I feel like Raging Star mostly lived up to my hopes for an end to this series. I honestly had forgotten a lot of what happened in these books (and maybe thought that they happened in a different series don’ttellanybody), but as it all came back to me, I got really excited. I’ve grown to love these characters over the course of the last couple of books, and I was so excited to see what would happen to them–even moreso when a few of them returned, after I’d thought their arcs were finished!
I don’t want to talk too much about the plot of this book. I don’t want to give anything away, and the threads are kind of complicated and twisted together from the beginning. To be really vague, though, Saba and her Free Hawks (what’s left of them) are still fighting, and DeMalo still needs to be put down. A lot happens, a lot doesn’t work (for Saba, not the writing), and some things happen that I didn’t expect AT ALL. There is one plot twist that’s pretty transparent from the beginning, and I was mildly annoyed that it got dragged out for so long, but…eh. It’s OK. That said, all the surprises near the end made the climax of the book fairly explosive, and if how things all went down felt a little hodge-podge, I’m willing to give it some leeway: at least Saba’s been telling us for 100 pages or more that she has no idea how this will end, and honestly, it was kind of awesome.
My one real disappointment was that there wasn’t more of Saba and DeMalo together in this book. I really enjoy their weird chemistry, and I’d have liked even more of that throughout. It seemed like a missed opportunity to create more tension and strain, which I felt was missing in a couple of places where the book was a little bit plodding. Unfortunately, we didn’t see much of Jack, either, and he’s my favorite character in the whole series. He does have a couple of nice scenes, but they were shorter than I would have liked.
My strongest feeling, having just finished the book, is that Raging Star would have been stronger without the little post-Nero epilogue. I *wanted* it to end a certain way, but I kind of liked that the first closing scene just gave a hint and let you draw your own conclusions. That said, I got chills when I turned the page and saw that there was more, so maybe I just can’t be perfectly pleased? LOL.
In sum, I enjoyed Raging Star. I think Young’s an imaginative and creative writer, and I adore how she writes women. There were picky things I might have changed, but I felt like parts of it were really strong, and I loved seeing how Saba’s journey ended. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on the Dust Lands series after book one! Pretty clean (but for those who are sensitive to it, there’s a lot of g-d). Couple of mentions of sex, but no details. I’m waffling between 3.5 and 4 stars. 3.75?