Posted in book reviews

The Dazzling Heights – Katharine McGee (The Thousandth Floor, #2)

Thank you to Netgalley / HarperCollins / Edleweiss for this book in an exchange for an honest opinion!

New York City, 2118. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible – if you want it enough.

Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a beacon of futuristic glamour and high-tech luxury… and to millions of people living scandalous, secretive lives.

Leda is haunted by nightmares of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’s afraid the truth will get out – which is why she hires Watt, her very own hacker, to keep an eye on all of the witnesses for her. But what happens when their business relationship turns personal?

When Rylin receives a scholarship to an elite upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being here also means seeing the boy she loves: the one whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.

Avery is grappling with the reality of her forbidden romance – is there anywhere in the world that’s safe for them to be together?

And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who’s arrived in New York with a devious goal in mind – and too many secrets to count.

Here in the Tower, no one is safe – because someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, you’re always only one step away from a devastating fall….

 

What is it with this series that keeps drawing me in???

It’s several things really – I love the mashup of genres this has. It has elements of a mystery/thriller, combined with that classic teen drama, filled with those archetypal characters you’d see on shows such as Gossip Girl. On the surface, it probably sounds a bit of a mess – but somehow it all comes together in a combination that works? Not to sound like a broken record, but yes, like beloved show Gossip Girl.

The Dazzling Heights is a fantastic sequel. It continues on the story of the Thousandth Floor not to long after it left, and we’re thrown back into the mess of things. We are dumped in the middle of the drama and the characters – some new – and how they’re coping and using what happened at the end of the first novel in living their lives.

The characters develop – like Leda – and you get to see a more humane side of them. You see others being given opportunities they’ve never had before and it’s interesting in seeing them cope. Others cross dangerous boundaries and it’s so dramatic waiting for them to be caught.

This novel started off with a very strong sense of direction and plot that then unfortunately died out after that first chapter. It’s hinted at about three more times all the way through, before it’s dramatic climax at about 87% into the book. This was disappointing and I feel like we should have had more of this throughout the whole novel, and not just towards the end. It was too quick to end when it had only just started and that was disappointing. And although this quick ending will no doubt have consequences in the third novel, I feel like it was wasted and this books sense of purpose was ultimately lost.

Having said that – this book did deal with the aftermath of events in book one. While, like I said, the overarching plot wasn’t well-developed and ended before it even began, each character had their own subplot. This was good – it was nice seeing how everyone dealt and the actions of each character, and seeing how they now interacted after everything had passed. It made it tense – with all these deep dark secrets between them – and who would snap first. But some relationships took a turn for the unexpected.

I wish other characters – such as Cord – had larger parts in this book and were developed more. Cord, even though he’s not a main character, is my favourite. I love him and Avery’s relationship, and I liked having more of that. Others like Leda and Watt . . . so much dodgy history between them, but seeing their relationship come to develop was interesting.

So yes, I did really enjoy this one – it was a good sequel. I think it’s up to par with the first one, which in a way, disappoints me because I was hoping for this one to blow me away. But still – with the quality matching the first, which was very good, I can’t complain too much because at least it’s consistent.

My only other problem with this is adding in another point of view character whose only objective, for the subplot of another character, was to come between them. I didn’t care for this new character. They were just there to stir the pot, and while, with how this book ended I have no doubt they’ll be stirring up trouble in the third book this still didn’t make me care about this person. Their point of view should’ve been given to a character already established. Also – while the first had problematic elements of characters being drugged and taking advantage of, this one dealt with a student/teacher thing. While it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, I was still unhappy with the way it was ultimately dealt with. I’m just happy all the characters weren’t happy with this relationship and that it was condemned – just not enough.

So while there was a lot explored in this – there is still a lot more to come out and be explored that I can only hope will happen in the third. For example, all the drama between Brice, Rylin and Cord to come to light. But overall, this was very pleasing second novel, and if anything it seems to have paved the way for a really exciting third, and what I can only hope will be the novel that will ultimately blow me away with the shock / wow / drama factor.

Three very good stars

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