The Spirit Rebellion (Book 2)
By: Rachel Aaron

Quick-take: Get it if you liked book 1.

Dan's Review

Eli Monpress and crew head out for another adventure. Miranda Lyonette also plays a prominent role.

It was nice to see some character development with Nico. She was a deeply mysterious one in the previous book. She still is for book 2, but at least some of the curtains have been drawn.

For Eli, he was no longer a godlike superhero. Instead, it was all about his wits. The big caper in this book rendered him fairly powerless, but it was nice for him to show he is still formidable.

The other main character, Josef, I don't particularly enjoy. Supposedly, Eli is the insufferable one because of his ego, but I think Josef is the most annoying. It is hard to state why without revealing critical plot points, but Eli once makes a compelling argument: "You have a difficult and dangerous task, why won't you use your best tool to accomplish it?" I completely agree.

Josef does not want his amazing weapon to become a crutch. He wants to improve his own skill. I personally think the actual reason is that Rachel Aaron made Josef too powerful and made up "pride" as a reason for him to not use it so the story can be more interesting. For this story, she managed to find a way to mute both Eli and Josef.

There were a few convenient plot points. Miranda can suddenly travel great distances. Some character is introduced in the previous chapter that helps the crew in the next chapter, and then that character is not seen again. Some decision is made that makes little sense other than it helps the crew.

What I really liked about Heartstrikers is that Rachel Aaron would reference some mystery that was hinted at a few books before and reveal the deeper meaning behind it. The entire series felt tightly woven. The Eli Monpress series does not seem so much.

However, the book is still entertaining, so I am picking up book 3. Score 4/5.

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