Review: The Sowing (The Torch Keeper #2) by Steven dos Santos

Author: Steven Dos SantosTitle: The Sowing
Series: The Torch Keeper #2
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Survival Fiction
Publisher: Flux Books
Expected Publication Date: March 8,2014

This time, there are no choices.

Lucian “Lucky” Spark leads a double life. By day, he trains to become one of the Establishment elite. At night, he sabotages his oppressors from within, seeking to avenge the murder of his love, Digory Tycho, and rescue his imprisoned brother.

But when he embarks on a risky plot to assassinate members of the Establishment hierarchy, Lucky is thrust into the war between the Establishment and the rebellion, where the lines between friend and foe are blurred beyond recognition. His only chance for survival lies in facing the secrets of the Sowing, a mystery rooted in the ashes of the apocalyptic past that threatens to destroy Lucky’s last hope for the future.

 "Freedom and dignity are not scraps to be doled out by cruel masters. They belong to every man, woman, and child. They are our right. And we won't stop, until they belong to us!"

The Sowing by Steven dos Santos picks up shortly after The Culling has ended. Lucian "Lucky" Spark has become one of the establishments soldiers and spends his days pretending to be the person they want him to be. However, once the sun sets Lucky takes on another identity all together and through his dangerous and highly illegal activities risks losing the very thing he went to hell and back to save, his brother Cole.

One of the hardest parts about starting a sequel to a book you loved is that you already go into it with obscenely high expectations. That isn't a problem if the book manages to match or exceed them but when it doesn't the effect can be quite crushing. This is the case with The Sowing. I simply loved The Culling too much and so everything in the sequel was judged against that. Was the book good? Yes. Am I happy to have read it? Certainly. However, it wasn't a perfect read and here's why:

The Beginning- I don't know if it was the dialogue between Lucky and the other recruits or the fact that I found his time playing saboteur boring but either way I felt that the beginning dragged on quite a bit and left me bored at times. In fact, it wasn't until around the 30% mark where I witnessed a noticeable shift in overly enjoyment and pacing.

The Culling- I was a bit sad to see Lucky have to go back into this competition so soon although I certainly expected it to happen at some point again in the series. While I understood why this take place and it's clearly explained I felt myself comparing it to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire wherein those characters have to return after rebelling against the system and are sent back to hopefully be taken care of without being outright murdered by the system. I have to say, because of that I felt that the plot wasn't quite as endearing to me as it was in the first book.

Cassius- Maybe I'm crazy for liking this character so much but I keep hoping for his redemption not only as a person but also former love of Lucky. Still none in sight and that makes me sad as I really, truly, believe he might not be as evil as everyone thinks he is.

Now despite having some faults in terms of pacing and plot, I really did find myself loving parts of the story in the end.

First off, I love these Characters. Lucky is just such an amazing human being. He's like a blend of Flynn Rider, Rick Grimes and Zeke Crosse  all rolled into one ball of badass served with a side of awesomesauce. He's not only kind and gentle but also tough as nails and willing to risk it all for those he loves. I also as mentioned above love Cassius. He's my Walker of the Torch Keeper series. I have no doubt that he is more than meets the eye but then again after this book maybe I'm delusional and just setting myself up for disappointment. I hope not though. I also really enjoyed the secondary characters in this installment. They aren't just lambs being led to slaughter like the characters in the first book ended up being. No, these characters had a taste of freedom and were willing to do anything and everything to hold onto that. Although some were still unlucky nonetheless and believe me when I say those deaths were brutal to watch.

I also really loved the twist at the end of the story. I really didn't see it coming but it really makes me nervous for all those involved. Let's just say the next book is gonna be a bloodbath of that I have no doubt.

Final Thoughts
Even though I was a bit let down with certain aspects of the story, I am still incredibly happy to have read The Sowing. Would I recommend it? Yes! That hasn't changed one bit. There is just something so gritty and realistic in The Torch Keeper Dystopian series that in my opinion, sets it apart from others like it currently on the market. Plus it doesn't hurt that the writing stays consistently above par and really pushes the envelope of not only the content but also the characters limitations in their increasingly brutal world.  With that being said, I'll be rating The Sowing by Steven dos Santos ★★★★.

 *Copy reviewed provided by Netgalley.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way  for providing them.


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