Namesake by Adrienne Young (368 pages)
In Namesake, with Her Mission Foiled, Fable Is Not Where She Wanted to Be
Picking up right where Fable left off, Namesake drops us into the action as Fable finds herself captured by Zola, a rival of her father’s. With no trail to follow, Fable has no idea how the crew of the Marigold, the ship that once belonged to her father, will be able to find her. With little hope for rescue, Fable must rely on her own wit and guile to not only stay alive, but to also continue to unravel the complicated knot of her past that Zola seems mysteriously connected to.
With a lightning-fast paced plot, Namesake doesn’t let the reader dwell in one place too long. Fable is whisked away from one location to the next as she learns more about the trade organizations that are constantly vying for power. Not only does Fable hold her own in a fight against formidable foes, but she’s shrewd enough to use these situations to her advantage.
A Swift Resolution for a Fast-Paced Tale
While Fable took its time with characterization, Namesake is driven by plot and world-building. This sequel doesn’t spend much time building on the characters we already know, but Young takes her time to build out the world in exciting ways. With the convenience of a ship at her disposal, we can follow Fable as she sails two new ports and encounters new friends and foes, building out the world we were introduced to in the first novel. And the real heart of this novel comes from the complicated yet intriguing relationship between Fable and her father, Saint. This father-daughter relationship is quite unique in the young adult genre and will leave readers thinking about their own relationships.
The Bottom Line: 4/5 Brookie Stars
First of all, something needs to be said about the covers of these two novels. I know we’re not supposed to buy books for their covers, but Wednesday Books clearly spent a lot of time carefully planning and creating these covers to ensure that they would not only be beautiful but that they would line up perfectly. Such effort wouldn’t have been made for books of a lower caliber.
As for the book itself, while the plot is fast-paced, which is something I typically like, I would’ve like a bit more character development. Fable does much of this work but seeing characters continue to grow over the course of sequels is so rewarding. Namesake does, however, give readers the chance to see so much more of the world that Young creates in an exciting way and through the eyes of a truly daring hero, someone I hope to see more of in the genre.
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Rachel Gomes is a 30-something high school English teacher who lives with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband and their son. Rachel is a voracious reader who loves to learn and has her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. She’s happiest listening to podcasts and talking to friends about the latest news in nerd culture.
Favourite book: Don’t make me choose between A Song of Ice and Fire and Harry Potter
Favourite brunch spot: The Farmer’s Table