[Review]: Hope in Nautical Dusk by Miri Castor

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“The Gift of Twilight flourishes within Opal Charm as winter descends on Dewdrop. Life was already rough before, but Opal’s got new obstacles to face – getting into high school, bringing her brother back home, and training to protect Athre and Earth from Samael, the mysterious overlord who seeks to rule all, and put an end to her and the Charm lineage. The balance between harsh truths and sweet lies is more fragile than ever.

Yet, as winter rolls on, the balance begins to break as a new threat emerges. Memories Opal once trusted are disintegrating her friendships, and lies are clouding her Path of Dawn and Dusk. Opal must seek the truth while protecting those close to her, no matter how painful it may be.

This is a story about what it means to have hope in the face of despair.”

I really enjoyed Opal Charm: The Path to Dawn, which I reviewed here (and also interviewed author Miri Castor) and so I was happy to return to Dewdrop and reconnect with Opal. We find her still very much a reluctant hero, dreading going back to JAEL training and anxious about her ability to save Athre from the khanship of Samael Serkhan. Which, you know, is a lot to put on the shoulders of one eighth-grader.

The world of Athre that we were introduced to in the first book gets a much larger place in Hope in Nautical Dusk. I definitely appreciated the world-building and learning more about how the powers work since that was teased at a lot in Path to Dawn. This, as well as character development, for me is why I invest in fantasy series. Even more than plot, I really like to learn the details of the worlds SFF authors create. And yes you guessed it, I want to learn even more in book 3 (it’s going to be a 4 book series).

What I also liked was the strong focus on friendship, between Opal, Anza and Aaron but also with their Athrenian friends Evron and Adaeze. And it’s fantastic to see more bisexual rep, as Opal figures out she’s crushing on girls and boys and her friends are  very supportive about it.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but I do want to warn you that reading this one was tough emotionally and you’ll want to hold onto the Hope part. But that’s the great thing, Miri gets you so invested in her characters.  I’m glad the journey isn’t over and there will be another book about Opal and her Path of Dawn and Dusk.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-version of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

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