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BOOK REVIEW : A HISTORY OF MADNESS (THE OUTLANDS PENTALOGY #2) BY REBECCA CRUNDEN

TITLE : A History Of Madness (The Outlands Pentalogy #2)

AUTHOR : Rebecca Crunden

GENRE : Fantasy, Science Fiction/Dystopia

FR RATING : 5 Stars

SYNOPSIS

The four remaining fugitives are now spread across the Kingdom. And with the fate of the others unknown to him, Nate Anteros prays for a fast execution.

Yet execution does not come. After a meeting with the King which leaves Nate questioning his sanity, he’s sent to a workcamp in Argon Basin for five years of hard labour. It’s there that Nate learns what became of his friends upon their arrest.

And as his strength returns to him, and he’s plagued by dreams which are much too real to be ignored, Nate decides five years is far too long to wait …

FR REVIEW

DISCLAIMER : I received an ARC of this book from the author Rebecca Crunden in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Rebecca, for sending me the review copy of this book.

A History Of Madness is the second book in The Outlands Pentalogy series. The first book A Touch Of Death ended with Kitty, Nate, Zoe, and Tove being separated from one another and we saw how Kitty had to bargain for the safety of her friends. The group gets sent to different locations with the exception of Kitty who is set to marry the King’s nephew Gabriel. Kitty is married and living an unhappy, sorrowful life. Nate is expecting to get executed for the crimes he is charged by the Crown. Through an unexpected turn of events, he is sent to the work camps where he is to work for 5 years. All of this leaves him unsettled and confused. He is bombarded by dreams that feel very real and he decides working at ArgonBasin for 5 years is too long and thinks of escaping the camp. Will he succeed? What will happen to the band of friends if they escape? All of these questions are answered in this book. We get to see the group work together to plan their escape to the Outland where they can finally be free.

The world is extended and we get to see the Belows and the Outlands. The world is definitely fascinating with these interesting aspects that give each part its own individuality. I loved how the author brings in this new part to the already existing world by seamlessly and effortlessly brings together the three worlds and their structure to help create the wonderful setting for this story to play out. The Belows with their underground world built for the survival of humans from the destruction of the radiation and how they lived there and formed their own communities were intriguing. I loved the stark contrast between the worlds and how each world was brought into existence to survive the Devastation. The beautiful and wild Outlands with the freely roaming communities of mutants fearing the humans and the Kingdom of Cutta with the humans fearing the mutants and the Belows were humans escaped to prevent themselves from being destroyed by the radiation are all wonderfully constructed and they connect to one another remarkably.

I loved how Rebecca wrote each book from the perspective of a different main character helping the readers develop an emotional connection with the character from the very beginning of the book. We get to see the thought process of the characters and also learn about the others as well. Where the first book was from Kitty’s perspective this book is written from the perspective of Nate and it worked very well in the execution of the story and as a part of the series. The different perspectives add freshness to the story taking us through the emotional turmoil, conflicts, and struggles. We see the character development of Kitty and it’s beautifully captured through Nate’s perspective. The feelings they share for one another and the changing relationship dynamics are well put together in a cohesive way making the story gripping and engaging. I am excited about the third book and I have been informed it is from another main character’s perspective. I loved how intimately we get to know our characters and thus making the reading experience highly enjoyable. The character development is also the other promising aspect of the book. The interactions, the growth and changing circumstances helps us understand and know our characters well.

I loved how with the changing circumstances and the world our characters grow as humans and their journey catalogs their growth remarkably well. The characters are layered and complex and real. We see them at their most vulnerable moment and it helps us understand their motivations for their actions. I also liked how Rebecca addressed a certain controversial topic by bringing in multiple arguments, all of them valid and how the power of decision was left to the person bearing the burden. The book brings out the sides of a real human being even the raw and dark sides. Rebecca doesn’t hold back when she puts her characters through the trials and the result is real characters who are sometimes flawed trying their best to live peacefully.

The book ends on a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to get to the next book in this masterfully crafted series. I am curious to see how everything will play out. A prophecy, the mutant-human power struggle and the history of the world before the Devastation are all equally fighting for their time in this series. I am excited to learn more about this vast world Rebecca has created and the intricacies are simply fascinating to me.

I gave the book 5 stars and highly recommend checking it out. The story is exciting and gets more interesting as the series continues. The world is expanding and history is about to come out. If you love fantasy/sci-fi set in a dystopian world and has the post-apocalyptic setting for the story you ill definitely enjoy this book. Some great characters, wonderful friendships, and good storytelling all come together to bring forward an exquisitely crafted story. Make sure to check this book out.

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