Book – Behind the Tales (The Knowledge Effect #2)
Author – Aurora Peppermint
Star rating - ★★★★☆
No. of Pages – 180
Cover – Perfect!
POV – 3rd person, single POV
Would I read it again – Yes
Genre – LGBT, YA, Fantasy, Dragon/Shifter
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine
This was a great addition to the series and it answered a few questions I had left over from book one, while promising a book three, which I look forward to reading at some point in the future.
It doesn't start right where book one left off, which is great, because it's been a few months or maybe a little longer since then and Martus stuck to his promise to move him and Elsaben to a new town. But, he also stuck to his promise to invite Hal to live with them. And he has a legitimate job, too, helping recover stolen items from thieves, which means that his characterisation hasn't changed too drastically, he's just doing the same thing for a different reason, which is great.
I liked Martus in book one and he's even better here; he's learned some hard lessons, lived up to his promises to better himself and become stronger emotionally, though he's still a teenager in enough ways to remind us of his age. Such as his fighting skill lacking more than just a little finesse and having all those teenage hormones battling him from every corner.
Hal has grown, too. He's wiser, but also more stubborn and has adapted well to living with Martus and Elsaben. He still struggles to control his dragon form, but in this book we get a full transformation from human to dragon and back again.
There was a lot of emotion, in this book; I nearly cried a few times, I was scared for Hal more than once and worried that Martus had gotten himself in way over his head. But, things worked out and I loved the progression as things were slowly revealed at the right time, never too soon or too late to make sense, while adding plenty to the overall plot development.
I liked the minor characters of Mel and Fitzy; I think we'll be seeing much more of them in the future, but saying that, I thought the same about Anne from book one, who seems to be completely forgotten about here, because she wasn't mentioned even once, despite Martus' offer to her. I was, admittedly, a bit uncertain about Mel's motives at first, because of the subtle hints in both dialogue and text that hinted at big secrets in her past, but I liked the way they were handled and revealed. The only real question I had about the plot that was left unanswered was about the man who asked Alexander if he'd seen Elsaben recently as if she'd run away. I'm still curious over that and hope it will be resolved in the next book.
Overall, it was a great second novel. The world building and characterisation were just as good as book one, while all the plot points of book one left unexplained were finally answered. We got a full dragon transformation, but I loved the emotional connection between Martus and Hal more than finally seeing some dragon action. Their relationship – both the friendship and their growing feelings for each other – were lovely to witness and a really nice addition to an overall action orientated plot.
I'd gladly read more.
“Martus didn’t spot Hal straight away, but once he sat down next to Elsaben he could see Hal sitting in amongst the flowers, eyes closed and his face scrunched up. For a moment, Martus found himself transfixed by the other boy. The light made his orange hair shine, lightening it toward a dark blond, and he seemed, to an incredible degree, like he belonged there in the flowers. With other beautiful things.”