Review: Wondering Sight (The Extraordinaries #2) by Melissa McShane

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Overall Score: 7/10

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Series: Yes, Book 2 (Review for book 1 here)

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Release Date: January 19, 2017

Source: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Summary (From GoodReads)

Sophia Westlake is an Extraordinary Seer, gifted with the ability to see past, present and future in Dreams and Visions. Her talent led to the destruction of the Caribbean pirates plaguing England’s shipping and gained her renown and the accolades of her peers. But when she accuses a prominent politician, Lord Endicott, of embezzling from the Army, her Dream is “proved” false and she is disgraced, her reputation ruined and her career in the Army’s War Office over. Humiliated, Sophia returns to London, but Lord Endicott follows her, intent on making her life increasingly miserable. Furious and desperate, Sophia takes the only course left to her: she sets out to discover Lord Endicott’s criminal enterprises, to expose him as the fraud he is and bring him to justice.

Sophia’s allies are few, but loyal. Cecy, her best friend, supports Sophia in her quest, while her cousin Lady Daphne, an irrepressible Extraordinary Bounder, is always ready for a challenge that will strike at Lord Endicott’s heart. And always watching her is the mysterious Mr. Rutledge, who claims to be interested in Sophia’s friendship—and possibly more than that—but who has an agenda of his own.

But as Sophia delves deeper into prophetic Dreams, Cecy and Daphne begin to fear for Sophia’s health and sanity. Driven to collapse by her frequent Dreaming, Sophia is forced to reevaluate her motives: does she want Lord Endicott brought to justice, or is it revenge she seeks? As Sophia draws closer to the secret of Lord Endicott’s criminal enterprise, a counterfeiting ring, his torment of Sophia increases, until the two are bound together by their respective obsessions. Though Sophia insists she is in control, her friends fear she is turning into the man she most hates.

Sophia’s Dreams and Visions are leading her to just one place: the destruction of Lord Endicott. But the cost of her vengeance may be too high—and may demand the sacrifice of her own life.

Review

Wondering Sight begins with Sophia Westlake returning to London after her career with the War Office ends in disgrace. She accused Lord Endicott of various crimes and had her sight discredited when he used his power and influence to cover up the evidence. Bent on revenge, Sophia is consumed by her obsession to prove that her dream was true.

Burning Bright was one of my favorite books of 2016 and I have been eagerly awaiting the sequel. However, Wondering Sight didn’t quite have the same magic for me. The reader doesn’t have a chance to connect with Sophia before the action beginnings. Since she was such a minor (yet important) character in the previous book, I would have preferred a bit more background up front. Sophia originally comes off as a very prideful and somewhat selfish character. While my opinion of her changed vastly over the course of the novel, my original impression meant that I wasn’t able to connect with her until about halfway through the novel.

Lord Endicott was an incredibly interesting villain. He was talented, smart, and powerful. However, I don’t feel as if his supposed madness was handled very well. It made the plot somewhat overly complicated as his character kept shifting. That being said, the secondary characters were my favorite part of the novel. Daphne was an engaging character and I hope to see more of her in the future. While I wish that Cecy hadn’t been so defined by her illness, I love that the author included a chronically ill character and that she played such a pivotal role.

As for Mr. Rutledge, I really liked him as both a character and love interest. The romance developed naturally and was full of wonderful misunderstandings and complications (think Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth). My one complaint about the romance is that I wish there had been more of it. While I’m a fan of slow-burning/developing romances, I would have liked to see a little bit more interaction between the two.

The plot was an intricate game of cat and mouse between Sophia and Lord Endicott. It developed rather slowly. I believe that the second half of the novel was much stronger than the first. While I would recommend reading book one for the initial world-building, this book did a good job of expanding and building upon the previous novel. It can be read as a standalone.

Overall, I think this book was interesting but had some flaws. I did really enjoy being back in this world, even if my favorite characters never appeared. I would recommend this book if you enjoyed Burning Bright and want to see more of the world.

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