The sequel to ‘The Potion Diaries’ takes off right from where Amy Alward left us at the end of the first book. I liked the overall plot – I was curious to see how Alward would take us back to the Wild Hunt style quest, and she did this in a very smooth and heartbreaking way. It fit with the narrative, and I’m not sure if Alward could have written this book entirely set in Nova. There’s just something about hunting down various ingredients that makes the novels more interesting.
I loooved the plot – despite the fact the main character now has a boyfriend, she doesn’t let this take over her life. I really liked this about the story – so many authors get caught up in the romance of their plots that it completely takes over the narrative. Alward doesn’t do this – she shows Sam being just as close to her friends and family as she was before the developments in the first book, and she shows just how strongly her ties are with her family.
I liked the darker aspect in this novel – the whole idea of an aqua vitae being possible making people go crazy just to get their hands on it, even when there’s no concrete evidence that one exists! I loooved the darker twist Alward put in the epilogue – I can’t wait to see how she gets Sam and her friends out of their next predicament!
I absolutely adore the setting. I love the medieval fairy tale feel to it with modern technology still present – and I love how synths taking over natural potions in a way represents today’s society as well as change in general. I loved the plot twist with the synths, too, and the hunt for Cleo’s potions diary. I did not see the plot twist coming with the new villain as well as the old one from the previous novel. Alward definitely ended this novel where it needed to end – I like how she developed the various threats facing her main character rather than cling to one sole bad guy who Sam is the chosen one to defeat through out the series and blah blah blah.
These books strike me as cute stories – there’s a lot of good core values to the plot and characters that readers can take away from reading this series, and it is one that can definitely be enjoyed by a wider audience. I especially think the message about sticking with your friends is so important for younger readers to read about!
The characters are brilliant – Alward has made them so likeable, as well as how they interact with each other. She makes you want to read even more about them, especially with Sam and Zain’s life choices at the end of the book. Alward has got plenty of potential in this series to carry it far, and I can’t wait to read the next novel, ‘Going Viral’, in 2017. I would give it a 4/5.