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These Divided Shores

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The thrilling sequel to These Rebel Waves—full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a revolution—from Sara Raasch, the bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series. As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an e The thrilling sequel to These Rebel Waves—full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a revolution—from Sara Raasch, the bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series. As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again. Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago. Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God? As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts . . . or lose their futures forever.


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The thrilling sequel to These Rebel Waves—full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a revolution—from Sara Raasch, the bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series. As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an e The thrilling sequel to These Rebel Waves—full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a revolution—from Sara Raasch, the bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series. As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again. Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago. Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God? As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts . . . or lose their futures forever.

30 review for These Divided Shores

  1. 5 out of 5

    For.fictions.sake (Shelby)

    Vex...my boo. I’ll be patiently waiting for you.

  2. 5 out of 5

    booksneedcaffeinetoo

    That ending of the first book fucking destroyed me. I NEED ANSWERS OKAY

  3. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice Before I start, this is a review of the second and final book in the Stream Raiders duology, so please read the first book before you continue. It’s an amazing read, and lucky you, you won’t have long to wait to read the end if you start it now! So, with that said, let’s get into this review! The riveting conclusion to These Rebel Waves is here, and man is it going to leave a mark when you’re finished with it. Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice Before I start, this is a review of the second and final book in the Stream Raiders duology, so please read the first book before you continue. It’s an amazing read, and lucky you, you won’t have long to wait to read the end if you start it now! So, with that said, let’s get into this review! The riveting conclusion to These Rebel Waves is here, and man is it going to leave a mark when you’re finished with it. There’s a lot of pressure building into this explosive conflict, and I was definitely here for it. It’s a clash of magic and religion, and at the center of it are Ben, Lu, and Vex. There were teeth gnashing moments where anything can happen, and I think readers will devour it just as I did. I would also warn that if you are triggered by torture, this might not be the book for you. We begin where These Rebel Waves left off, and that is with the capture of Ben and Lu, who are now Elazar’s prisoners, being forced to make a weapon to harness Grace Loray’s magic. Escape is inevitable, unless Lu becomes the person she never wanted to be again. Vex on the other hand, is free, but his shaking sickness is getting worse. However he throws himself into plotting the rebellion against Argrid, through the aid of the stream raider syndicates. Finally, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage, but unfortunately, it seems he’s going to have to play the game his father’s way in order to win. From the beginning of this second book, I felt like things were dire. Our beloved characters are in dire straits and it seems things are only going to get worse before they get better. Lu especially is facing some incredibly terrible things, and my heart went out to her. Despite all the trauma though, there is still a softness that I feel that Ms. Raasch managed to capture within her. She was forced to become something she was never meant to be from a young age, but when faced with the burden of having to don the role again, decides that she must embody the change that needs to happen in the world. Now, whether it’s for good or bad, I can’t say because of spoilers, but all I will say is that my heart went out to Lu. Ben’s journey is also one that is rendered with hardship, and the conflict with his father is coming to a head. It’s from Ben’s perspective that I think readers get to see more of the internal religious struggle of a young man who’s lost his faith, but also understands how completely dismantling the system could have traumatic consequences. Of all the characters, he embodied the most caring spirit, in my opinion. I also felt like he had the softest of love interests, despite his rough exterior. Vex certainly struggled with a lot of things, and because I would spoil the story if I talked about it more, I’ll stop here. However, I will say that I loved how his relationship with Edda and Nayeli was explored in depth. Edda’s especially felt heartwarming. I felt like his crew came off as rough raider’s ready to blow everything out of the water in the first book, but seeing this new side to them really helped round them out. I felt that Nayeli grew the most, and her relationship with Cansu definitely blossomed into a complicated romance. With all the intense conflicts happening in this story, it’s hard to imagine the romance being anything else. And yet, the romances in this story provided this soft respite that I think readers need before they continue on this story of war. Each relationship is cultivated on equal terms (in my opinion), and they help each other grow and understand the world in a new perspective. I honestly wish there were some fan art out there because I am all for these relationships! I felt that the pacing was good, although some readers might disagree with me. There’s a lot of density within the book that needs to be processed, and while I’m a reader that tends to process the whole of a book once I’ve finished it, some might need to set the book down to think about what they’ve read before they continue on. One thing that I did have trouble with, and sometimes had to go back and read again, was the perspective shifting. It’s not as clear as other books would be with a separate chapter, but it’s also like this in These Rebel Waves, so I wasn’t completely taken by surprise. This book is a 9/10 for me. It’s an exceptional story, and a great end to this duology. I loved the characters and their journeys, although they could be a little hard to read at times. Like I said, if you’re easily triggered by torture, this might not be the book for you. However, if this doesn’t deter you, I encourage you to pick up this book. It’s such a great addition to any shelf, and I can’t wait for it to come out!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* These Divided Shores is the second and final book author Sara Raasch's These Rebel Waves duology. The story picks up a couple weeks after These Rebel Waves. Adeluna "Lu" Andreu and Crown Prince of Argrid, Ben are being held captive by their respective fathers and being forced to work on permanent magic. Devereaux "Vex" Bell believes Lu is dead and decides to stage a jail break to free Kari, *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* These Divided Shores is the second and final book author Sara Raasch's These Rebel Waves duology. The story picks up a couple weeks after These Rebel Waves. Adeluna "Lu" Andreu and Crown Prince of Argrid, Ben are being held captive by their respective fathers and being forced to work on permanent magic. Devereaux "Vex" Bell believes Lu is dead and decides to stage a jail break to free Kari, Lu’s mother and an important political figure on Grace Loray. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kal ★ Reader Voracious

    1. These Rebel Waves ★★★ 2. These Divided Shores ★★★What a wild ride the Stream Raiders duology was. I'm not going to lie: I was hoping that this installment would bring some piratey seafaring adventures, but unfortunately, that's not the story this duology is telling. (15/10 would read a spinoff adventure with Teo the raider, though!) If you enjoy complex political revolutionary stories filled with political intrigue, colonization, oppression, war, disillusionment, and religious fervor then this series is for you! "You woyou! 1. These Rebel Waves ★★★ ½ 2. These Divided Shores ★★★What a wild ride the Stream Raiders duology was. I'm not going to lie: I was hoping that this installment would bring some piratey seafaring adventures, but unfortunately, that's not the story this duology is telling. (15/10 would read a spinoff adventure with Teo the raider, though!) If you enjoy complex political revolutionary stories filled with political intrigue, colonization, oppression, war, disillusionment, and religious fervor then this series is for you! "You won't even feel it happen - something will become more important to you than fear, and you will find yourself doing amazing things." Ben, Lu, and Vex are all at a crossroads in this book, very much struggling with who they are and trying to reconcile their pasts - which was forced upon them - with the present. Each of them has been put through the wringer, and the sorrow is not over yet. As a result, this is a darker book than the first, and I found myself missing the levity and banter between the characters. But this is war and their reactions to their actions make perfect sense and really does a good job of depicting the effects of war on people, both those who choose to fight and the innocent people that are affected through no choice of their own. I found Ben's character development to be particularly compelling to me because it touches on complacency and not standing up until it affects you directly. I admire his unwavering support and wishing to atone for his father's crimes, but refusing to stoop to the same methods in order to stop him. He is a revolutionary figure you want to see succeed because you believe he will make things better. Teo is as precious as ever and must be protected at all costs. We do have two romances in this book, a m/m and m/f relationship, both of which kind of sit on the backburner for the first two-thirds of the book. I did find both of the relationships to be organic in their development, although I wish the tension between old and new love interests had been addressed a bit more than just longing glances. A major theme in the book looks at what becomes justified when fighting in a war. Do the ends justify the means? Or do you lose a part of your soul when you use the methods of the oppressor you fight against? "Permanent magic wasn't the most dangerous weapon to bring to war. Devotion was. And Elazar had already mastered it." The religious fervor and persecution is tough to stomach. Elazar has painted himself as the Pious God Incarnate, and the devotion his people have for him and his holy persecution against the magic of Grace Loray is alarming but does touch on charismatic leaders that stoke the fire of hatred through fear-mongering. He is a villain who you have no difficulty hating, although I do wish that some insight into why he has done all he's done had been offered. I like my villains to be more than just evil and think it would be interesting to see just how he got to be the way he did. Unfortunately, I did struggle a bit with the pacing of the book and found the middle to drag a bit. I think this is in large part due to the multiple POVs: at times the perspectives contained the same information and revelations because the characters weren't all privy to the same information and the plot progression felt stunted to me. The narrative voice being in third person also didn't help the situation because the perspectives didn't feel distinct to me - there are times where I am honestly not sure the section was from Vex or Ben's POV. This is a struggle that I often have with multiple POVs and could very much be a me-thing. Overall, I found the Stream Raiders duology to be a compelling fantasy tale of revolution. It is heavy on the political themes and won't be for everyone, but as a reader who enjoys these kinds of explorations of humanity I enjoyed this one despite the hiccups with pacing. I definitely would recommend a re-read of These Rebel Waves before diving into this one because the worldbuilding and history is very complex, and I found that I enjoyed the first book more the second time that I read it! Content warnings: imprisonment, inferred abuse, religious persecution, torture Representation: lgbtqiap+, m/m relationship, Many thanks to Balzer + Bray for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss for my honest review. Quotations are taken from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change in final publication.Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

  6. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Fondriest

    Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for an ARC of this novel. All opinions are, as always, my own. These Divided Shores picks up a couple weeks after the previous novel; Lu and Ben are being held captive by their fathers and being forced to work on permanent magic. Vex believes Lu is dead and decides to stage a jail break to free Kari, Lu’s mother and an important political figure on Grace Loray. Vex, Kari, and a host of other syndicate leaders form a tenuous truce to try to rid their island of Argr/>These Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for an ARC of this novel. All opinions are, as always, my own. These Divided Shores picks up a couple weeks after the previous novel; Lu and Ben are being held captive by their fathers and being forced to work on permanent magic. Vex believes Lu is dead and decides to stage a jail break to free Kari, Lu’s mother and an important political figure on Grace Loray. Vex, Kari, and a host of other syndicate leaders form a tenuous truce to try to rid their island of Argridian forces once and for all. Hanging over their heads is the threat of the king, Elazar, bringing his “light” to Grace Loray to finally purge it of magic and darkness once and for all. Incredibly complex (though often confusing) political machinations and alliances, a twisted religion, and a unique plant-based magic system underlie this world vaguely based on the history of Caribbean islands and their European colonialists. While the core story and characters are interesting and compelling (I finished this solely because I wanted to know what happened to these people I’d been reading about for 1000 pages), and the magic system is truly unique and very interesting, this book goes on for far longer than it needs to. Much of this could have been edited out to make for better pacing. Our characters’ inner monologues constantly rehash the same emotional turmoil and thoughts. The writing is repetitive and often comes across as telling and not showing. There are glimpses of really witty and clever dialogue and character interactions that inevitably get bogged down by overly verbose and repetitive prose. The conflict in this series hinges on political issues and scheming, but I was so bored by the repetitive nature of the discussions and negotiations that I couldn’t even keep track of who was doing what and why we should be upset. It also bothered me, much as it did in the first book, that POV shifts occur mid chapter, with no delineation between the POVs. This book is 560 pages and only has 33 chapters! I would have preferred shorter chapters that switched each time the POV did - I would have at least felt like I was making progress on the novel! The writing is so dense that more frequent chapter breaks would have really helped give the reader pause. Overall, this is a really original world, religion, and magic system (which is why this is getting 3 stars - I feel like nobody is original these days and I so appreciate reading fantasy that isn’t trying to be Leigh Bardugo) that would excel in the hands of a ruthless editor who could craft this into a 300-350 page novel.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    Magic, medicine, religion and war stand side by side as the final pieces move into place to determine the fate of Grace Loray. “The Divided Shores” follows our favorite band of rebels after the events of book 1 where hatred is breeding violence at the hand of the King and Lu is forced to come to the truth about her father. As the tides of the war change allies must be forged in the strangest of places and as each island falls the fate of Grace Loray will be revealed. I really love all of the mai Magic, medicine, religion and war stand side by side as the final pieces move into place to determine the fate of Grace Loray. “The Divided Shores” follows our favorite band of rebels after the events of book 1 where hatred is breeding violence at the hand of the King and Lu is forced to come to the truth about her father. As the tides of the war change allies must be forged in the strangest of places and as each island falls the fate of Grace Loray will be revealed. I really love all of the main players in this story and I like how much we get to see of them either together or alone as they navigate the beginnings of a war and how their choices ripple out to affect the others. I can’t get enough of Vex and Lu who are both so broken in this sequel but manage to find quiet moments to themselves even if there’s few and far between. The coming together of the Raiders and admitting past faults was so powerful and there were a couple of scenes where you could feel the weight of the moment as the characters stood their ground or bowed to those in an act of forgiveness and I loved every second. There’s a lot here with the corruption of power and it’s answered so beautifully with the selflessness that comes with owning your mistakes and seeing the suffering of others and vowing to make a change. I really loved this series and I couldn’t think of a better conclusion for this kind of story even if I wish to see my favorites spend some time away from the fighting and get the relaxing vacation they all deserve but hey there’s always bonus content right? **special thanks to edelweiss and the publishers for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    Wow. I love this duology so much. I won't get into too much detail to avoid spoilers since it just released but DAMN. This world is magical. I absolutely adore Lu, Vex, Ben and the whole crew. If you love stories of revolution and political intrigue with a touch of magic (and a heap of religious zealots), the Stream Raiders duology is for you. I love the exploration of humanity and what people will do to justify during war. The world building is incredible and fascinating, I never wanted to leav Wow. I love this duology so much. I won't get into too much detail to avoid spoilers since it just released but DAMN. This world is magical. I absolutely adore Lu, Vex, Ben and the whole crew. If you love stories of revolution and political intrigue with a touch of magic (and a heap of religious zealots), the Stream Raiders duology is for you. I love the exploration of humanity and what people will do to justify during war. The world building is incredible and fascinating, I never wanted to leave. Botanical magic is such a cool magic system that I would love to see more of in fantasy books! I’ve seen comments about the pacing but I honestly didn’t have any issues with it. I devoured this book in just a couple days. Exceptional conclusion to a great story! Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

  9. 5 out of 5

    H. Taylor

    First things first, I was so excited and thankful to receive a copy of this book from Harper Collins Australia in exchange for an honest review. These Divided Shores is the follow up to These Rebel Waves, so I’m not going to say anything about the plot, and if you’re here, you’ve most likely read book one, so I’m only going to do a quick recap of book ones plot: two countries at war, insidious religion, pirates, raiders and magic. I loved this book! I actually liked it a lo First things first, I was so excited and thankful to receive a copy of this book from Harper Collins Australia in exchange for an honest review. These Divided Shores is the follow up to These Rebel Waves, so I’m not going to say anything about the plot, and if you’re here, you’ve most likely read book one, so I’m only going to do a quick recap of book ones plot: two countries at war, insidious religion, pirates, raiders and magic. I loved this book! I actually liked it a lot more that the first book. Though It has been a while between books, so I actually wished I had given myself a bit of a refresher, but I did get back into this world pretty quickly. The first book what pitched to me as “gay pirates” which wasn’t the case at all. This one however was much closer to that descriptor. I definitely feel like this second instalment, and closer to the duology, did a much better job at immersing us within each point of view and really making us fall in love with these characters. At times I did find myself a little confused with the politics and war plot side of things, but the amazing character development and interpersonal relationships and struggles, really made up for that fact. These books were my first taste of Raasch’s work and I have to say, I am a huge fan of her wiring style. I would say that some development of world building is needed but overall I love the way she writes characters and the way she can convey emotion. It really made the book for me. Admittedly I still found Lu to get on my nerves a bit, but I think that was the intention at times too; the resistance itself ended up dividing themselves and taking sides, and it was almost as if the reader did too. So even with my annoyance of Lu it was definitely made up for by Vax, Ben, Nayeli, Edda, Cansu and my home boy Gunnar (so like, all the other characters). The ending, while not wrapping everything up, did feel maybe a touch too “and they all lived happily ever after”...but at the same time I’m also a sucker for that kind of thing, so I absolutely adored it. I would definitely say that if you’ve read book one, you need to finish the series! And if you haven’t read book one, go forth and fall in love with these characters for the first time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alissa

    These Rebel Waves was one of my favourite books of last year so I was pretty excited for this sequel. And it mostly did not disappoint! The thing is: Part of what made me enjoy the first book so much was the fun adventure plot that takes us on a quest across this marvellous island. However, this was pretty much missing from this one. Understandably so, as the story has to continue and evolve - and evolve it did! I would go as far as saying this has similarities to Mockingbird. What I mean is that this is an exce These Rebel Waves was one of my favourite books of last year so I was pretty excited for this sequel. And it mostly did not disappoint! The thing is: Part of what made me enjoy the first book so much was the fun adventure plot that takes us on a quest across this marvellous island. However, this was pretty much missing from this one. Understandably so, as the story has to continue and evolve - and evolve it did! I would go as far as saying this has similarities to Mockingbird. What I mean is that this is an excellent political thriller that deals with the psychological consequences of war from multiple perspectives. All of our main characters are forced to relive their past traumas while fighting against this new old threat and their desperation and frustration is really well explored. Lu, Vex and Ben are the perfect characters for that because, yes they have flaws and do stupid shit and hurt others but they’ve all been through the worst and all they really want is to have freedom and peace. And although this does contain romance subplot, what I particularly liked about this book is that, fundamentally, it is about family and friendship and belonging. But not only that! The plot twists are hitting you from all sides in this one and it made this story so much more entertaining. It was so satisfying to see all the threads come together. In that regard, These Divided Shores was the perfect conclusion to an already strong series. I just cannot believe how massively underrated and underhyped this series is because it is so good. The world-building is so well done and it’s not something that you have already seen a thousand times over. The jungle/swamp island setting, the plant-based magic system, the religious conflict - yes, this story has typical YA elements but it’s packaged in such a unique way that it makes the reading experience so refreshing. I honestly wish Raasch would pull a Bardugo and write another series in this world because I feel like it has so much more to tell.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    I was absolutely not ready for this beastly book. I laughed, I cried (like, I cried a lot), and everything in between. Sara's characters are so amazing and multifaceted, I definitely got more attached than I should have, hence the aforementioned crying. I'm a little sad to leave this world but I'm really excited to see what this author has planned next.

  12. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) TW: Torture, drug use Sometimes I forget that sequels are coming, and having been absolutely swept away by These Rebel Waves, I forgot that we needed an amazing sequel. Until I saw it on Edelweiss and was like, "OMG YES, I knew I needed this!" And These Divided Shores is everything I wanted and more. These Divided Shores throws us straight into the fray. Picking (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) TW: Torture, drug use Sometimes I forget that sequels are coming, and having been absolutely swept away by These Rebel Waves, I forgot that we needed an amazing sequel. Until I saw it on Edelweiss and was like, "OMG YES, I knew I needed this!" And These Divided Shores is everything I wanted and more. These Divided Shores throws us straight into the fray. Picking up moments after These Rebel Shores, we are reminded of the losses we suffered, comrades we lost, and the battles to come. What I loved most about These Divided Shores is that in this book our characters are forced to confront their actions from These Rebel Waves. It's a story of betrayal, love, and revenge. When the people we love are used against us as weapons to ensure obedience. In many ways, this sequel is heartbreaking. When the people we loved and trusted most betray us in the worst of ways. But at the same time, what makes These Divided Shores even more compelling are the shifting loyalties and motivations behind these actions. Even as your anger is boiling under your skin, you are granted a glimpse into their poisonous rhetoric, their blind belief. The way that magic, propaganda, and belief intersect. Creating this highly dangerous, combustible mixture that can turn on us in an instant. Sometimes it feels like we have no chance against the rising waves. But it's about that moment when we decide we need to take a stand. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  13. 4 out of 5

    J. Taylor

    Far supresses the first book which I did love but this one was faultless.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    All I can say about this book is that I pre-ordered it last September and I was not very patiently waiting for it to come out, and boy, it did not disappoint!! I loved this duology and am actually heartbroken that the story is over - I just want to spend more time with Lu, Vex, Ben and Gunnar (let's be real, especially Vex)! A 5/5 🌟 read!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    3.5 This book could've been 100 pages shorter and gotten the story across just as well. I started to get really irritated with the constant rehashing of narratives. I get it. Lu doesn't want to be a soldier anymore. Vex feels worthless. Ben is ashamed of "hiding". These points did not need to be iterated as many times as they were. And then there were the repetitive plot points. I got so sick of all the arguing constantly going on because it was just the same arguments over and over. There 3.5 This book could've been 100 pages shorter and gotten the story across just as well. I started to get really irritated with the constant rehashing of narratives. I get it. Lu doesn't want to be a soldier anymore. Vex feels worthless. Ben is ashamed of "hiding". These points did not need to be iterated as many times as they were. And then there were the repetitive plot points. I got so sick of all the arguing constantly going on because it was just the same arguments over and over. There was a narrative moment between Lu and her mother that would've been heartwrenchingly satisfying had the exact same narrative moment not already happened 250 pages earlier after a significantly less impactful moment. The writing style is just really not for me and even had me confused at times, which is something very unusual for me when reading. It made the experience incredibly frustrating. However, the story was excellent, with a unique take on magic and some genuinely surprising plot twists (though, she really should've cut a few). I also loved the characters (except Jakes, he was an absolute mess this book and I did not like his quick redemption). It was great seeing a wide range of female characters providing support in addition to the main girl and I liked that same-sex couples were just a thing that happened and not a big deal. It was nice to see that treated like any other relationship for once instead of yet another source of conflict. The story and characters on their own would get 5 stars from me, but I couldn't get passed the writing style to give it a higher rating.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jewel

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars This was an action-packed and dramatic duology finale, but I didn't enjoy it as much as "These Rebel Waves" because of the following reasons: 1.) I wasn't emotionally invested in the characters. More than half the time, I found Vex and Lu too angsty to the point of being bratty and even whiny. Ben's the most likable one among the three in this book, but I wasn't a fan of his romance subplot because it seemed contrived. Also, it was not easy familiarizing Actual rating: 3.5 stars This was an action-packed and dramatic duology finale, but I didn't enjoy it as much as "These Rebel Waves" because of the following reasons: 1.) I wasn't emotionally invested in the characters. More than half the time, I found Vex and Lu too angsty to the point of being bratty and even whiny. Ben's the most likable one among the three in this book, but I wasn't a fan of his romance subplot because it seemed contrived. Also, it was not easy familiarizing myself with the new characters while trying to remember the old ones. With the exception of the main characters and the HBIC Kari, it was hard to distinguish one side character from another. I did not even feel sad when some of them died. 2.) Even though a part of me was impressed by the elaborate world-building, I noticed that it wasn't seamlessly integrated into the storytelling. Instead, I was regularly bombarded by descriptions of plants & magic, and historical info. I got so distracted trying to remember all of them that I couldn't immerse myself in the story. Anyway, I wasn't amazed, but this book did have lovely quiet moments. My favorites were the scenes between Lu and Kari, Vex and Ben, Vex and Nayeli. I really wish there had been more emotionally charged scenes between those characters. I think that's my biggest frustration with this finale. I was starving for more meaningful interactions between those characters, but there were too many things going on and too many side characters stealing the spotlight. I missed the simpler storyline and smaller cast of "These Rebel Waves".

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katya

    Uhg. Okay. So. I had a hard time with this one. There were biiiiig lulls in the middle, probably the middle half that were really hard to get through. The first quarter was good, and the last quarter was good, but the middle just... dragged on so much so that this very nearly ended up a DNF. I wasn't sure going into it whether this was the last book (It is) so that may have contributed, but the pacing in this one just made it really hard to get through a good portion of it. For someone who gener Uhg. Okay. So. I had a hard time with this one. There were biiiiig lulls in the middle, probably the middle half that were really hard to get through. The first quarter was good, and the last quarter was good, but the middle just... dragged on so much so that this very nearly ended up a DNF. I wasn't sure going into it whether this was the last book (It is) so that may have contributed, but the pacing in this one just made it really hard to get through a good portion of it. For someone who generally reads books in about 24-36 hours, the fact that this took me a full week, which included a 4 day weekend, to finish, says a lot. That being said, I really truly did like the ending. Like, a lot. Which is why it got 3 stars instead of 2. I almost feel like both books could have been condensed into 1 longer book because the pacing just... wasn't there. Either that or more should have been expanded even if that meant going from 2 to 3 books. I don't know, but the pacing of the book itself and the series as a whole just didn't work. But the concept and the characters are great.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Di

    **I voluntarily read and reviewed a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.** I read These Rebel Waves about a year ago as an ARC and I was thrilled to also receive These Divided Shores, the second and final book in this duology from Blazer+Bray. Unfortunately I didn't have time to reread These Rebel Waves before I picked this one up, and I'm afraid that definitely had an adverse impact on my reading experience; there is little to no rehashing about the events from book one and t **I voluntarily read and reviewed a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.** I read These Rebel Waves about a year ago as an ARC and I was thrilled to also receive These Divided Shores, the second and final book in this duology from Blazer+Bray. Unfortunately I didn't have time to reread These Rebel Waves before I picked this one up, and I'm afraid that definitely had an adverse impact on my reading experience; there is little to no rehashing about the events from book one and this book picks right back up in the middle of the action where the first left off. I was struggling to remember some of the plot points and characters and sometimes I was even wondering if some of the new characters that were introduced in book two (and there were many) were mentioned in book one (they weren't). I think the major problem that I faced with this one was the duology format. For me, when it comes to duologies, you really need to consider whether there is enough actual exciting plot to fill two whole books, and when you are looking at about 1000 pages between the two books I'm afraid that especially in this second instalment, there was much that could have been cut out to make this a single standalone. That's not to say that there isn't a lot of action in the second book - there definitely was, however it just seemed repetitive and almost like a 'draw-by-numbers' where first you need to find this object, then you need to solve this clue, then go to this place and do this action and... You get my point? The characters were doing little to drive the plot but rather just participating, and while I loved the complexities and politically heavy storylines in These Rebel Waves, I found that it became a little too convoluted for me in this one and we spent much of the story recounting similar political/religious discussions. The crux of this duology and the characters are compelling and the world building and magic system is well thought out. I had enough sentiment from the first book that I still gave this one 3.5 stars and thoroughly enjoyed parts of what I read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ricky

    How long was it gonna be until someone told me there was a title and cover for this sequel to These Rebel Waves? And after that massive cliffhanger on the first book too! I wanna see some major-league ass-kicking in this book, too. Reylo-grade ass-kicking. We all know Raasch can make it happen! And guess what? Being Raasch, she delivers pretty well on this, the second half of her second series, and a pretty perfect piece of duology conclusion. All How long was it gonna be until someone told me there was a title and cover for this sequel to These Rebel Waves? And after that massive cliffhanger on the first book too! I wanna see some major-league ass-kicking in this book, too. Reylo-grade ass-kicking. We all know Raasch can make it happen! And guess what? Being Raasch, she delivers pretty well on this, the second half of her second series, and a pretty perfect piece of duology conclusion. All the lingering questions of These Rebel Waves are answered as the story comes full circle, and with a lot more world-building to go along with it. We don't really explore other nations beyond Grace Loray and Argrid very much, but the cosmopolitan nature of the island's society really comes into the spotlight, as we get a lot more little bits of culture from other places besides Gunnar's native Mechtlands. For instance, Emerdian masonry, capable of endlessly shifting, and therefore useful for the construction of seemingly inescapable prisons. Of course, no prison-builder or hypocritical Inquisition-like theocratic assbutt king of Argrid could have seen the likes of Lu, Vex, and Ben coming. 500-plus pages fly pretty quickly in Raasch's latest, and as always, I'm begging for more from her. But for now, I'm bidding this series ave atque vale while eagerly awating her next work!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Saruuh Kelsey

    I can't believe this series is over! I only figured out it was a duology at 95% in. This is honestly one of my favourite series ever (and since I didn't really like Ice Like Fire, that's majorly surprising.) I'm already in withdrawals. I would genuinely read another two books, just of Ben and Gunnar redeeming Argrid and Lu, Vex, Nayeli, and Cansu sorting out Grace Loray. I'm gonna miss these characters so much. And the world full of botanical magic and pirates and politics! And the va I can't believe this series is over! I only figured out it was a duology at 95% in. This is honestly one of my favourite series ever (and since I didn't really like Ice Like Fire, that's majorly surprising.) I'm already in withdrawals. I would genuinely read another two books, just of Ben and Gunnar redeeming Argrid and Lu, Vex, Nayeli, and Cansu sorting out Grace Loray. I'm gonna miss these characters so much. And the world full of botanical magic and pirates and politics! And the various peoples and religions of Grace Loray! I probably won't miss the burning people at stakes and 'purifying' heretics though ... but I would totally read more of that if I got to stay with Lu and Vex for two more books.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hira Chaudhary

    WAY TO ABSOLUTELY DESTROY ME, SARA RAASCH. But also, thank you. That was amazing and incredible and I absolutely loved every single second of it. This was such a grand sequel and fulfilled all my desires and also killed me and also made me cry and also made me so incredibly happy. It destroyed me how completely broken all my children were in this one. How Vex thought Lu was dead and how Lu was so shattered over her father's betrayal and how Ben wanted to do the right thing. It kills m WAY TO ABSOLUTELY DESTROY ME, SARA RAASCH. But also, thank you. That was amazing and incredible and I absolutely loved every single second of it. This was such a grand sequel and fulfilled all my desires and also killed me and also made me cry and also made me so incredibly happy. It destroyed me how completely broken all my children were in this one. How Vex thought Lu was dead and how Lu was so shattered over her father's betrayal and how Ben wanted to do the right thing. It kills me how Vex was dying of his Shaking Sickness, how he couldn't hide it anymore, how he began hating his body because of how it kept giving out on him. It kills me how Lu was consumed by her nightmares, how Ibarra and her father broke her, how she just wanted everything to end. It kills me how Ben just wanted to keep the people he cared about safe, how he just wanted to make Argrid better, how he just wanted to do things the right way. Vex fighting to save Kari when he thought Lu was dead because he knew that was what she would have wanted was amazing and heartbreaking. And I died when he told Kari he had loved her daughter. I love how he just wanted to save Ben, how much he cared about his cousin. I really love the bond between them, how they're like brothers, how they would do anything for each other. I died over how Vex kept pushing himself, how he was dying of the Shaking Sickness, (also a tad annoyed that even after Lu came back, she kept low key forgetting to help him out), how he took the permanent magic potion at the end and how he was the one to kill Elazar and how he saved the day and how the extreme dose of magic healed him and knit his body back together and he realized his body had healed itself, how he didn't have to hate his own body anymore, how his body had saved him, he had saved himself. That was just amazing and I loved it so much. Vex is just everything <3 (also, Vex calling himself a heretic and thinking there was something wrong with him and how he can finally reconcile his Argridian heritage) Lu killed me. Just absolutely destroyed me. The way Ibarra became a living nightmare in her life, the way that even after (view spoiler)[killing him, (hide spoiler)] nothing changed, because the torture had already been done, the breaking was already complete. And then her father being one of them was just so awful and killed me. I kept wanting him to redeem himself, but he was just a jerkface and he did SO MANY terrible things. I loved how Lu was the one to figure out permanent magic and how the plant that stuck with her was the opposing plant to the one she feared most. I love how strong she remained through it all and it destroyed me how she just wanted to stop being a soldier and how her mother kept telling her she could and how she couldn't, not until it was over. I really loved her relationship with her mother. Ben is just amazing and I loved the friendship between him and Lu and how they worked together on the magic and how close they got under Elazar's imprisonment. I loved his bond with Gunnar and it killed me how Elazar used Gunnar against his son. I love how Gunnar wanted to protect Ben and how well they worked together, how they just had to give each other a look to convey a whole conversation. I loved Gunnar's fire magic and how strong and amazing he was. I love how he proposed in the epilogue and how he chose to stay with Ben and how cute and adorable and perfect they both were together. I loved Nayeli and her love for Cansu and how they finally get to be together. Kari was a badass and I love how she took over everything and always had a plan. Fatemah was interesting, and I love how she cared about her people. I loved Nate and Pierce to no end. They were the greatest. And Rosalia was a badass. Terrible, but awesome. And Edda, darling Edda, I loved her with all my heart and how she was like a mother to Vex and how she was always the one to say the things he and Nayeli needed to hear. I loved Teo and what a sweetheart he was and the bonds he formed with Vex, Nayeli, and Edda. It kills me how Elazar took him and tried to use him and how he was (view spoiler)[Tom's son (hide spoiler)] and how they tried to turn him against Lu and Vex and the others. I just loved this book and everything about it and how dark and intense the war got and how the people of Grace Loray had to come together and it kills me how so many of them were lost, but I love how they can rebuild now and how they've learned so much more about the plants and how Lu is going to do things the right way. I love how Ben became king and how Gunnar went with him. I love how Kari is going to work with the syndicate leaders. I loved this book. So. Dang. Much <3

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dani Amaya

    E-galley provided by Edelweiss and HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and quotations are based off an uncorrected proof ----------- "It will not be a war at all, in fact - it will be a lesson on the blessings that come with obedience" So I think I rounded up. In reality, the book is more of a 1.7. It's not the worst book I've ever read. I just feel like I had a bad time reading it. And this time, it wasn't even my fault. It was the book's. First, The Good: I really liked Vex. I liked the romance between----------- E-galley provided by Edelweiss and HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and quotations are based off an uncorrected proof ----------- "It will not be a war at all, in fact - it will be a lesson on the blessings that come with obedience" So I think I rounded up. In reality, the book is more of a 1.7. It's not the worst book I've ever read. I just feel like I had a bad time reading it. And this time, it wasn't even my fault. It was the book's. First, The Good: I really liked Vex. I liked the romance between Lu and Vex. It was sweet and cute. I also loved Ben's romance as well. Neither of these felt like they were given enough time, but I liked them. I also moderately enjoyed a plant-based magic system. It's different, at least. And yeah...I think that's about it.... The Bad: I think the biggest problem was the narration. The switches in P.O.V happen suddenly and way too drastically. I've never read a book that confused me more. Between paragraphs the narration changes, the setting, the place in time? Like I said, confusing. It made the book a bad read. Like, actually just bad. I kept getting frustrated because I kept missing the sentence or clue that was supposed to tell me what the heck was going on. I had to pour through each word to get what the author was trying to say. The writing is also so vague at times. And in the most important places as well. I just would have no idea who was living, who was dying, or if a twist just happened. At a certain point, I couldn't keep stopping and I just continued reading. If a certain character ended up speaking again, then YAY I guess they didn't die! Another thing I had trouble with was the depiction of multiple languages. Supposedly, this world has a lot of fictional languages. However you only know that because of descriptions such as "The voices speaking Argridian came from..." which makes sense. Plenty of books do that. However, the book goes out of its way to add stuff like, "They'd be irmáns, brothers..."Which would be one thing if this world was made up, but it's not??? It's?? Literally just the word hermanos which means brothers, just spelled weirdly??? And this happens throughout the whole series? I don't understand the book only bases one of its languages (Argridian: fictional) on a real language? Just on a storytelling level, it was really weird and off-putting. The Ugly: Within the story, there were also some problems. The magic system didn't always seem consistent and didn't really had rules. It wasn't well established enough to where I understood what was happening. It was the fantasy equivalent to watching a science-y show where actors just say big words that don't mean anything, but sure it solves the problem. It couldn't feel real because it broke it's own rules and didn't explain much. This book suffered majorly from character vomit, which is what I call it when a book just dumps a whole bunch of new characters and just expects you to keep up. There was one character introduced that I thought was related to another character, turns out I was wrong, they were actually In lOvE and I didn't even notice until they KISSED. That was rough. Because I didn't know who people were I wasn't very attached to anyone, not that it mattered since everyone was a jerk anyway. I didn't really get a lot of consistence from anyone's character at all. Like, at all. Vex Bell was set up to be this super cool unaffiliated raider, notorious amongst the people, little kids DRESS UP AS HIM. Then, he does not much this whole series and the majority of his ARC is about how he is useless? I thought he was capable of stuff? Like, anything? And of course, the exhausting plot twists. They weren't good. A lot of them felt thrown in? Just to make characters feel bad? Just reveals that did nothing to the overall plot and don't even get addressed well, they are just there to make bad moments feel bad. Or of course the ole' "OMG this person is the dAD?" then TWO CHAPTERS LATER, "Oh No TurNs oUt, THIS PerSOn is the DaD?" Riveting stuff. It didn't even really make sense. TL;DR I didn't want this book to be a rant, I hate talking down books. This book had decent moments and a whole lotta mess. Honestly, if you really want my opinion, read something else.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy A

    3.5 Originally posted at Vampire Book Club It’s been two weeks since King Elazar of Argrid’s forces have stormed the shores of Grace Loray with the intention of controlling the island once more. His presence has caused a division between the free people and the raider syndicates. While trying to form a cohesive stand against King Elazar, Devereaux “Vex” Bell is still reeling from his cousin Ben’s capture and Lu’s death. All he can think about is to keep moving forward and the first step in h 3.5 Originally posted at Vampire Book Club It’s been two weeks since King Elazar of Argrid’s forces have stormed the shores of Grace Loray with the intention of controlling the island once more. His presence has caused a division between the free people and the raider syndicates. While trying to form a cohesive stand against King Elazar, Devereaux “Vex” Bell is still reeling from his cousin Ben’s capture and Lu’s death. All he can think about is to keep moving forward and the first step in his plan is to free Lu’s mother Kari the Wave from captivity. Kari was instrumental in the success of Grace Loray’s rebellion six years ago and Vex is hoping she can work the same magic this time around. Meanwhile, Ben and a not-really-dead Lu are being held captive by Ben’s father King Elazar and forced to work on a magic that will ensure his triumph over the “evil” the permeates Grace Loray. The stakes are high and while in the heart of the conflict, Vex, Ben, and Lu also represent different sides within said conflict. They’ll have to reconcile the parts they each have to play in order to ensure Grace Loray’s survival. These Divided Shores was kinda tough to get through, starting out anyway. There is little to none as far as recapping goes. The story picks up two weeks after the end of These Rebel Waves and it starts running and pretty much doesn’t stop. It’s in the little bits and pieces of information thrown out that I was able to remember everything that occurred previously. If possible, I highly recommend a reread of the first book beforehand. I think it’s in this constant state of go go go that the story loses the most momentum in terms of development and deepening the characters. There is so much division between all the different groups who have a stake in Grace Loray’s success, or failure, and none of the groups can manage to speak to each other for the majority of the book. While I understand the bigger commentary going on here (how we all need to work together and come together to enact change even with our differing views), it creates quite the jumble. During all this we see Lu, Vex, and Ben struggle with their place in the war and wonder what their future could possibly hold in the future. They struggle with holding fast to their convictions or if giving up a little of what they believe in, in order to win is worth it. These conflicts felt extremely relatable, but unfortunately they kind of get overshadowed by the fact that no one is speaking clearly to anyone else for the majority of the book. Looking past all this, however, and you’ll still find a story that utilizes a wonderfully unique magic system in botanical magic. I loved Lu’s continued knowledge and experiments. Also, the so-wonderful-I-didn’t-know-I-needed-it-until-I-had-it romance between Ben and Gunnar (the Mecht fire-wielding Eye of the Sun). Their build up throughout the book was absolutely on point. In fact, I need Ben and Gunnar centered novella stat. Overall, These Divided Shores gave a satisfying, I’d say even an excellent, ending, just getting there was a bit of a struggle, but maybe that speaks more to life than I realized.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Haley ⚡️

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I haven't felt this 'fangirly' about a new book in what feels like a while. I loved this book. Beware, it is on the strong talk of religion throughout the course of this book and the first one but that's what happens when something takes over the lives of people. It's talked about. Although Elazar is the villain, the religion aspect takes it to a whole new level. For characters, where do I even begin? Lu and Vex. They are paired in such a real way. It's not all butterflies I haven't felt this 'fangirly' about a new book in what feels like a while. I loved this book. Beware, it is on the strong talk of religion throughout the course of this book and the first one but that's what happens when something takes over the lives of people. It's talked about. Although Elazar is the villain, the religion aspect takes it to a whole new level. For characters, where do I even begin? Lu and Vex. They are paired in such a real way. It's not all butterflies and flowers. They weren't together the entirety of the series. They has different issues and aspect that were easy to relate it. I like how they also didn't get back together right away and everything be okay. It took work. Ben and Gunnar. I was rooting for them as soon as I caught a whiff of them touching and being close in any way. They did not disappoint in that matter. I love them together and once again, their relationship seems real. It's not constantly perfect, they are two completely different characters with they're own ways that don't like to be intruded on. Teo. His story line was crazy from beginning to end. The fact that Tom was his father is insane. But Teo was able to leave that behind (with or without knowing about who his true father is) and be happy with Jakes and Lu and his family is great. He's a kid who was closely related to in life events as Lu. Tom and Kari. Two different people who both loved their sides so much that they did bad things for the greater good. I almost hate Tom more than I hate Elazar. I feel so bad for Kari because her marriage was ripped to shreds from the very beginning. But overall, she came out of top due to her need to protect her daughter and her home. It was never Tom's home, just a temporary stay whilst he helped his Holy leader. You expected Elazar to be as he is; corrupted with power and leadership and the need to think he was the Pious God's incarnate. But the fact that Tom never objected to anything Elazar said and the need Tom felt to be in Elazar's good graces is digusting. He went on to cheat on Kari, resulting in a child. Tom easily could've left Argrid behind. I think I'm most angry about how hideous Tom is as a character. As a husband and father, he did things no one should do. Elazar did bad things to Vex (Paxben) but that was expected for a crazed ruler. Tom seemed normal until shit hit the fan. I feel like I'm rambling now. All in all, I enjoyed this duology. I'm a bit saddened it's over but glad it's not being dragged out over books it doesn't need to be.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    I immediately fell in love with These Rebel Waves when I started reading it last year, and after that ending I couldn't wait to read the sequel. These Divided Shores, second and last book of the series, left the same impression with me. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop, I still want to keep reading it even though it's over. This one is definitely darker than book one because while they were mostly trying to avoid another war, in These Divided Shores the war is here. There are a lot of fight of every ways, I immediately fell in love with These Rebel Waves when I started reading it last year, and after that ending I couldn't wait to read the sequel. These Divided Shores, second and last book of the series, left the same impression with me. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop, I still want to keep reading it even though it's over. This one is definitely darker than book one because while they were mostly trying to avoid another war, in These Divided Shores the war is here. There are a lot of fight of every ways, a lot of despair. But despite all this, Ben, Lu, and Vex still find some rest and I was happy for them. I can't explain how much I love these three main characters. From the very beginning I loved Lu with all my heart but the more I was reading the more I loved Vex too, and specially Ben. They all have a special place in my heart. They did everything they could to help even though they don't have a high esteem of themselves. Like, please, you're all amazing and I'd give my life for you, you are not unworthy. I admit at moments I was yelling at my book “nooo what are you doing??” but it's what made them humans, making bad decisions. I'm so glad I could follow them in their adventures watch them grow and become who they are now. I also absolutely loved all the relationships they had, between them three or with other people. Characters and relationships are my favourite part in every story so the fact that I love all of them to death in These Divided Shores means a lot to me. Of all the relationships, I have a huge weakness for the support Nayeli gave Lu when she needed it, when Lu thought nothing of herself but a soldier again and all alone having to do her duty, Nayeli was here for her, to help and support her, and it warmed my heart. As I said before, the story got much darker because of the war, the atrocities they had to do or suffer but it showed a different part of everyone, what they'd do in these darker times and I liked that. I also liked that we got to see more of the Grace Loray people, if you were wondering about the Emerdian and Grozdan syndicates like me, you'll be happy to learn more about them here. Brick by brick. Stone by stone. Wave by wave, they would all move forward. Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ruthsic

    2.5 stars Warnings: torture, child abuse, suicide, massacre, gun violence Rep: gay main character, WoC main character, chronic illness, queer and PoC secondary characters With how much I liked the previous book, I was excited going into this book. Ben and Lu are Elazar's captives, and Vex thinks the latter is dead and is trying to free the former. Along with other Raider syndicates and with the help of Kari, he is trying to free Ben, while also hiding his identity. Meanwhile, Lu is being tortured to wor/>Rep:/>Warnings: 2.5 stars Warnings: torture, child abuse, suicide, massacre, gun violence Rep: gay main character, WoC main character, chronic illness, queer and PoC secondary characters With how much I liked the previous book, I was excited going into this book. Ben and Lu are Elazar's captives, and Vex thinks the latter is dead and is trying to free the former. Along with other Raider syndicates and with the help of Kari, he is trying to free Ben, while also hiding his identity. Meanwhile, Lu is being tortured to work on permanent magic, and discovers how much of a traitor her father is. Now, the book is mainly about the Raiders trying to overthrow Elazar's rule of Grace Loray, while also contending with his religious propaganda machine that vilifies Raiders and sows hatred in the island's people towards magic, so it is pretty much a one-track plot. Now, with a single-minded plot, and continuous action, you'd think this book would be engaging right? But the pacing is so slow, it was boring and I kept getting distracted. It wastes too many words on each scene - I could skip a couple of lines and still get the gist of it - that it is unnecessarily long. With a shaky and confusing first half filled with way too many characters and a third-person perspective that switches narrative focus from character to character within the same page, reading this book felt like a chore. I was waiting for it be over by the time I even reached half of the book; the second half was slightly better but not much so, considering my patience was already shot by that time. There were a couple of plot decisions that didn't make sense to me - like why Elazar would bother with his public proclamations personally, or why Lu left that one vial behind. The themes of the book are good, though - it talks about how rebels are easily cast as villains, how propaganda can manipulate people, the cost of war and revenge. It gives a satisfactory enough ending to the duology, so it has that going for it, too. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Balzer + Bray, via Edelweiss.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melany

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is insane. Wow. I don’t even know where to begin? Like how am I even supposed to sum up how much I loved this book? Because literally everything about this book was spectacular to me. The characters, the world, the message, the development, the way the plot threads all came together in the end? This is PURE EXCELLENCE, my friends. These Divided Shores was such a rollercoaster, and I can’t believe I made it out alive. (Unlike some... R.I.P) (still sobbing about it, i’m fINE) This book is insane. Wow. I don’t even know where to begin? Like how am I even supposed to sum up how much I loved this book? Because literally everything about this book was spectacular to me. The characters, the world, the message, the development, the way the plot threads all came together in the end? This is PURE EXCELLENCE, my friends. These Divided Shores was such a rollercoaster, and I can’t believe I made it out alive. (Unlike some... R.I.P) (still sobbing about it, i’m fINE) I think one of the many strongest aspects of this book would have to be to characters and their development within this duology. I seriously love these characters with every fiber of my being. They all felt fierce and badass, yet real and relatable? And they are SO FUNNY. Oh my god. So many good one liners in this series I can’t even begin to explain. So in conclusion, I don’t believe I will ever be able to adequately express how amazing the characters are. I would honestly die for any and all of them (except maybe Elazar? Milo? Others that shall not be named because spoilers? Yea, fuck them) All I’m saying is that you will probably fall in love with AT LEAST one of them. (I’ll be here saying I told you so and you’re welcome LOL) (bonus points if it’s Vex) Also I just have to mention that the writing is really beautiful. I have been following Sara Raasch for years now, and I absolutely adored her first series as well (it’s called Snow Like Ashes; check it out if you haven’t already!) It has been such a delight to see her grow and develop as a writer. This book definitely felt like she unlocked a whole other level!! It was insane and I loved every bit of it. (The talent jumped TF out!!) (we stan SO hard) (Sara if you ever read this, which you probably won’t but anyways lmao, ily) Just trust me and give this series a shot! It’s truly amazing and is definitely one of my new all time favorites.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Narah Quinn

    This. Book. Made. Me. So. HAPPY! When I read These Rebel Waves last year it kinda took me by surprise with how much I loved it. These Divided Shores has a different feel to it, there is a far more serious, and sinister, edge to it and the levels of betrayal are just something else. But it is full of all the feels, revelations I was not expecting, one I did not even see coming, and a part of my brain was thinking maybe I just missed a bit, but I really just did not put 2 and 2 together until it w This. Book. Made. Me. So. HAPPY! When I read These Rebel Waves last year it kinda took me by surprise with how much I loved it. These Divided Shores has a different feel to it, there is a far more serious, and sinister, edge to it and the levels of betrayal are just something else. But it is full of all the feels, revelations I was not expecting, one I did not even see coming, and a part of my brain was thinking maybe I just missed a bit, but I really just did not put 2 and 2 together until it was spelt out on the page for me! Picking up barely a couple of weeks after the end events of These Rebel Waves (which we will not talk about because, still, how very dare you!) Grace Loray is more dangerous than it has ever been and Elazar (eeeugh!) is determined to rid Grace Loray of its evil. Between Elazar and Milo Ibarra I have rarely been more uncomfortable, they just leech off the page, and all you want to do, like Lu, is find a way to be free of them, to find safety and comfort in your mother, your friends, your skill with magic. I enjoyed the story a lot, I really loved the ways that the characters developed as a whole, as well as individually, I really liked the uniting against a common enemy and the figuring out new magics, and the way that each syndicate had something that was common knowledge to them but completely unknown to everyone else! I had missed Lu and Vex and Ben and Gunnar, and the emotion in this book was raw and real and, please, just read it and feel it too, it will all be worth it!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amy Braun

    A fitting ending to a duology that I really enjoyed with characters I will genuinely miss. I really loved this book's take on magic and it's complex characters. The story focused a little more on character drama, as everyone, no matter how relevant they were to the story, was faced with at least one difficult choice that ultimately changed them. The action was still solid and nail-biting, thanks to Raasch's quick, in-the-moment writing. The character journeys were quite compelling, even though a A fitting ending to a duology that I really enjoyed with characters I will genuinely miss. I really loved this book's take on magic and it's complex characters. The story focused a little more on character drama, as everyone, no matter how relevant they were to the story, was faced with at least one difficult choice that ultimately changed them. The action was still solid and nail-biting, thanks to Raasch's quick, in-the-moment writing. The character journeys were quite compelling, even though at times they reacted in ways that made me ask "Wait, why are you doing that?" This was most evident with Vex, who definitely spiralled into a self-deprecating spiral that I rooted for him to get out with. Of all the plot lines, while I found all of them engrossing and riveting, Ben was my favourite in this finale. His character grew and changed and morphed into a powerful presence. Lu continued to be strong and empowering, even as her world began to collapse. And though he lost some of his snarky charm due to the circumstances surrounding him, I still adored Vex. All in all, I was very happy with this finale. It was exciting, romantic, and satisfying. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an epic series to read!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    Diving back into Grace Loray after book one, These Rebel Waves, left me with a mean cliffhanger and I will admit that cliffhanger was worth it after finishing These Divided Shores. I will admit that I wished I re-read These Rebel Waves before reading the sequel. As I was reading I was remembering more and more, but I know there were a couple of things that I was blanking on and wished I remembered better. But hey, I did remember the mean cliffhanger and the awesome characters Lu, Vex, and Ben. T Diving back into Grace Loray after book one, These Rebel Waves, left me with a mean cliffhanger and I will admit that cliffhanger was worth it after finishing These Divided Shores. I will admit that I wished I re-read These Rebel Waves before reading the sequel. As I was reading I was remembering more and more, but I know there were a couple of things that I was blanking on and wished I remembered better. But hey, I did remember the mean cliffhanger and the awesome characters Lu, Vex, and Ben. The book picks up a few weeks after the first book left off. Vex believes Lu is dead and as he fights his grief for losing her, he focuses his energy on finding and rescuing his cousin Ben. Little does Vex know that Lu is alive and Ben and her are prisoners. While Vex fights to break out Ben (and unknowing to him, Lu), Lu, Ben, and Gunnar are trying to survive the torture they are facing and the pressure to make permanent magic. The book has adventure, heartache, love, and loss. Enemies learn to come together, though not easily, to fight for a common goal. And Lu, Vex, and Ben are in the middle of it all. I really loved this sequel and the twists and turns it took. Nothing was predictable which made it all the better. And I loved getting to know these characters even more. Great finale!

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