13 November 2015
The White Rose
Series: The Lone City #2
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
This novel is one of those rare instances where I like the sequel more than the first installment in the series. Truth be told after The Jewel, I really wasn't planning on reading The White Rose. I went ahead and checked it out of the library, but it sat on my bookcase and I had every intention of returning it without reading it. But then I needed a short, quick read to occupy my time between finishing Ice Like Fire and getting Winter from the library. And The White Rose offers just that.
Lo and behold, The White Rose isn't all that bad. It certainly feels like a step up from The Jewel. Yes, I still think it is absurdly ridiculous how quickly Ash and Violet "fell in love", but luckily their relationship (which I don't give two hoots about) takes a backseat while the gang tries to escape from The Jewel and come up with a plan to stop the oppression at the hands of the royals.
I teeter on giving this book 2.5 versus 3 stars because there are still a few glaring holes in the novel. The first is the character development. Unfortunately, the development we get for Ash makes me like him even less. Considering all the sacrifices Ash has made in his life for the sake of his sister, I find it VERY hard to believe that he would simply throw it all away on Violet. I'm not saying he doesn't love Violet (though again, I kind of do), but to think he would put that love over the love for his sister? That is something I would never do in a million years. I dare even say it is selfish.
It is not the only selfish thing I see about Ash in The White Rose. Ash definitely has a heaping of self esteem issues that stem from his occupation of being a companion. He seems hellbent on proving he is more, that he can do more. And he pushes to do exactly that, even in the worst times possible. A subject that keeps coming up is that he wants to be useful and help, but neither him nor Violet can seem to get it through their thick skulls that the best way for him to help is to stay out of sight, him being a fugitive and all. After what happens earlier on their way out of the Jewel, you think he would wise up. But sadly, no, and it irritates me to no end. Even while trying to help a great cause, he can't help but be selfish.
The last big issue I have is with the way the plot plays out. My issue centers around the concept of an army of surrogates for their plan, an idea Violet comes up with during a chance conversation with Ash. My problem is, it seems like the most obvious solution in the world. So if Lucien has been working on a plan for quite some time now... wouldn't he have thought of this long ago? That really sticks out as a red flag of bending the situation to fit the motives by Ewing.
So I probably should have given this book a 2.5, or maybe even a 2. But I am still shocked that I enjoy The White Rose more than The Jewel that I figure I'll be generous. I might even read the last book in the trilogy. Shocking, I know!