Little, Brown. (Lightyears: Bk. 2). Oct. 2019. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316510516.
Gr 7 Up–The saga continues in this science fiction romance follow-up. Readers who haven’t visited the first volume recently will find themselves scrambling to refresh their memories as little or no recap is provided. Readers are back with all of the same characters. Orelia, the traitor, has been discovered and is being held prisoner. Arran is on-again off-again with the boy his father doesn’t want him involved with. Cormak lives in mortal fear of being discovered for having assumed his dead brother’s identity to enter the academy. Meanwhile, Vesper seeks to live up to her high-ranking mother’s ambitious expectations. There are several high-action sequences that resolve too easily. Romance is lurking at every turn but never results in anything more than kissing and suggestive overtures. The inappropriate relationship between teacher and student is never addressed and is whisked away by simply graduating the student based on meritorious battle performance. Similarly, all of the tensions created are unsatisfyingly erased in the final chapters. It’s a happy ending, but it seems forced.
VERDICT Purchase only where the first in the series was popular.

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