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Blightborn (2014)

by Chuck Wendig(Favorite Author)
4.06 of 5 Votes: 5
The Heartland Trilogy
review 1: Heartland trilogy chugs ahead full speed with Blightborn, the second book that follows the adventures of Cael McAvoy and his buddies set in a dystopian future where evil schemes of the greedy man has killed the soil – there is only corn that grows out here on earth – and the Heartland dwellers – the “have-nots” stuck in this sunny dustbowl of a wasteland are grubbing their way through lives suffering under the tyranny of the sky-dwellers or the Empyreans. The title of the first book, Under the Empyrean Sky was apt. Evocative and lush, as the title imagery suggests, much of book one happens on the ground hide and seek among the corn stalks in Heartland.But with Book Two in this series, Blightborn – Chuck Wendig slams the pedal fully down. Both the world-building... more and characterization get a lot of detail as we are sucked deeper into this world of piss-blizzards, blood-thirsty corn-stalks and the deadly blight. While book one was predominantly from the viewpoint of the self-absorbed Cael set mostly in and around the town of Boxelder and the unending corn stalk fields of Heartland, this time we get a wider perspective of the world and the happenings or conspiracies that led to this dystopian setting.In short, we take to the air.And explore the myriad mysteries of the Empyrean Empire aboard this flotilla- Mainly through Gwennie or Gwendolyn Shawcatch – Cael’s girlfriend, Obligated to Cael’s bitter rival, Barnes in the first book. Gwennie’s life changes after the “Lottery” – where her family is the “lucky” one to be taken aboard a flotilla. But to her horror, things go spiraling downwards pretty fast – the lottery turns out to be ticket to lifelong slavery – mucking horseshit and apprenticed to a quirky scientist in the sky with his own secrets and sob-stories at large. And of course, she runs into Cael’s sister, Merelda.Meanwhile, Cael and his best buddies, Lane and Rigo are on the run. A chance encounter with a crazed hobo and the Raiders – a set of terrorists or anarchists trying to make the Empyrean count for all their sins – turns their lives on its head. And Barnes, along with Wanda and Rigo’s father form a posse to hunt down Cael’s gang and now are hot on their trail.If the first book in that series was one ripe with possibilities, then book two blossoms out. Then goes ahead and simply explodes. Chuck ensures that the horizons are widening. As we explore the Skies of the Empyrean Empire, we understand that sky is not the limit. (pun intended) We get to see the world of Heartland outside of the Boxelder town. But the most interesting part for me – was of course the bizarre life aboard the Flotillas. The quirks of the sky-dwellers, the weapons, their obsessions with auto-bots, their whacky parties. (Mind boggling imagination, Mr.Wendig!) all makes for an engrossing read. But in typical Wendig style, the plot dives head long into twisty conspiracies – secrets come tumbling out and revelations leave you shocked and gasping for more. I found it to be one of the best ways to develop this trilogy – with the world expanding, characters evolving and the plot deepening. And fuck-a-duck, book two ends on a cliffhanger. I hated that but now the wait is desperate and restless. So Blightborn is everything shiny and good that Under the Empyrean Sky offered us and then takes it up a few notches towards “really good” territory. It’s a great second book in a series that truly rolls the overall plot forwards while opening it really wide. The teeming possibilities are exciting beyond measure. And with the ending of Book two, I am now waiting on a bed of nails raked over a bed of hot burning coals. Get back to writing, Chuck!!
review 2: I really enjoyed it, almost a four star. The corn is threatening and sinister. This volume expands the story so we see the the wider range of people live. There are wonderful instances of the kindness of stranges, but also of fear of what others will think about some behaviours. Elements which had been shown as scary are developed to show there can be another, much more hopeful outcome. Will be very interested to read the concluding volume. less
Reviews (see all)
Unique yet relatable yet unpredictable. Surprisingly good for a second novel of a trilogy.
This book was great. The cover itself captured me. So glad I read this book
Another great novel from Wendig!
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