A Weekend Read: Namesake by Adrienne Young

As I said, this month is going to be full of sea-themed adventures. Fable by Adrienne Young was the first, followed by a local book called Legenda Perompak Naga: Seni Membangunkan Naga dari Laut by Wisnu Suryaning Adji, and now the spotlight is reserved for Namesake, a sequel to Fable that I enjoyed.

Disclaimer: Please do not read the review if Fable is still on your TBR list. Click here instead to read my spoiler-free review of the first book.

Following where we left off in Fable, Namesake starts right after our main character has experienced short-lived freedom before being a prisoner in the notorious trader ship called Luna. In the middle of the vast ocean, Fable has nowhere to go. The only thing she can do to survive in the enemy's lair is to assist Zola in whatever scheme he is currently into and avoid the blood-thirsty crew that has been thirsting for Crane's death revenge.

Still, Fable doesn't have a clue that all the scheming and deceptions are leading her closer to finding her mother's deepest secret. When it seems like it is going to endanger the very people Fable cares about, she knows she has to risk everything to save them including everything she loves.

It’s not an uncommon knowledge that I hardly ever pick up a mystery book so it may not be fully obvious that I have a fondness for a book full of secrets. Namesake, unexpectedly, was one that fitted the category. Everything that happened here seemed to bear only one purpose: revealing all the secrets in this duology. And I was totally up and ready for the divulgence.

I would say that Namesake was a great book as a whole. For a starter, it contained the same lyrical writing style that lured me to keep going even though I had promised myself to sleep before 10 on the weekend. The characters were deeply flawed, but I loved how they managed to become believably better and progressed. It pained me to witness how vulnerable the relationship between the Marigold crew was in this book but Young managed to beautifully capture each side of the story, albeit only briefly, so their reactions were all fair to me. West’s dark side, however, was a little hard to digest at first but seeing how much he cared about his crew, despite his hard way to show it, made me admire him more.

I especially loved the part about Fable and Saint. Their father-daughter relationship might not be the highlight of the story but I couldn’t deny that the political tension surrounding their development was what made it more interesting to read. All in all, it’s hard to tell who the most interesting character was in this book. I adored Fable still, longed to know more about Saint and Isolde, wanted to hug West and erased the darkness within him, and even befriended Koy who seemed to get quite interesting here.

A part of me, while thinking about what to write on my review, thought that the ending seemed quite fast albeit didn't actually feel like itwhich led me to conclude that the pacing of Namesake was perfect. Now that I have finished the book, I can totally see the correlation between the title and the storyline and boy do I love it. I still have two questions about this book though (please skip this part if you have yet to read it):

First, how did West know where to find Fable? Second, why did Saint abandon Fable in the first place? I could carry on without knowing how West discovered Zola’s destination (probably from Saint for all I know) but the second one was a bit too much to be left unnoticed. I for one found his reason a bit unbelievable. If he loved his kid so much that he thought abandoning her was the best option, couldn’t he send more protection? I’m not saying this to question Fable’s ability, but merely sending a shadow ship to buy something from her didn’t feel like it was enough. Or at least for me it was not.

Despite my questions though, Namesake was still an enjoyable fantasy read. The story was told beautifully and the world-building was as bizarre as the first one. While it may not be the kind of series that leaves me feeling desperately in need of another installment, Fable is certainly a duology I will want to reread in the future.

Actual rating: 4.3