Crimson Rising by Nick James

Crimson Rising is the 360 page science fiction sequel to The Pearl Wars, the first of the Skyship Academy series by Nick James. I was browsing in Barnes and Noble, just looking for something to spend a $10 gift card on, when I saw this! I was not even aware that the The Pearl Wars had a sequel, so it was very exciting. Anyway, onto the review…

Crimson Rising (Skyship Academy #2)

After the showdown in Seattle at the end of Pearl Wars,  Jesse Fisher and Cassius Stevenson realize there is a lot they have yet to uncover about their home planet and family. The Skyship Academy is now basically holding Jesse prisoner, assigning him an older-brother-type gaurd and sentencing him to what basically amounts to a time out. Cassius is now on the run — from his original home of the Unified Party, and also from his original enemies, the Academy itself.

This story jumped straight into the action, similar to the first novel. Jesse, the Pearlbreaker, finds a new red pearl that he is unable to break, or even touch. A new character is brought into the mix — Theo — a young child who is incredibly dangerous and has an even more deadly secret (that I won’t spoil). Along with Theo, Jesse and Cassius have to deal with enemy aliens who are trying to exterminate humanity and take over the planet. They are, what some might call, in over their heads.

Crimson Rising was incredibly fast-paced. The action is well-done and interesting, and even stepped up a notch from The Pearl Wars. Though it had been a few months since I read the first one, the narrative did a great job at bringing me right back into the world of the characters. I loved every bit of Avery and Jesse’s interactions; Cassius, on the other hand… I will say I liked his parts — he is a fugitive on the run from the domineering woman he thought was his mother! However, while I feel Jesse was definitely the main character of the story, I wish I would have gotten more of Cassius’s side.

I would have to recommend reading the The Pearl Wars first, for obvious reasons, and because it was a great start to an intriguing world. Crimson Rising made me want to invest even more time into the world that Nick James created. Learning about the aliens’ home planet and the manipulations of a fascinating and dangerous element, Ridium, satisfied my inner sci-fi desires. If you enjoy sci-fi or post apocalyptic worlds, I would absolutely recommend this incredibly fast paced action novel.


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