Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes her first solo trading mission in the necromancer-friendly country bordering her homeland of Talmir. Unfortunately, she never even makes it to the meeting. She's struck down in the streets of Ceramor. Murdered. But death is not the end for Naya. She awakens to realize she's become an abomination--a wraith, a ghostly creature bound by runes to the bones of her former corpse. She's been resurrected in order to become a spy for her country. Reluctantly, she assumes the face and persona of a servant girl named Blue.
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a review. The title really intrigued me, as did the concept of the country full of the reanimated dead. It sounded like the author had created a new and interesting concept, beyond the over-used zombie narrative. I was excited to see what Naya's story hold and what this new world and undead species would bring to the table.
The world of Ceramor, in which Naya finds herself captured in, was an exciting new place to explore. The political drama with Naya's home country of Talmir and the people's relationship with necromancers and the undead added greatly to the setting and tone of the book. I also loved the magic the author created, which is based on runes and deeply integrated into the technology of the world. This setting was a nice change from the medieval/urban fantasies I see so often.
The plot of the this book was enticing and exciting. I enjoyed the way the author dropped me immediately into the plot and didn't let up. The tension and action is constantly being ramped up as the stories continues. However, I did find the supposed plot twists fairly predictable. From the moment a plot element was introduced, I was able to predict what would happen by the end of its arc, almost exactly every time.
Much like the plot elements, I found the characters of the Twice Dead predictable. They were all fun and likable characters, or unlikable for the antagonists, but they were one dimensional. Their motives were transparent, even as the author attempted to conceal them. They didn't seem complicated or especially memorable for me. Naya was a fun protagonist, but I didn't miss her once I'd finished the book.
Twice Dead is the first book in Caitlin Seal's new series. The world created is beautifully complex and unique. The plot was predictable but entertaining. I enjoyed the characters, including the protagonist Naya, but they were one-dimensional and unmemorable. I'll look forward to the next book in Seal's series, so I can learn more about this world.