ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
This book is book 2 in the Goddesses Rising Trilogy and it is set 3 years after the events in book one - Under the Moon.
The events in this book are heavily entwined with the events in Under the Moon, they are in fact almost a direct consequence of the events in book one. As a result it features almost an exact cast of characters with the addition of Riley. Despite this, you don't need to have read Under the Moon to pick up and enjoy Heavy Metal - but you'll probably enjoy it more if you have read it.
* From this point on the review features minor spoilers from book one so if you haven't yet read it yet... *
I said in my review for Under the Moon that it held my attention but it wasn't like I couldn't put it down. The exact opposite was true for Heavy Metal. I was hooked from the beginning and I read it in a day.
The story is fast paced and it builds on the world of the Goddesses, the society and the Protectorate as well as giving you a conclusion to the events in Under The Moon (e.g. Quinn and the Leeched Goddesses) as well as giving Sam his own happy for now / happy ever after after losing Quinn in Under The Moon.
I loved Sam in Under the Moon for many reasons but the main reason was probably that he is man who prefers to use his brain before his brawn. That's not to say he is incapable of fighting but he thinks first, then acts and it is incredibly sexy. This holds true in Heavy Metal. Sam is still Sam. Losing Quinn, in Under the Moon, has left his mark on him. He isn't angry or bitter, he's just lost his purpose.
Riley is young (23ish) and she's undecided on whether the Goddesses are myths or con-artists up until her own abilities develop and she is left questioning everything she thought she knew. She has lost everything and is being hunted. She is scared and confused and goes to Sam hoping to find answers. Initially she seems incredibly timid and fragile but as the story progresses she shows she has an inner strength as strong as steel... Much like medium she draws power through.
Riley gives Sam a renewed sense of purpose and Sam gives Riley the confidence she needs to become all she can be. It's not instalove between them but they do fall fast and hard.
As I said before, plot threads from Under the Moon are wrapped up in this book and new ones are created. I assume the unanswered questions from Heavy Metal will be wrapped up in December when book 3 (Sunroper) is released.
All in all, I liked it better than book one and I'm left excited for book 3.
4 out of 5 stars.