- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Charlesbridge Teen (Sept. 18 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1580898076
- ISBN-13: 978-1580898072
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.1 x 23.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 581 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
Twice Dead Hardcover – Sep 18 2018
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Naya Garth, apprentice to her wealthy merchant father, has been sent to prove herself by speaking with a supplier—but will it be the test she was expecting? On her way from her father's ship to the supplier's home in Ceramor, 17-year-old Naya is killed. A necromancer brings her back to life as a wraith with the authority of Ambassador Valn from her home country of Talmir. He wants her to continue to be of service to Talmir by becoming a spy. Naya has great difficulty accepting her circumstances until she meets Corten, another wraith, who helps her learn about her new powers. Over time Naya begins to question whether she is on the right side of the conflict between Ceramor and Talmir. She also fears what she has inadvertently involved Corten in. Naya, Corten, and the inhabitants of Ceramor are described as being tan-skinned, and the inclusion of a lesbian couple makes for a pleasantly diverse cast. Debut author Seal's characters aren't particularly well-rounded, but the world they inhabit is richly detailed and the plotline is exciting, if at times predictable. This is a promising beginning to a series that makes us question what we think we know. A high fantasy filled with adventure, espionage, and romance that envelops the reader in a world where the undead walk among the living.—Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Caitlin Seal is a writer and compulsive reader living in Northern California. When not writing she enjoys skiing, aikido, and playing way too many board games.See all Product description
From the Publisher
Greetings, dear reader.
Let me tell you a secret. I was a very late learner when it came to reading. For years, I struggled with written words. I couldn’t see the point in fighting to decipher squiggles on a page when there were so many more exciting things to explore in the world. I wish I could tell you about the moment that changed. But all I remember is the stark divide between when books were something I avoided and when they became my favorite obsession.
After my transformation into a proud bookworm, fantasy quickly became my favorite genre. I love the wonder of exploring new worlds and ideas. As I grew up, I wanted to give something back to the community that led me on so many adventures. Twice Dead sprang from that desire, and from an attempt to blend my love of ghost stories with my love of fantasy.
It’s a funny thing, sending a book out into the world. For so long this story existed only in my own head, and now here it is in your hands. I hope you enjoy it.
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As the summary states, Naya is murdered and becomes a wraith. Since the reader knows this going into the book, not a lot of time is spent on exploring not-undead Naya. Very quickly she enters the world of necromancy and wraiths and “aether,” the energy-like substance that wraiths live on. Seal is clear in her explanations on the workings of necromancy and does a good job of showing the way magic works in this society, instead of always telling the reader with dragging paragraphs. I was satisfied with her unique construction of Ceramor and the Powers, the necromancy-hating Talmir and the deep history to the last war. My only issue was how many new names/cities were introduced — I wouldn’t have minded a glossary, because I did confuse terms sometimes.
From the beginning Naya is wrapped up in a political plot that is slowly revealed to be full of traitors and liars. I enjoyed the story but for one thing: at times I didn’t know where the story was headed. About fifty percent into the book, I actually thought everything was concluded, and was entirely confused about why there was more to the book. I had no problem continuing on, because I liked Naya’s character, but the plot could drag sometimes. Otherwise, the entire political plot is really well crafted and had me scratching my head trying to see what could be coming up next.
Naya is a fun to read along with. I wouldn’t classify her as one of my favourity badass heroines, but she still kicks butt. I will say I had no interest in the (very minor) identity struggle she had near the end of the book, though. Just because it’s focused on “who am I, the Naya who was alive or the Naya who is undead???” But as a reader I never knew her as alive so… The struggle lacked real power to me. But undead Naya really knows how to play the game! Naya kept things interesting throughout the book, moving pieces together and honestly saving the entire city. Because what can’t girls do.
However, I’m sad to say a biiiig down moment for me in the book was the romance. I was nooooot vibing, I’m sorry to say. For me, it was like two platonic friends were kissing from time to time and I was supposed to be cheering and feeling feels? Which is a bummer because I can tell the romance plays a key role in book two. The love interest read like a two dimensional character to me, offering no real interesting qualities or additions to the book.
The book wraps up really well, with a clear set-up for book two. No deadly cliffhangers if you’re not into those!
Three and a half stars for this read, and I would recommend for any fantasy/magic fans. This book loses rating points because the romance fell flat and the love interest even as a character was not interesting. Also, the plot had slower moments that made it just too easy to put the book down … which I did, several times, and I usually finish books in one sitting. But the romance does not make this book, so if you’re still down for an original fantasy read (I l-o-o-o-ve how Seal develped necromancy in this world!) I highly suggest.
The world building is really cool. I like the idea of resurrecting through a particular bone, and the ethics of what makes a person a person and what is a soul.
I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys paranormal fantasy! I cant wait to read the rest of this series when it comes out! I'm excited ^-^
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book follows our main character Naya, a naive trade merchant’s daughter from the country of Talmir, who is on her first trade mission in the country of Celamor. Her father waits for her on their ship while she ventures off to meet with the client. On the way there, she’s murdered in an alleyway and later brought to back to life as a wraith by a necromancer. After her resurrection, she learns from the Talmirian embassy that she was brought back in order to spy on Celamor.
Now it’s worth mentioning at this point that Talmir is morally opposed to necromancy and because of this, Talmir and Celamor are bitter enemies on the brink of war. There’s not a lot of trust between the two countries. Neya is coerced into spying for her country, but as she quickly learns, things are not as they seem and not all of those she deemed trustworthy can be trusted.
This is a fast-paced, action-filled novel with fantastic world building. I enjoyed the backstory between the two enemy nations, though it took me a bit to get a handle on what was going on. But once I did, I found the intrigue, the politics, the spying and the backstabbing to be quite an enjoyable journey.
The magic system in the story was refreshing — the necromancy as presented here was not the type of magic system you often see in stories. When someone is resurrected, they are bound to their former body by runes engraved on their bones. The resurrection process also involves “singing” the soul back to the body, which is a complicated and rather lengthy procedure. I found this system not only unique but genuinely fascinating (and perhaps just a tad creepy!). This is the first book I’ve read about necromancy, and the system as it was presented here was intriguing. It was fun accompanying Naya on her journey as she discovered her new powers, adjusted to her wraith-body, learned about wraiths and necromancers, and overcame her long-held prejudices.
I found the writing to be crisp, sharp and clean, and well-edited (I didn’t notice any errors), and the storytelling and characterization were expertly done. The characters were well-fleshed out, the pace was spot on, and the storyline kept me flipping the page until it ended.
Twice Dead also had some exciting twists and surprises — it definitely packed some punch. The story, in my opinion, was well-thought out and well planned. There wasn’t one point in this book where I was confused as to what was going on. Naya was an interesting, dynamic character, and almost immediately, I felt comfortable in her head.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, action-packed thrillers, spy novels, paranormal adventures and worlds with intriguing magic systems. This was a fun ride that I’m glad I got to be a part of. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for the next book in the series.
Note: A big thank you to NetGalley, who provided me an Advanced Reader Copy of “Twice Dead” in exchange for an honest review.
This review originally posted on my review blog at rogersreads.com
Having been told all of her life that the undead are evil abominations Naya suddenly finds herself among their number. After that nothing is certain and she is left to sort the truth from lies before it is too late to save those that she loves.
Told form Naya's point of view and the writing has a good balance between details to set the scene and action to keep things moving. (To be honest I'm surprised this is the author's first book.) These details leave you, the jaded reader, to infer what is likely (but not always) going on before Naya herself is aware of it. It is easy to be drawn into the world created in this story; it is rich and diverse. As Naya learns the ins and outs of her new home so too do you making it easier to sympathize with and understand her choices.
I hope the second in the series is as good. (I'm inclined to think if you liked the first in the Green Rider series you would also enjoy this story- strong female character who isn't quite content with the hand fate has dealt her but making the best of it. Rich world building and good story telling. [I'm not as fond of the remainder of the Green Rider series.])
Twice Dead is an intriguing, action-packed story involving necromancy, war, and betrayal. When Naya’s father, the captain of a merchant ship, docks in Ceramor, she is sent out on her first solo task to meet and negotiate with a fellow merchant. However, things do not go as planned…
Naya wakes up in the workroom of a necromancer after having been attacked and killed in the streets. She awakens not only as one of the undead but as a wraith, a monster from her worst nightmares. Her entire life has been filled with horror stories of the undead, with her homeland believing the practice of necromancy to be an abomination.
When she wakes, she is given an opportunity to work as a spy for her homeland. With the hopes of helping her country in getting this practice officially banned and making her father proud, she agrees. As she learns more about necromancy and what it means to be a wraith, Naya starts discovering secrets that make her believe that not everything she was taught might be true and she must decide who to help in the impending war of the two countries.
This book is unlike anything I have ever read. The concept of the wraiths and their use of life’s energy, aether, was so original. If anything like this already exists, I’ve never heard of it. It was fascinating! I also found everything with the runes intriguing. This world was like a mixture between olden times and modern technology as they used runes to power various things.
This book is full of action; it never stops. I love that it really just jumped right in and didn’t take 75-100 pages to get into the story. Nothing felt like it dragged on. It honestly kept me interested the entire time. Caitlin’s way of writing was easy to read too, which always helps.
I love the characters and really appreciated the interactions between Naya and Corten as he taught her what she was capable of, as well as their relationships with Lucia, the necromancer. I do wish there had been a little more to some of them. For example, there was a lot of build up to Corten’s background, but we never got the full story. I also want to know more about the Mad King and war that led to the treaty between the two countries.
I am assuming there will be a second book. There has to be. I need answers! Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s very unique and interesting. I would recommend checking it out.