**Contains spoilers for those who have not read REMOVED (Book 1) Left in the desert to recuperate from her injuries, Sanaa Itami paces the floors and contemplates her mistakes. She trusted too easily, and now people she loved are dead, killed at the hands of men coming to assassinate her. Sanaa feels beaten, but life awaits her at home. While Nishikyo recovers from the earthquake, negotiations for Sanaa’s eventual rule on Yusei continue. New allies must be made, new friendships brokered, new skills acquired — at all costs. Life at the top of the chain is complicated and lonely, though. With relations in Sakai clan rocky and uncertain, Sanaa must learn to trust others again more than she’s willing. Who amongst the clans is left holding a grudge? And will the new family Sanaa has found with Jiro support or betray her? From Nishikyo to Yusei, RELEASED, Book TWO of the Nogiku Series, is the second book in a captivating New Adult post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them into the future between Earth and a faraway land.
I got a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I fell completely in love with Removed, the first book in this series and as I had gotten an ARC for Released I decided to start this one right after Removed. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I think I might love Released even more then I did Removed. I was completely engrossed into the story and just wanted to keep reading. This is one of thsoe few books that I kept reading late into the night and then being surprised it was 1:30 when I finished. I just couldn’t put the book down before I had finished it. And that ending, I want book 3 like now!
Released picks up shortly after the ending of Removed, I still remembered everything that happened in Removed, but enough reminders are dropped for readers who read Removed longer ago. The first chapters where a bit slow, but that didn’t take long and after that I couldn’t put it down. I loved Released! It is such a great book and I fell even more in love with this series, the story and the characters.
There are some new characters introduced in this book and I especially came to like Kentaro, he turned my expectation from when he was first introduced upside down and I really liked him at the end of the book. I liked seeing the characters grow and develop and some quite big and important events take place in this book. Sanaa and Jiro are still so perfect together and I loved seeing their relationship grow and develop! Really they are one of the most amazing couples I have come across in a book. They are so perfect for each other and I just loved reading how they interacted with each other. There is also much to learn about some side characters. Even though I call them side characters, most side characters play a important role and you really get to know them well. All the characters in this book really come alive.
Concerning the world building, this book builds upon the world building already done in Removed. The basis is already there and now there is still so much more to learn. Also the science fiction aspect plays a more important part in this book, and even though we don’t learn much about Yusei, I suspect the next book will focus more on that. I had guessed roughly where this book would end, I was mostly right, but damn that ending! It’s a cliffhanger, but it’s also a nice ending, and I really really want the next book now!
To conclude: Released was amazing, I fell even more in love with this series and I couldn’t put this book down. I liked where the story went and I liked meeting the new characters and getting to know others better. There is also some added world building, but not so much as in the first book. The ending left me wanting more and the wait for the next book is going to feel really long, because I want book 3 now!
You can find Released on Goodreads
About the Author:
S. J. Pajonas loves all things Asian and has been in love with Japan for as long as she can remember. Writing about Asia and Japan came naturally after studying the culture and language for over fifteen years. She studied film and screenwriting first and eventually segued into fiction once she was no longer working a full-time job.
Released is S. J. Pajonas’s second work, book two of four in the Nogiku Series. The first book in the series, Removed, is described as “a wonderful story” with “engaging characters, seamless world building, and an action packed plot.” It’s an “up-til-3am-because-I-read-it-in-one-sitting book.” She also writes contemporary romance and her upcoming first book in the Love in the Digital Age series will be published in 2014.
S. J. lives with her husband and two children just outside of New York City. She loves reading, writing, film, J- and K-dramas, knitting, and astrology. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami and favorite book is The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.