La Crimson Femme
Review: Breakaway by Michelle Diener
★★★★ @MichelleDiener #Breakaway
Following right up after the Novella Insurgency, we visit the world of Garmen. This world is considered a Breakaway world because it left the Verdant String's socialistic society and went with capitalism is King. As a reminder, forget the over exaggeration of the capitalistic flaws. The main character of this story is Sofie. For me, she's the wild card in this world and I absolutely love ... her crazy paranoid deceased father.
There are so many provocative philosophies and ideas jam packed into this one book. I would have expected it to be a chaotic mumble. Instead, Ms. Diener creates a cohesive world within a world within a world. I love it. Sofie may no longer be part of the Resistance, but it seems they are not done with her. The intrigue, political backstabbing, betrayals and unexpected loyalty make this fantasy an absolute delight. Learning about Sofie's history as well as how the Felicitos way station was built by her father, it is incredible.
As with Insurgency, this book takes a deeper dive into secret tunnels, rooms and all sorts of amazing architectural feats. I loved pretty much everything about this book. The action, the dangerous creatures and the race against time to prevent bad things from happening - it all keeps me riveted to the the book.
I would say the world building and the action is stronger than the character building. I did like Sofie and Leo. Leo is the modern day Robin Hood. The two of them are good together. Their chemistry is good but it doesn't really do it for me. I understand many authors need to add a bit of romantic element to draw the mass market readers in. Quite honestly, Ms. Diener's writing is so strong that I can do without the romantic element. In fact, it in this book it is a bit distracting and unneeded for me.
This book is a whirlwind of activity and the ending is a stunning climax that blows me away. I love it. I felt fear, sadness, anger, frustration and pure joy reading this book. Recommended to fantasy readers who love strong female leads with a mysterious past.