I read The First Sister last year (my review here) and absolutely adored it. So when a review copy of The Second Rebel landed on my doorstep completely unprompted, I actually kind of lost it a little. I was so excited to get the second instalment in one of my favourite sci-fi series.
Rating: 4 stars!
Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for the eARC of this book. It has not affected my honest review.
Content Warnings: violence, torture and experimentation on humanoid characters (mostly off-page), death, sexual abuse (off-page), blackmail, oppression, sex (off-page), corruption, domestic and child abuse (off-page), viral warfare, suicide.
About the book:
Astrid has reclaimed her name and her voice, and now seeks to bring down the Sisterhood from within. Throwing herself into the lioness’ den, Astrid must confront and challenge the Aunts who run the Gean religious institution, but she quickly discovers that the business of politics is far deadlier than she ever expected.
Meanwhile, on an outlaw colony station deep in space, Hiro val Akira seeks to bring a dangerous ally into the rebellion. Whispers of a digital woman fuel Hiro’s search, but they are not the only person looking for this link to the mysterious race of Synthetics.
Lito sol Lucious continues to grow into his role as a lead revolutionary and is tasked with rescuing an Aster operative from deep within an Icarii prison. With danger around every corner, Lito, his partner Ofiera, and the newly freed operative must flee in order to keep dangerous secrets out of enemy hands.
Back on Venus, Lito’s sister Lucinia must carry on after her brother’s disappearance and accusation of treason by Icarii authorities. Despite being under the thumb of Souji val Akira, Lucinia manages to keep her nose clean…that is until an Aster revolutionary shows up with news about her brother’s fate, and an opportunity to join the fight.
What did I think?
It actually took me a while to get to reading The Second Rebel, which was partly because I was so, so nervous about this book. I adored The First Sister so much, and I was really worried that The Second Rebel wouldn’t hold up. Especially after my reread of The First Sister reminded me how much I loved the first entry in this series. I should have had more faith in Linden A. Lewis, who will never disappoint, just emotionally scar me.
Our main three from the first book; First Sister (Astrid), Lito and Hiro (who only had flashbacks in book one) are back in this book, with Hiro getting their own chapters this time around, and their stories are still hopelessly, heartbreakingly entwined. We also get to see more from Luce, Lito’s sister and possibly my favourite character in this book. I adored her chapters, even if her character arc was as devastating as all the others.
Astrid’s ‘Ringer’ revelation was one of my favourite moments in The First Sister and I really liked the way that continued to develop throughout The Second Rebel now that we and Astrid knew the truth. It made for a really interesting insight into her mental health and the way that she was coping with the trauma she’d experienced.
Finally hearing Hiro’s narrative voice was fantastic, and I really enjoyed their chapters. They started to unveil some information about the mysterious synthetics, and I’m so interested in where that’s going to go in the third book.
The ending of this book absolutely wrecked me. It was brutal, I’m not going to lie. I can’t talk about any of it, because it’s all entrenched in spoilers but there were three distinct scenes that absolutely destroyed me throughout this book, and I had to pick up something fun and happy immediately afterwards to make myself feel better. It was too devastating. I couldn’t have predicted the way that this book would unfold, and now I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen in the third book. I do know that it’s probably going to actually make me cry.
Release Date: 24th August 2021