Book Reviews

Book Review: Namesake by Adrienne Young

Trader. Fighter. Survivor.

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.

As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception she learns that her mother was keeping secrets, and those secrets are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

Filled with action, emotion, and lyrical writing, New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with Namesake, the final book in the captivating Fable duology.

Title:  Namesake
Author: Adrienne Young
Genre:  YA Fantasy
Format:  Digital ARC
Publisher:  Wednesday Books
Date Published: March 16th, 2021

Rating: 4//5 Owls

I’m a huge fan of Adrienne Young’s books, but in my opinion she struggles a bit with sequels. Technically a companion sequel, but The Girl the Sea Gave Back, although a good book, wasn’t nearly as good as Sky In The Deep. I absolutely loved Fable, but to me Namesake falls just a little short of its predecessor.

Namesake picks up right where Fable ended, and we’re immediately thrown back into Fable’s journey. Fable has just been captured by Zola, and has no idea what he wants from her, and to make things worse – her fathers first mate, his confidant, Clove, is by his side.

I loved seeing more of these characters and other characters that were only briefly mentioned/seen in Fable. In addition to more of Zola and Clove, we got Holland, Ryland, and Koy. I loved seeing these characters get more development and more screen time (what is the literary equivalent of screen time? page time?) and trying to figure out their morals and what side they’re on.

One thing I did not like with the introduction of all these characters – we got a lot less of the crew of The Marigold and Fable’s found family. They had a lot more issues in this book, and it was disappointing to see them never get resolved properly. They were separated for so much of the novel, and I just wanted more of them together. Funnily enough, on that same thought, one of my least favorite things about this story was how much it did focus on relationships. Fable’s relationships with Clove, Saint, West, Koy, and Holland were the main focus of the novel. There wasn’t nearly as much plot or moving forward, the dynamic shifted from “trying to reunite with Saint/Control the Narrows/etc” to more of a character driven story and Fable finding her place amongst the chaos surrounding her.

There was SOME plot with these new characters, and the search for Midnight, but these things did seem to fall in the background a little from the character development. I would have loved to see more action in this world. Although, the search for Midnight and the various people that wanted it was wonderfully paced and exciting to read. (I’m really trying not to spoil things in this review, its proving a bit tricky!)

Speaking of the world however, Adrienne Young did a phenomenal job with world building, and I loved every moment of seeing the place she created. As the area that we get to see expanded, Young wrote it in such a beautiful and descriptive way that I truly felt like I understood this pirate land and I want to see even more of it. I would adore seeing spin-off series set in the same place one day. (Maybe one focused on Willa?!)

Overall, I did love this book. The world was rich and exciting and I loved seeing more of Fable’s adventure. Although I thought it focused a little too much on characters, I truly enjoyed the journey. There were some wonderful moments between Fable and Saint, and I liked seeing characters cross the boundaries of good and bad and be more morally grey characters. My favorite new character was Holland – and although I really want to talk more about her its hard to do so without spoiling some major things. She’s terrible, corrupt, but she’s also completely badass and goes after what she wants – no matter the cost or who she has to betray. I’m a huge fan of likable villains, and she hit all the right marks for me on that front. Even Saint, who I absolutely hated in the first book (seriously who abandons their child like that?!!?) proved that there’s a lot more to him than we originally thought.

I highly recommend this book, even though I didn’t love every aspect of it. It’s a good follow up to Fable and I cannot wait to see what Adrienne Young does next!

*Thank You NetGalley for the Advanced Copy of Namesake. All Opinions are my own.

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