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Banks, Anna. Ally: Nemesis, Book 2.

3Q * 4P * J * S

Banks, Anna. Ally: Nemesis, Book 2. Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, October 2017. 320p. $17.99. 978-1-250-07018-0.

The sequel to Nemesis (Macmillan, 2016/ VOYA October 2016) continues with Sepora's precarious engagement to Tarik, the king of Theoria. Sepora is the last known creator of spectorium, a substance that can be used to treat the dying, plague-ridden Theorian citizens. Sepora's father, the king of Serubul, wants to use the substance as a deadly weapon of war, so Sepora refuses to make it for either side. While her mother handles her father's dangerous desires, Sepora works on answering the question about trusting Tarik: does he truly love her or just want to use her? Even with the ability to discern the truth from lies, Tarik is unable to determine where Sepora's loyalties lie for she evades questions and keeps secrets. As damaging truths are uncovered and enemies to the kingdom make their moves, Sepora and Tarik discover alliances in unlikely places and traitors much closer to their hearts.

Set in an Egyptian-inspired desert with dark-skinned Theorians, mystical creatures, and magical citizens, Ally has the potential to enthrall readers with its alluring cultures and deftly built world, but the sequel fails to live up to the first book's praise. Banks over-utilizes the all-too-familiar trope of miscommunication between dishonest lovers. This trope drives the majority of the plot, making it hard to reconnect with the characters. When the action finally comes, it is rushed, to the detriment of characters' previous development and depth. Recommend this title only to fans of the first.--Jewel Davis.

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Author:Davis, Jewel
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 1, 2017
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