I'm torn over these books. They are wonderful stories, imaginative and beautifully written, but I can't read them fast. I'm a quick reader, and no matter how hard I try, I can't get though a Jeffrey Overstreet book in a day or two like I can most others. I felt the same way about Overstreet's first novel, <I>Auralia's Colors</I>. Around page one hundred, I could have walked away from the book easily, but when I reached page two hundred, I couldn't put it down. As a writer, I know that's a dangerous way to tell a story, but it seems to work for Overstreet.<br /><br />Cyndere's Midnight gripped me much earlier than Auralia's Colors did, but I was disappointed to meet a new host of characters from page one when I wanted to read about the characters at the end of <I>Auralia's Colors</I>. Some of those characters are in <I>Cyndere's Midnight</I>, but this is not their story. I am glad to discover that book three is called Cal-raven's Ladder, for Cal-raven is one of my favorite characters in the series. Him and the ale boy.<br /><br /><I>Cyndere's Midnight</I> is an inspiring story that goes much deeper than a parallel story to Beauty and the Beast. To me, the beastmen, who were once regular men, represent sin. They've indulged in the Essence to give them strength and must go back again and again to be revitalized. But the Essence is what has turned them into beastmen. Jordam has discovered another way to survive the craving: to wean himself off the Essence altogether. And Auralia's colors give him the strength to do that in the same way a relationship with Jesus gives us strength to overcome our own temptations. It is these deep parallels that keep me hooked into Overstreet's tales of The Expanse.
I just finished reading Cyndere's Midnight and, while it does have some slow parts, is almost as intriuging as the first book in the series.However, I do not reccomend that children read this book. This book does have some more mature content that i would reccomend only for older teens and adults. Why would Jeffrey Overstreet try to spoil a good story with stuff like that anyway. I REALLY hope he does the smart thing and leaves that kind of thing out of his next two books. A warning - most of that stuff is centered around Ryllion - so beware. The rest is maybe a bit darker than Auralia's Colors but just as complex. Overall, it isn't a bad read and I had no trouble finishing it. It's just a bit slow for the first few chapters. But Overstreet know just how to end his books so you ust HAVE to read his next book. I eagerly await the gold strand, Raven's Ladder, coming in February.
I absolutely LOVED the first book in this series and waited impatiently for the second book to be released. Maybe it isn't fair to even rate this book yet because I haven't had the fortitude to finish it yet, but it has so completely lost me that I haven't even been able to finish it. Disappointed.