Into the Midnight Void

Little, Brown. (Beyond the Ruby Veil: Bk. 2). Jan. 2022. 272p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780759557758.
Gr 9 Up–After falling as far as she possibly could in the first book, Emanuela now rules over six cities, separated by the mysterious Ruby Veil. Her détente with Verene and the fake rebellion she foments in the city keep Emanuela in power and their enmity wavering. What her nemesis doesn’t know is Emanuela can’t control her magic; so when the Ruby Veil finally falls, it’s all her fault. Forced on a quest with her enemies, Emanuela must navigate the city of the dead and try to put things right, only to come face-to-face with the best friend she failed. Fast-paced and just as violent as the first novel, Emanuela is is forced to face consequences of her quest for world domination. Each of the characters has a hard-won arc in this duology, as they grapple with self-worth, power, love, and memory. Fitzgerald’s writing is sharp and multifaceted, but the greatest strength is the depth given to her characters: teenagers are allowed to be angry and ambitious, as well as impulsive. Some plot elements get handed to the characters, making the adventure the weakest link in the book. Its tackling of the limits of love, the depth of friendship, and the queer romance elements will satisfy most readers who have embarked on this wild ride. Verene has brown skin, and everyone else reads as white.
VERDICT World dominating chaos lesbians are forced into a quest that naturally involves more murder. Gruesome and unforgivable, these characters appeal to a specific niche, but those readers will enjoy themselves.

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