After spending 6 months in the labyrinth, she has grown stronger and more independent. Instead of counting on others to protect her, she's learned to protect herself from the monsters around every turn. She can also hunt and bandage any wounds she has. The only thing she can't do is translate the journal that may tell her how to escape. To do that, she'll have to enlist the help of the people who have vowed to kill her.
A few weeks ago, I reviewed the first book in this series, Children of Icarus. The first book introduced the reader to a nameless protagonist who is chosen to enter the labyrinth with her best friend. According to the legends, those who pass through the labyrinth can become angles, but things go horribly wrong. That focused on the monsters of the labyrinth and politics of the world outside it. In the sequel, I hoped to learn about the journal left the narrator at the end of the first book, why the labyrinth exists and what is on the other side.
The nameless narrator is again the predominant voice of this novel, and she now is called Fey Bell or just Bell. We also are reintroduced to a number of characters from the previous book, some allies and some enemies. There are some interesting new characters though, including the all-male warriors called the Kleos and their rivals, the all-female band called Harmonia. These two groups add some new life and excitement to the story, but overall mirror each other or characters seen in the previous book, at least through our narrator's eyes.
The setting of this novel mostly takes place in familiar territory. We return to familiar places and see them new again through our matured narrator's fresh eyes. The reader is also taken inside of the bases of Kleos and Harmonia, although they don't feel like new settings as the narrator describes them in comparison to the other places she's been. I was a little disappointed the characters didn't venture further into the labyrinth so we could see more of that world and get a teaser for what's beyond it. Although, that did give the reader more opportunity to focus on the plot.
Much like in the first book, I felt that the pacing was off through the book. There's a lot of action, excitement, and tension, but they're a number of small conflicts that don't progress the plot by much if at all. The progress is incremental and then at the very end of the book, there is an aggressive influx of action and information. I wish some of that had been more spread out through the story. Additionally, I was surprised to see so much of the conflict in this novel revolve around drama and petty "he-said-she-said" squabbles when the last book was life and death. I really felt that the main character lost sight of her objective, forgetting about the journal and her escape for many chapters in the middle and near the end.
Children of Daedala is the gripping sequel to Caighlan Smith's Children of Icarus. If you enjoyed the first book, this one picks up easily where it left off. It's a fun and tension-filled read. Lingering questions about the mysterious labyrinth will pull you in and the mysterious narrator with her diverse cast of characters will keep you going. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for the next book in this series.