There’s no way I could review I Am Margaret and just leave it at that. It would be thoroughly against my nature to leave the series unfinished without addressing each installment in turn.
The Three Most Wanted is book two in the series, and I can say that it is also a good book. I’ll keep this review short, again, so that I don’t spoil the plot.
I have to say that this installment is definitely more of a transition story — the middle installment — than a complete tale in itself. That is not a problem; you can’t have Return of the King without The Two Towers, even if that middle story leaves you thinking, “wait, I haven’t gotten any farther than this yet?” The Three Most Wanted has that same sort of unfinished feel. Again, that’s just the way it goes when you’re reading a story that encompasses more than one book.
In spite of that, the author, Corinna Turner, does a good job pacing the story again. There are plenty of fight scenes, emotionally intense moments, and points where you just can’t turn the page fast enough; on the other hand, there are plenty of down-time moments, conversations with characters, some history of this particular dystopian universe, and just enough romance to satisfy.
In general, it’s a little slower than the first installment, but again, that is how it should be. The plot is a good one; I have no little issues with her points, with one small exception. The ending (which I will not reveal here) seemed to be just a tiny bit too convenient. Basically, it felt like the three main characters — Margaret, Bane, and Jon — after having lived through all the crap that Turner threw at them in the rest of the book, managed to get off rather easily, given the circumstances. It wasn’t objectively easy (I mean, come on, they’re organizing a mass escape from — NO! Shutting up!), but compared to how they’d been picked on in the book thus far, you keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, and then it doesn’t.
That would be a major problem if this was meant to be the last book in the series. If they suddenly lived happily ever after, then yes, you’d be disappointed. It would be like Jack Bauer getting beat up, tortured, shot, and nearly killed all through Season Two of 24, and then managing to keep the US from going to war with the Middle East simply by having a pleasant conversation with the involved parties at the end. You’d stare at the screen thinking, what the hell just happened? Where’s the Jack Bauer I know and love! Where’s the gunfire, the magnificent (and utterly absurd, usually) feats of martial arts and marksmanship? That only works if you know that there’s more crap headed for Jack Bauer’s face in the next season.
Here, the characters get a little break, finally. They deserve it, and you know that they’re not finished yet. They managed to jump from the frying pan and into the fire, then scramble out of the fire, but you know for a fact that they’re about to jump right back in again. It makes the story a little different from the first installment, but worth reading, and definitely enough to make you go buy the next book in the series.
I’ll give it another solid four out of five stars. Turner seems to be much more comfortable with her writing style in this installment — either that, or I was just more used to her style, which is also possible. I didn’t find myself getting jarred out of the story, like I did last time, when I encountered things like Latin phrases being used, and so on. Once again, the story is specifically Catholic, but I believe that it is good enough to stand on its own merits. If you thought Catching Fire was hard on Katness Everdeen, you’re going to feel even worse for these three most wanted heroes.
Keep reading. I’ll review the next book as soon as I’m finished with it.
Follow the squirrel minion to get to Lori’s website, Little Squirrel Books.