Book: De Wereld achter het Water by Jen Minkman
Release Date: November 4th 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Other books in this series I reviewed
Het Boek van Voorheen
Possible spoilers for the first book in the series
The author provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
In this sequel to Het Boek van Voorheen, Leia and Walt are on their way to the world beyond the water where the legendary Cornwall waits on them. Their new friend Tony has told them that all the wars in the past have been forgotten and that the inhabitants of Dartmoor and Bodmin live in peace. People keep to the rules of a past religion that preaches forgiveness and nonviolence.
Unfortunately they quickly learn that even a peace loving and seemingly ideal community as Dartmoor has their shortcomings. After a forbidden trip to Exeter, the old city of their ancestors, our two islanders learn more about the new world than they care to.
What if the price to pay for peace on earth is too high?
De Wereld Achter het Water is the sequel to Het Boek van Voorheen that I read and reviewed earlier this year. That book I felt conflicted about as I really liked the first half but had problems with the second half. I am pleased to say I don’t have that with this one.
One thing that I was very happy about while reading this is that there are only two point of views and we get about five chapters clustered of one character together. This continued on to the end. This was not the case with the first book where I felt pulled out of the story in the second half. So for me the structure was a lot better.
The world gets a lot more deepening in this book as Leia and Walt leave the island to go to the main island. But the island and its inhabitants aren’t left behind. Instead of Walts point of view we now get Alysa’s point of view. Seeing what is going on in the main land and seeing how the islanders deal with the aftermath creates a complete picture for us. We don’t just get jolted away from the island and its culture that we had just gotten to know. We continue on there but also learn more things about the world. I liked this split.
I find it interesting to see the connections to religion as we know it, and how people interpreted things the way they want things to be. Text can be interpreted in different ways clearly. That is what is going on in today’ society as well, and I think it is displayed rather well in this book. One complaint towards the plot is that there was not quite enough action. There was a lot of talk. But at the one hand this was needed to set up a lot for the next book (that I am assuming is coming).
As for the characters, I am not in love with them. I don’t dislike them, I don’t find them annoying. But they just don’t move me. I didn’t miss Walt’s point of view that was replaced by Alysa. Alysa was a solid replacement, but again did not move me in the slightest. I also feel that she was a tad too perfect. She always did the right thing or changed things right away after someone pointed something out.
Lastly I want to say that I did not mind the romance in this book. I found it annoying at the end of the first book, because it moved too quickly for me. I feel like Leia and Walt find support in each other in this book because they are in it together from the start. This moves them closer together without drama in their relationship. I found that quite refreshing. They are still getting to know each other, but it felt a lot more natural to me.