I don’t post review scores on this site, but I do on Goodreads and Amazon. Whenever I give a book five stars on those sites, as I did with The Rose: Volume 1 (you can see my full review here), when it comes time to review its follow-up, I worry a little about the follow-up being better. Those sites don’t let me award six stars, after all. This is pertinent here because The Rose: Volume 2 (which I’ll refer to as Volume 2—to make sure you don’t confuse it with Volume 1) is indeed better than its predecessor.
While you won’t know it from the two days between these reviews being posted, after reading and drafting my review of Volume 1, I jumped straight into this follow-up. Generally, I let the predecessor percolate for a little longer, but on the strength of that book, I was eager to jump into the sequel. As this improves upon it, I now have a long wait ahead of me. Volume 2 does not stand on its own, nor does it pretend to, however, the author including a summary of its predecessor’s major events is a great addition for anyone who’s spent more than a few hours between these books.
One thing that struck me early in my reading of Volume 2 is just how different it is to its predecessor. Where that is a combination of dystopia, thriller, adventure, science fiction and horror, Volume 2 pairs these elements down. They are still ever present here, but Volume 2’s focus is far more on science fiction and adventure. This book is far more freewheeling, and allows itself to have more fun as it continues the story.
At 651 pages in paperback (and an estimated 491 pages in eBook), Volume 2 is a little more than double Volume 1’s length. This affords it the space for the freewheeling feel author PD Alleva has imbued it with, and also allows the story to shine. This is a bigger story in every sense of the word, expanding the scope considerably. It is also due to this expanded scope that it can be more easily categorised as a science fiction adventure story than the first volume.
Though it fits more neatly into these genres, it still packs a hefty punch. The story is still dark, and its themes are as sharp as ever, if not sharper. The violence from its predecessor is just as raw as it ever was, despite its scope being far bigger, far broader, than before.
Volume 2 also improves upon the plot from the first, with even more moving parts as the first. This isn’t as mysterious, but features plenty of twists and turns. I won’t go into the plot (the blurb above this review provides a nice overview, however) for fear of spoiling it. I am more loathe to do so than normal as this book opens with a twist that sets the scene. It’s a great opening hook, and it is a testament to Alleva’s storytelling ability that the story just improves from there.
As with Volume 1, the characterisation in Volume 2 is wonderful. Once again, these characters are clearly defined and relatable. They are all rich, and as the book swaps points of view, they are all relatable. Volume 2 also spends a lot more time exploring the vampiric Dracs, and I appreciate that these characters are just as strongly defined as the humans.
The prose in Volume 2 is as strong as it was in its predecessor, and dare I say it, even stronger. It is still dense with lengthy paragraphs, but feels cleaner throughout. Volume 2 also features more dialogue, helping keep momentum moving. While this book is twice as long as Volume 1, I found it to be a quicker read, thanks to the added dialogue, but also thanks to the prose feeling that little bit smoother overall.
If you are a fan of science fiction tales and adventure, I thoroughly recommend The Rose: Volume 2. If you’re a fan of dystopian stories, thrillers and horror, there are elements throughout Volume 2, and I still recommend the book, even though they aren’t as prominent as they were in the preceding volume. The Rose: Volume 2 is a brilliant follow-up to its predecessor, improving upon greatness in just about every way.
Phil stepped closer. “All have the power. Every human being and every species in existence has it. It… is our birthright. The few do not claim the rose; the power comes from within. Most are just unaware of its existence. Think about what would happen if every human being knew the power that lives within themselves. It would level the playing field and those with power stand to lose all they hold dear with the discovery that we are all equal. Unfortunately, human beings are taught to be dependent, always looking away from the heart, away from the self for power and strength. Looking to the stars, to government, to gods and myths for hope when we carry that hope within our hearts already. We are born with this power. It exists within us from our very first breath. We can self heal, with an ability to go deep within ourselves to open a path to our dreams. Look into your heart, Sandy, you will find all you need, including a path to divinity.”The Rose: Volume 2, Part III: Something Wicked Has Come! Chapter 1
The Rose: Volume 2 was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest review.
The Rose: Volume 2 is available in paperback and Kindle, exclusive to Amazon, including on Kindle Unlimited.
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Note: I do not post scores on reviews on this website, but do post them on my Amazon and Goodreads reviews:
Interested in purchasing The Rose: Volume 1?
Why not get it from Amazon, via the handy link below? Please note, not only will you be supporting the author, you may also be supporting me by way of a small commission from any items purchased (and no, it won’t cost you anything extra!).The Rose Vol. 1: A Sci-Fi Fantasy Thriller