Saturday, September 14, 2019

Book Review: The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) by Maureen Johnson

Book Review: The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) by Maureen Johnson by
The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

Published: January 22, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Young Adult, Contemporary

Hardcover Pages: 384

Synopsis: All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.

For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.

The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel of the Truly Devious series, nothing is free, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.

Thoughts: The main question coming in to any sequel is almost always - did you like it as much as the first one? And while I did still enjoy this sequel a lot, and am thirstily waiting for the next one, I have to say that I enjoyed the first book more. But, I think part of the reason for that may have been that I thought it was a single book going in, rather than knowing ahead of time it probably wasn't going to necessarily have a satisfying conclusion. Well, that's not entirely true - both books have a conclusion, but also leave more up in the air.

Anyway, the point is, I still enjoyed this book and read it quickly, but did feel it wasn't quite as engaging as the first one. It picks up right where the action last left off, with Stevie back at home and wishing she was still at Ellingham. If I'm being honest, as a reader I was also wishing for her to be back at Ellingham so things could get interesting again. Luckily, she doesn't spend too much time at home, so the action picks up very quickly.

The other thing I enjoy about this series are the various characters and their relationships with each other. In particular, I have liked the romance, or sometimes the lack thereof, between Stevie and David. David is definitely an intriguing character, one of those rakish dudes that you probably shouldn't like but inevitably do because he's so damaged and you know he has a good heart at his core, blah blah blah. Typical teenage romance stuff, but I dig it nonetheless.

I'm definitely looking forward to where this one will ultimately end, as it has been confirmed that the next book is a conclusion. But it doesn't come out until January, so I'll have to wait a few months before I get it!

Rating: 3.5/5

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What I'm Reading Next: Dark Age by Pierce Brown

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