Following their dramatic showdown in Seattle, Jesse Fisher and Cassius Stevenson find their world’s been turned inside out. The faculty at Skyship Academy is keeping Jesse a prisoner in his own home, fearful of his influence over Pearls. And Cassius, once a loyal Pearlhound for the Unified Party, has been pushed into hiding, fearful of his government’s retaliation.
When Jesse smuggles a mysterious red Pearl onboard the Academy, he sets loose a destructive chain of events, which lead him to a reunion with Cassius and a confrontation with Theo — a bloodthirsty Pearlhound with a dangerous secret.
But a larger threat looms in the stars. An enemy is gathering, with plans to exterminate the entire human race. And Jesse and Cassius might just be the lynch pins that trigger mankind’s destruction.
Before I start, I should preface this review with… if you haven’t read the first book in the Skyship Academy series, The Pearl Wars, then you shouldn’t read this review until you do. It’s for your own good. Feel free check out my review of The Pearl Wars if you are wondering what the first book is like. To those who did read The Pearl Wars and it’s been awhile, I recommend re-reading parts of the book to help bring you up to speed. The author does reminisce for too long on the first book, which I personally like, but isn’t helpful if you are a little foggy on the details. A quick reread of certain parts should remedy this.
Author Nick James delivers a fantastic sequel to The Pearl Wars. Crimson Rising is action packed, intriguing, and impossible to put down. In Crimson Rising, everything goes wrong for Cassius Stevenson and Jesse Fisher. After a discovery in Seattle that changes everything about who they are and what they know, they are now on a mission to save the other drifters. However, their mission is put on hold when they become prisoners in their own homes. Jesse doesn’t let the strict rules and watchful eye stop him from his mission, he finds a way to defy orders and get past the guards. It’s not long before he makes another incredible discovery that will change everything again.
I would venture to say that Crimson Rising is better than The Pearl Wars, and I don’t normally say that about sequels. Crimson Rising felt a little more mature and more like it was for an older audience. The main characters have grown up as well and they end up in a lot tough situations. Jesse and Cassius are separated for most of the book too so they are each going through their own issues. They have to be strong and keep their determination in order to survive.
Just like with the first book, Nick James keeps you guessing and wondering what’s going to happen next. James has a knack for creating unique stories that are so new and different that it’s impossible to know what to expect. Right when you think it’s going to go one direction it all changes. Crimson Rising is a well crafted story that’s also refreshingly different. I can’t wait for the next