked that so much. I liked the direction the author is taking the story so much. It is just generally so super intriguing. I love this series SO MUCH. SO, SO MUCH.

  • David Schwan
    2019-05-10 14:05

    The story line splits in this book with a governmental conspiracy in Boston and a trip to Spain. Some big secrets are hinted at in this book. Since some clues as to what's to come are hinted at it will be interesting to see if the author does a good job of presenting them. Some world building in this book but mostly character development.

  • Lulai
    2019-04-29 08:55

    4.5 stars.I travel so far with this book.The world building is so awesome and magic. The author manage to grew up this universe in so many way. I can wait to have book n°3 to finally know everything. ^^

  • Monika
    2019-05-05 10:03

    What a wonderful follow up to 'The Glass Sentence'!! I was worried that this one wouldn't be able to live up to my expectations, but it was a lot better than I could have ever imagined. I can't wait for the next one!

  • Billie
    2019-04-24 16:07

    I'm not going to review this, I'm just going to say that I think I liked it better than I liked 'The Glass Sentence' and I'm not sure why. Maybe because of Errol? I always like it when the Han Solo/Robin Hood character finally makes an appearance.

  • Jack Demchak
    2019-04-27 11:51

    Amazing second book that rivaled its predecessor in its sense of magic and otherworldly story. Looking forward to the next

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-22 16:03

    Just wonderful. I have a hard time thinking of how to review this one because it is just so original and engaging. Very recommended!

  • Anya
    2019-05-08 16:10

    Really great sequel, I think I liked it more than the first even. We see a lot more of the world and find out crazy things about what's really going on :D.

  • Elevetha
    2019-05-08 11:15

    2.5 stars.

  • Djamila
    2019-05-11 10:06

    Ronan, T and I listened to this in the car.. Just as good as the first one. Our only complaint is we have to wait till summer for the final book.

  • Shaweta
    2019-04-22 13:04

    LOVED THIS BOOK. LOVE THIS SERIES. Amazing world building, fantastic characters, great plot. Can't wait for book 3 tbqh.