May 28, 2015

Mini-Review: Decaying Empire by Laura Thalassa

Mini-Review: The Decaying Empire by Laura Thalassa (The Vanishing Girl #2) (3.5 stars)

I received this book via netgalley in exchange for a review, my receiving a copy does affect opinion and rating.

When eighteen-year-old teleporter Ember Pierce wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, she remembers only the basics: she’s been trained by the government as a spy, she’s sent on dangerous missions, and her last assignment—the one that landed her in the hospital—was a setup.

Caden Hawthorne has spent the past ten months of his life grieving Ember’s death. So when she shows up in his room like an apparition, he can’t believe his eyes. But this Ember is different. Her hair is longer, her skin is paler, her gaze is haunted. She tells him what he’s already begun to suspect: someone he trusted betrayed her.

Now, uncertain who is friend and who is foe, Ember and Caden face the toughest mission of their lives—to stay together and survive, as they run from danger toward an unknown future.


It has been a few days since I read this book, and my memory is a bit sketchy but here’s the main gist. The second of this “series” I think suffered the “Second Book” syndrome. Because summarizing the book. Its not as amazing as I thought it would be.

But first let me start off with what I liked. I loved how the love story became better. Remember that in my review of the first book, I stated that the love story was too fast. More of insta-lust actually. But thankfully in this book they showed a lot of signs of how much they truly care for each other. Notice I didn’t said “love”. Because here’s the thing. As much as I can now see that they indeed truly care for each other, it still doesn’t feel like love to me. Sure the Caden kinda looks like he loves Ember. But I don’t think Ember loves Caden deeply in this book. She cares deeply for him, but there’s something missing in it. I’m not sure if its because of the result of her coming back from the dead (sorry for spoiling you guys, but not really, its stated at the very first chapter anyway).

The second thing I liked about this book is once again, the action. Its very descriptive in a way that I can still understand (me who isn’t the biggest fan of action movies). I could imagine everything happening, and nothing felt to big for me to understand (because well… not so big knowledgable about action scenes and stuff haha)

But other than that, everything else about this book is just meh. Its not bad per se, but its not a big improvement either. That’s why I think this book suffered the “second book” syndrome because to me, it felt like a bridge from the 1st book to the 3rd book instead of being part of the whole journey itself.

But I am pretty excited about the next book (or is it the last? I’m not sure) because the twist though jolting, is still interesting. I hope that the next one would be much more epic than the first two :)

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About the Author

Born and raised in Fresno, California, Laura Thalassa spent her childhood cooking up fantastic tales with her best friend. Lucky for her overactive imagination, she also happened to love writing.

When not writing, you might find her at the beach, along a hiking trail, or curled up on the couch with a book.

Laura Thalassa lives in sunny Santa Barbara, California with her fiancé, author Dan Rix.


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  1. It's too bad this romance doesn't really knock your socks off, and that this installment suffered from the second book syndrome. If there is no real plot progression I often wonder why the series couldn't have bit fit into two books or possibly even just one. Hopefully the next installment will be a win for you, Jules. Great review! :)

  2. Yeah second book syndrome sucks. And hmmm, I'm sure I wouldn't like the romance, especially with it being intalovey and glad you get to see how they care for each other in this one, even if it does feel more one sided love. Hate when the second book feels like a filler. :(

  3. Sorry this suffered from second-book syndrome, but it's good the romance got a bit better. Sometimes I just don't know why books even HAVE a romance; why can't a really good friendship work? hah


  4. Awh, no. I hate second book syndrome! I also find it hard to understand why it happens. I think it's because the pacing has to keep up, but there might not actually be as much happening because it's the tie between what happened in the first book, and what WILL happen in the third book.

    I hope you like the third book, Jules, and that it moves everything forward in a positive way!

  5. I am intrigued by this series! They sound interesting, and I really like the concept.
    Ah, the second book syndrome! I suffer from it often, and it's mainly the reason why I mostly abandon series with the first book:)
    Wonderful review Jules!

  6. At least the romance progressed more than insta-lust, even if you weren't convinced of the heroine's love...maybe it will develop more in the thirds book? Even if some parts of this book is MEH, and I do agree in the second book syndrome, you liked it enough that you're excited for the third book. Lovely review Jules! :)

  7. Looks like this book suffered from the second book syndrome (hah, it's funny how that's what every commen here said!). What a shame considering that cover looks ridiculously well-done.

    Faye at The Social Potato

  8. I love the colours on this cover! It sucks that this one ended up having second book syndrome :(( I hope that the series gets it shit together and is better for the next instalment, haha!

  9. Sounds like it was really lack lustre with the second book syndrome and everything! The action and the romance sound awesome though. Lovely review Jules!

  10. I know what you mean about the Second-Book-Syndrome. The book may feel like a huge filler. But at least you get to have your action!

    ~ Dre @ Sporadic Reads


Hi! I love reading your opinions, whether its the same or different from mine. I will reply to all kinds of comments and I hope to have the chance to talk to you guys!