*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of KINDLE Ebook The Dazzling Heights Book 2 of The Thousandth Floor series by Katherine McGee

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When I saw this one on Netgalley, I immediately requested it, having read the first book, The Thousandth Floor – see my review here – and really enjoying it.

New York City, 2118. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible – if you want it enough.

Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a beacon of futuristic glamour and high-tech luxury… and to millions of people living scandalous, secretive lives. Leda is haunted by nightmares of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’s afraid the truth will get out – which is why she hires Watt, her very own hacker, to keep an eye on all of the witnesses for her. But what happens when their business relationship turns personal? When Rylin receives a scholarship to an elite upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being here also means seeing the boy she loves: the one whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return. Avery is grappling with the reality of her forbidden romance – is there anywhere in the world that’s safe for them to be together? And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who’s arrived in New York with a devious goal in mind – and too many secrets to count. Here in the Tower, no one is safe – because someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, you’re always only one step away from a devastating fall…

This YA near-future thriller bristles with intrigue, including an intended con, a guilt-ridden girl desperate to cover her tracks and prepared to go to any lengths to do so and a young couple who have it all – except each other. Most of these characters are materially pampered, living as they do in the lap of luxury with all sorts of extra add-ons gifted by near-future technology that we don’t yet possess. I really like these futuristic nifty touches McGee includes throughout the story without impeding the pace in any way.

I also enjoyed the fact that McGee isn’t content to merely present us with an ensemble of privileged youngsters, who inevitably are saddled with entitled attitudes – she takes us into their lives to the extent that even if we don’t like them, we do understand what drives them. As it happens, there was no one among the cast who I didn’t like. While initially, it took me a little while to recall who was doing what to whom, once I rebonded with all the protagonists, I found myself caring about all of them. After that, the pages turned themselves as the storyline advances through the alternating viewpoints of each one of the characters trying to make their way in a glittering world where they are the object of a lot of jealous scrutiny.

There is a nice moral lurking within this story that McGee keeps downplayed, making it all the more effective. Happiness doesn’t equal the next designer dress, beautiful piece of jewellery or wonderful party – instead it is about friendship, trust and love, both within and outside families.

Any grizzles? Hm. There is a dramatic incident near the end of the story that radically shifts the dynamic and the person responsible apparently comes out of nowhere. Of course, if you have read the first book, you will instantly recognise the name and understand what is powering her actions. I did feel that it wouldn’t have unduly lengthened the book to have a couple of chapters featuring this particular character, giving us more of her backstory. Having said that, it certainly isn’t a dealbreaker and is more of an observation as someone who habitually picks up book series halfway through.

Once more, the story ends with a dramatic climax, so that I shall be eagerly looking out for the next slice of this adventure. Recommended for those who like their YA with plenty of tension in a very cool futuristic setting. While I obtained the arc of The Dazzling Heights from the publisher via NetGalley, this has in no way influenced my unbiased review.
8/10

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10 responses »

  1. Great review (I really need to get mine written at some point). I really loved this book possibly more than the first. I love how she develops the characters and relationships between them. My opinion of one character completely flipped.

    I’m possibly the opposite of you in that all of the little futuristic touches bugged me. A cake with edible lights in the icing is a step too far. Who wants to eat that?

    Anyway, I also thought the disappearing character was deliberate. She made a comment in the beginning about being invisible so I had a feeling she was lurking out of sight and would reappear.

    • Ah… you’re probably right – but I was thinking from the perspective of someone who hadn’t read the first book and would have liked just a couple more of those slightly menacing mini-appearances before that massive scene.
      But you’re right – she certainly flips around the characters and I found I liked and sympathised with them all. I’m certainly looking forward to reading the next one. And yes – I was excited at the thought of edible lights:))

  2. I think this might be a good series for me. I enjoy character driven stories and like the idea that there’s a big bang ending for each book. No cliffhangers?

  3. This sounds like an exciting and intriguing read with everything that’s going on. And that’s great when an author can pull that off when even if you don’t like a character you can still understand them. That’s too bad there wasn’t a little more bit foreshadowing about that person responsible for that incident at the end, but sounds like that was only a minor issue. Great review!

    • Thank you, Lola. Given the number of main characters the author is juggling and the various storylines, that really is a minor quibble in the great scheme of things – I’m a solid fan of this series and am looking forward to the next instalment.

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