Harbinger by Lee French and Erik Kort

Harbinger by Lee French & Erik Kort(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

Adjusting to her new life as a soul-bound agent of the Fallen has Chavali pushing herself harder than ever before. Between learning to fight, dealing with idiots, and climbing stairs – lots of stairs – she has little time to waste on thoughts of the future. Or the past.

When another agent fails to report in, Chavali is sent on the mission to discover her fate. Ready or not, she saddles up for a new adventure with new dangers.

The search takes her to Ket, a coastal city slathered in mystery. There, she faces ghosts from her past and demons of her future as she seeks answers. All she seems to find are more questions.

Plague, murder, lies, espionage…this city harbors much more than meets the eye, and maybe too much to handle.

[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook in conjunction with the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.]

One of the only real things that disappointed me in the last book was that we never explored the origins of the Fallen.  I was expecting French and Kort to go into their mysterious origins a little bit but that never really happened, unfortunately.  Their world-building was just as good as it was when they wrote the first book, but in some ways Harbinger brings up more questions than it answers.  Still, I could really appreciate the time and effort they both put into fleshing out the city of Ket, where all of the main action takes place.

In the first book Chavali went through huge changes as a character.  She does that here in book two but not to the same degree, really.  What’s interesting is that with Harris she learns mercy and with Colby she learns that not everything is black and white and seeing the world that way can be a significant hindrance.  And what was far more interesting to me personally was the way she interacted with people, helping them with their problems in an honest sort of way and caring about someone besides herself.  That’s definitely a marked difference from The Fallen.  She’s no saint, but I did love the way her character developed so naturally throughout the book.

The best and sometimes worst part of Harbinger is the plot.  It’s the best thing because it’s much more complex and fast-paced than that of the previous book.  It’s also the ‘worst’ thing because sometimes it’s too complex and there are far too many new names brought up without sufficient backstory.  That’s not necessarily a major thing because it doesn’t detract from the overarching goal (find Elise and find out why she died) but it does make things more than a little confusing at some points, especially when you get everyone’s spies involved in the group’s business.  I would have liked for either a little more fleshing out of each character or just fewer minor characters just to keep the plot straight.

Still, I did enjoy Harbinger on the whole.  I loved Erik Kort and Lee French’s world and their world-building.  Their major characters were much more fleshed out this time around and Chavali really is turning into a different person as one of the Fallen.  My only real complaints were the lack of new backstory discovered and the introduction of too many minor characters without really fleshing them out.  But the question is: will I be reading the third book?  Of course because I want to see what happens to Chavali and the gang; I’ve come to care for them as characters.

I give this book 3.5/5 stars.

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