Series: Paladero #2
Published by Hardie Grant Egmont on February 1st 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Welcome to Thunder Realm, where cowboy-knights known as paladeros herd dinosaurs during peacetime, and take up arms during war.
Joss has always wanted to become a paladero, and now he finally has that chance. But before he can start training, the town is attacked by vicious pyrates who abduct half the villagers, including Joss’s best friend Edgar … and then vanish into thin air.
Joss has no choice but to forge alliances with merchant captains, merfolk and ancient creatures from the deep in an effort to rescue his fellow prentice – all while risking the paladero training he’s worked so hard for. But the stakes are even higher than he knows. Joss’s rescue mission will set him on a crash course with his own tragic past, and a mysterious figure he’s long-thought dead ...
This is my review for book two of Steven Lochran’s Paladero series, and so contains mild spoilers for book one, The Riders of Thunder Realm.
In The Riders of Thunder Realm, Joss is accidentally nominated to take part in the Way, a quest that, if successful, will allow him to train to become part of the order of paladeros. These knights protect the realm in times of war, and herd dinosaurs in peacetime.
Riders was one of my top ten books for 2016, so I was excited to read this second in the series! Read on for my review:
Joss and his brethren have succeeded on the Way, and been accepted as prentices. Their first step to continue their training as paladeros is to travel to Starlight Ranch, in the frozen northern tundra, to herd mammoths for a season. When pyrates attack them along the way, their journey doesn’t quite go to plan, and Joss is forced to face ghosts from his own past while fighting a great evil threatening the world.
I loved the adventure, the dinosaurs and the steampunk nature of this world the first time around. In City of Night Neverending, most of the action takes place on or under the sea, in ships, submersibles and a sunken city. The steampunk elements are still there, but the dinosaurs are played down a little, for now. Still, I loved the development of Joss and his friends, as they all learning about their strengths and forming a tight bond.
This book did not let up with the action. Joss and his friends are thrown into it with the pyrate attack right from the start, and there are only a handful of moments where they are actually in a safe place.
Having said that, there are a few quieter, soul-searching moments where Joss makes new discoveries about his family. We also get to meet Drake’s family, who are not yet quite accepting of his transexuality. It’s an important moment for the whole group, and ultimately makes Drake, Hero and Joss stronger together.
I loved the creatures in this book, especially Bhashvirak, the gigantic shark with the submersible attached to its back. The villains are still amazing as well, and utterly ruthless. That ending – such chills! I can’t wait for this series to continue.
I’ll certainly be leaving this books in a prominent place for my kids to find, when they’re ready. I’m loving it!