Child of Recklessness (Trials of Strength #2)
by Matthew R. Bell4 out of 5
They hoped escaping set them free.
They assumed fighting back put them on top.
They thought they had their enemy sussed.
They were wrong.
Lucas Bishop is a wanted man. After the horrors he and his group endured in Greystone, the hope that followed seemed warranted. They were high on success, and a new mission was formed.
Find the people responsible, and destroy them.
But things have changed. The survivors' lives are about to be rocked once again, with forces beyond their sight taking position.
The new threats test our group to their limits, but in the end, the biggest threat is Lucas himself. He's filled with anger and resentment, and the lines between justice and revenge blur.
Lucas will have to control his emotions.
Or risk leading his new family to destruction....
For those interested in reading my review of Fear of God (Trial of Strength #1) clickee here!
After escaping the Scottish town of Greystone, the unlucky site of a trial in genetic engineering, Lucas Bishop and his friends have a new fight.
The survivors of Greystone are being hunted by mystery parties, who want to eradicate all evidence of the experiment.
Child of Recklessness picks up shortly after their escape at the end of Fear of God.
Lucas is joined by some familiar faces from the first book, including his new squeeze Anna.
I mentioned in my review of book 1, about the social dynamics of the group of survivors, the constant paranoia, distrust and flares of violence that are inevitable when they are forced to live like rats in a pit. Now they are free from the initial nightmare, but still have to watch their every move. The group feels much more like a dysfunctional family in this story, strangers that are made stronger by what they have been put through.
I really love the strong theme of friendship and family - especially the family that you choose.
The characters, which were already well-rounded and original in the first novella, are built upon in this book. It also includes a few new characters that are introduced to the core group. Absolutely no surprise here, but Jessica is my firm favourite. I am biting my tongue not to give any spoilers away where she is concerned - I must say Bell surprised me on that one!
Overall, this is a very strong continuation of the series. Despite the complete change of scene and external pressures, it has the same spark and flow of the first book. Plus the plot is expanded to something much bigger hanging over them.
There were only a couple of points I had issues with. The main one being Anna's pregnancy (don't worry, that's not a spoiler, it's the opening chapter). It plays a major role in the book, but I struggled to match the passing of time with the progression of her pregnancy. It's just a small thing, and I know there were brief mentions of time passing as Lucas trained with Chris; but I was reeling, feeling like Anna was only three months gone before she went into labour. It would have been nice to just confirm the timescale of this book, are we in winter, summer?
Or did she really go into labour ridiculously early because (mild spoiler) of her baby's genetic awesomeness?
I was also very surprised at how much danger the group were willing to put heavily-pregnant Anna in. Yes, she's stubborn, but she's clearly the physically weakest character in the group.
Anyways, go check out the series people!