Croak was such an enjoyable read, that I had to pick up the second book. While I can honestly say that I enjoyed this book as well, the fire that I got from the first book was just lacking. I wanted to be just as in love. And certainly the wit was there, but I think a large part of my issue was the development of Lex’s character.
Lex is still in a bit of a spiral after her sister’s death. However, that spiral quickly has a stopper placed on it. Early on there are certain elements that allow for Lex to progress. it allows for her to snap back to reality. In many ways, that was as much of a curse as it was a blessing. On the one hand it allowed Lex to come out of her funk and not be a depressing mess. However, it also meant that some of the fire Lex would have had that we saw hints of in the first book were stamped out.
The plot was actually far more interesting this time around. The beats that we see throughout the novel, not only expand their town, but the entire reaper society. Most importantly we see the discord within Croak and how terrible things could be when Mort wasn’t in charge. More importantly you could see the progression from event to event. It felt like a more cohesive and targeted storyline than the first.
We got to see more characters this time around. That was really great. We got a couple of new juniors who were actually great additions and fit in well with the others, while still feeling unique. As for the other juniors, we got to spend a lot more time with them. It was great seeing them deal with not just their job, but with everything going on. We got a great sense of who these people were and they’ve become just as important as Lex and Mort.
This book didn’t hold back from throwing hue wrenches in in the story. In fact, it felt like the story was trying to hurt me by either putting my characters in terrible situations or straight up killed them. At a certain point, it just felt like they were doing it to do it. Like we were being hurt for no reason and that was what really sucked for me. The final death we saw in the book was one of those game over deaths. With that final character death, I hit this point of not knowing how I would even possibly like the next book with that element missing. Maybe I’m a bit sore on it, but it is one of those hurdles that makes the story that much more difficult.
Overall I enjoyed the book. I just didn’t quite love it as much as I did the the first book.