Children of Daedala by Caighlan Smith
Publication Date: April 1,2018 (US)
Summary from Netgalley:
Six months alone in the labyrinth has made her strong. But the search for the exit means gambling on an old ‘friend’ and going against everything she’s been taught to survive. You know the labyrinth will have yet more horrors lurking in its depths. You’ve learned few people can be trusted. But freedom is tantalizingly close. Are you ready to take the risk?
ARC provided by Capstone via Netgalley for an honest review.
This sequel to the Children of Icarus was just as amazing as the first. It is fast paced and with some twists and turns to the plot that keep it fresh and exciting. The labyrinth continues to amaze me with its size and the dangerous creatures that lurk with in. There are even more humans living than were shown in the first book, which really made me think about how large this place must be. We start to get an inkling into the whole history of the labyrinth and the reasons why the kids are sent into it. But there is still more to find out which will make the next book even better.
The MC continues to be nameless, to herself at least. She is still called Clara by the people from Fates that she runs into in this book, but she also has a new name, Fey Bell, given to her by one of the two other groups we meet in this book. I really like that we don’t know her name, it makes her more interesting and more of a shadow to her own story. She continues to grow and become stronger. Her training by the Executioner in the first book, serves her well. She can be a total badass when it is needed and shows others that have lived in the labyrinth longer than her a trick or two. I also liked that she wanted to be alone, but also realized that she would need help in order to find her way out of the labyrinth.
There are a few characters from the original book that she meets and interacts with. Mostly two boys that I still am not sure I totally trust. Ryan I started out not trusting at all. I was just never sure about his motivation and his feelings for our Fey Bell. By the end though I was beginning to think that he was more trustworthy than Theo, who I think was using her for his own reasons. Both boys seem to be attracted to Fey Bell, and she to them, but this is certainly not a main theme in the book. It is more like, hey we are hormonal teenagers and find ourselves attracted to each other even though we are trapped in this hellish nightmare. It is done well though, and it felt more authentic than most teen attractions in YA. Elle is still the most troubled and troubling character in the books. She is somewhat delusional, but at times I wonder if she knows more about the labyrinth and what it all means, but is unable to handle the truth, so retreats into her delusions.
We meet two new groups in the Labyrinth. Kleos is mostly boys (maybe all boys, it is unclear) and Harmonia is all girls. They have been fighting each other for a long time over territory and resources. It isn’t long before Fey Bell is drawn into the war. It is interesting how these groups have formed and as if they don’t have enough to deal with, like the horrendous creatures that lurk in the labyrinth and kill them, they kill each other over very minor things. It appears that almost everyone in charge of the groups in somewhat mentally unstable to the detriment of the groups. Gammon, the leader of Kleos, is especially crazy, and paranoid to some extent. At the end we find out why, but wow, he is totally out there. Harmonia’s leader is not much better, but her second in command is the real crazy in that group. There are some good people in each group, but for what ever reason they never stand up to the people in charge, even when they know that they are not doing what is good for the group.
This is a sequel that was done right. It kept you just as interested in the characters and the story as the first. I took a peek at the Goodread comments before writing this and many of them stated that they didn’t know it was a sequel before they read it, but still liked it. Which I think is a testament to how good it is. I will warn you that this one ends with a hell of a cliffhanger. It will be a really long wait to see what happens to all of the kids in the labyrinth and whether or not they can escape it.