The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee (422 pages)
Overview: This book starts off right where The Thousandth Floor left us, with each of the characters grappling with their involvement in the mysterious death and their own issues they've battled since book one. A new girl comes to town, as well, named Calliope Brown, a mysterious new girl to create more issues for the upper floor girls. That's about all I can say without spoiling this book or the first, but I can guarantee that it's as drama filled and tightly wound as the first. Overall: 4.5
Characters: 4 I've never considered the characters to be at the forefront in the order of importance with the elements of this series. Usually, this would bother me, but, as you will see below, there are so many other larger issues at play that, while good, the characters always sink towards the back of my mind. Each is an interesting player in McGee's game, but I find myself more caught up on the motions than the people inside.
For those concerned about the sheer number of characters, and beyond that, the number of characters with POVs, don't be. Somehow McGee has made it easy for them to all find a spot in your head. Also, the book is written in third person which allows a seamless and continuous flow of the story through all the colored lenses of the characters.
Plot: 5 This is where McGee has consistently amazed me. Her books feature seven main characters, and even more supporting characters, but no one gets lost in the fog. Each interact with each other, twist the relationships, and change places in their lives, but McGee keeps them ironed out perfectly, weaving storylines with a crisp precision I have never seen. And this is what gives McGee's books their magic because she is able to show the complications of life, or, possibly, an even more complicated version without ever confusing her reader or muddying the plot.
Writing: 5 Beyond her abilities with the plot, the world building in this book, just like the first, is superb. I've never seen anything like it even in books with more fantasy or science fiction elements. As she describes it herself as science fiction lite, I have to agree. It's a great book if you're a contemporary reader looking for a slight change in pace or a science fiction reader looking to dip your toe into contemporary. She's makes her world easy to learn by still basing it in a convention foundation while also blowing your mind with inventive technologies and futuristic ideas I couldn't have imagined.
Links of Interest:
The Thousandth Floor Review: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/07/reviews-and-recommendations-week-16.html
Katharine McGee Author Event: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/09/author-event-katharine-mcgee.html
Turtles All The Way Down: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/10/weekly-reviews-and-recommendations-week_18.html