Linked by Susanne Valenti

27141878 Linked by Susanne Valenti is book two of the Cage of  Lies series. We rejoin Maya, Coal, Hunter, Taylor, Laurie and Alicia (and Kaloo!) where we left off, planning to return to the City and rescue Maya’s and Taylor’s parents.

This book focuses on Maya coming to terms with the new world around her. She is grappling a new family, new responsibilities and new love. Maya stands on the precipice between ‘childhood’ and adulthood and this novel follows that personal growth.

I really enjoyed the exploration of the new supporting characters. Hunter and Alicia are well thought out, well presented and jump off the page. Their personalities are real and their story lines engaging.

Coal is Coal. He is a striking main character and a typical YA love interest. Valenti’s use of restraint with this character especially during his exchanges with Taylor shows her growing skill as a writer of YA fiction.

Taylor is Coal’s solar opposite in this instalment of the series. He is petulant, childish at times, and unable to deal with the adult emotions that are being thrust on him. I found a couple of the exchanges with Taylor frustrating but that is obviously the intention of the story.

The action in this novel propels faster with each chapter to its intense conclusion. It is a gripping finale that will leave any reader wanting to find out what happens.

Valenti’s world building has gone from strength to strength with this novel. I was again impressed with this world that we discover with Maya. I am looking forward to reading the next instalment.

4/5

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