This weekend I finished listening to the sequel to Erin Bow’s The Scorpion Rules.
The Swan Riders by Erin Bow takes us back where we left off in book one. Greta and Talis are on their way to the Red Mountain, the Precepture has been released from tyranny and Elian has disappeared to find a new life. But things are not quite as wrapped up as they may seem.
Greta and Talis are accompanied by two Swan Riders, guards and soldiers loyal to the AI. But the road is long and Greta is losing her humanity bit by bit. Each time emotion begins to overwhelm her–to kill her, Talis takes them away until she is almost fully AI. But that’s not all, the group is uneasy and there are threats everywhere… even from within.
Will betrayal destroy the world? Will Greta lose herself entirely? And what happens when an AI goes insane?
This book made the first book feel like a prequel. There is so much history and story arcs that fill in a lot of blanks only alluded to in The Scorpion Rules. This does sometimes slow the whole thing down. Maybe it works better in book format but as an audio book, the flashbacks didn’t do much for me.
If Greta was the star of book one, Talis is the person who steps out from her shadow in book two. Greta and Talis share the stage in this book. We follow Greta’s struggles but we also follow Talis’ and we see the man, made AI, forged into something new. Both of these characters go through a transformation and it is interesting to see how it all plays out.
The end of this book really makes you think. In ways it is both abstract and emotional; it is heart wrenching and full of promises for tomorrow. I was not left wistful but I wasn’t completely satisfied either. It was a good ending and in the moment it makes you wonder.
My only big gripe about this series is that both books could have ended like 12 times before they actually do. There were so many perfect places to end the story and yet Bow keeps going. It felt a little like she couldn’t let go.
I don’t really know why this one doesn’t get more stars. It should. I don’t have that much to complain about and yet, I’m still stuck on 3.5 stars. C’est la vie!
That’s all for now!