2.5/5 stars

*I received an e-ARC from St Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review. A big thank you for letting me read Namesake early!

This review will contain some spoilers for Fable, the first book in the duology. If you haven’t read Fable yet, I recommend skipping reading this! If you are interested in reading my review for Fable, click here.

When I first started reading Fable by Adrienne Young, I wasn’t too sure I’d like it. I was quickly proven wrong and immediately fell in love with the story of a young woman fighting to survive and find her place in a world that had treated her poorly for many years. When it ended on a cliffhanger, I was devastated because I realized I wouldn’t know what will happen next until 2021. Thanks to St Martin’s Press, I only had to wait a few months!

Namesake starts directly after Fable‘s cliffhanger, where a kidnapped Fable must now navigate life on a ship under Zola’s command while dealing with threats from other crew members, and Clove’s betrayal. As Zola schemes to expand his trade and meet with the powerful gem trader Holland, Fable soon learns that her family has kept many secrets that have put her and her friends in danger.

I’ve seen other reviews either loved it or disliked it, but unfortunately, I lean more towards the later side. I felt that a lot of the characters I had fallen in love with in Fable took a backseat in the second book or felt different. Kind of like when a character is re-cast in a TV show. I especially had issue with how the crew, who I loved reading about in Fable, became quick side points in Namesake. There was hardly any interractions with them and I felt like Fable only noted they existed when they surved a purpose for her, or when she thought about how she was doing them wrong. There is one scene that started to give some backstory into Auster’s past…only for Fable to talk over him and steer the story back to her.

It possible I’m not seeing the character as the author intended, but I also felt that some characters were immediately antagonized for just doing their job. There is one character (who I won’t name of give much details on to avoid spoilers) that was portrayed as an antagonis, though I’m still confused why they were treated as such. The second half of the story is spent trying to bring this person down, when the things they’ve done aren’t that dissimmilar to what Fable’s father and West have done. Some of West’s destructive and violent actions are brought up and Fable just seemed to brush them off rather than even approach him about them, however she focuses a lot on the wrongs and potential future wrongdoings of the aforementioned character. I am very curious to see what others thought about this character and their actions and whether or not Fable was justified.

Namesake comes out on March 16, 2021. You can pre-order it online at Indigo or from your local bookstore.

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