Reviews

Knife Edge, by Malorie Blackman

bibliobethreads's review against another edition

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5.0

've only dipped my toe so as to speak into Malorie Blackman's excellent young adult reads so far, starting with the brilliant Noughts And Crosses (read my review HERE) and now with the follow up Knife Edge. Well, I might be a bit of a latecomer to the party but blow me down with a feather she is a superb writer! I always worry with a series that it might suffer from "second book syndrome," or tail off and lose my interest but I enjoyed the sequel just as much as I did the first. I'm going to try my hardest not to spoil things for those of you that haven't begun the series yet but it might be better if you go off and read the first book then come back and read my review!

Okay, so where the first novel focuses on two Romeo and Juliet-esque characters who are fated never to be together purely because of the difference in their skin colours, the second tends to focus and hone in on a couple of these characters - Persephone (Sephy to her friends) and Jude. After the nail-biting and shocking ending of Noughts & Crosses, Sephy has a hell of a lot more to be worried about then just relationships. She now has a whole new life to be responsible for in the form of Callie Rose, a daughter named for her father and more precious to her than anything else. Life never runs smoothly for Sephy sadly and she ends up moving in with Callum's mother Meggie who is not completely delighted to have her there but begins to dote on her little grand-child. Poor Sephy is also suffering from what happened in the last novel along with a bout of post natal depression which begins to threaten her relationship with her daughter.

As well as Sephy's viewpoint, we also get one from another familiar character - Jude, Callum's brother who is on the run after being wanted as a member of the Liberation Militia, a violent organisation seeking equal rights for Noughts in a world ruled by inequality. He is absolutely furious with Sephy (and with all Crosses in general) for what he believes she has put his family through and when something happens to him that shakes his whole belief system, their paths cross again. Will she help him or will it be daggers at dawn?

I've got to admit I had no idea about which way Malorie Blackman was going to take this story after the ending of the first novel (which was pure fireworks for me, by the way) and I'm really pleased she dug down a bit deeper into her characters mindsets. We have suffered with Sephy from the very beginning of the series but in Knife Edge we see her becoming a mother, overcoming obstacles and really growing as a person. But Jude - what can I say? He is a vile, disgraceful and embarrassing piece of humanity but by the author exploring his character in more depth and allowing for a tiny glimmer of good that he might possess, I even started feeling a bit sorry for him! Only a bit, mind you. Once again, I also loved the way in which the author presented this dystopian world not too far removed from our own, where skin colour can mean everything in life is granted or taken away from you. And the ending? Oh dear Lord, she's done it again....it's one terrific cliffhanger that will have you grabbing for the third book in this four book series Checkmate immediately!

For my full review please see my blog at http://www.bibliobeth.com

anastasiia90's review

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slow-paced
  • Loveable characters? No

1.75

tabithalevis's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional reflective fast-paced

4.0

naomi_hyde's review against another edition

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3.0

Not as good as the first one

rebeccasweeney03's review against another edition

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4.0

Another brilliant instalment in the Noughts and Crosses series, which goes even darker than the first book.

The author’s writing style, as well as complex and beautifully layered characters, made this book completely binge-worthy and so easy to get through.

I would highly recommend everyone reads this epic series, which is equal parts entertaining and educational. Such an important story to tell.

Loved it!

ruby1993's review against another edition

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5.0

Loved the series, well written and a wonderful continuation of the firsst book!

flappermyrtle's review against another edition

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3.0

To be honest, I liked this second part of the Noughts&Crosses trilogy less than the first part. The emphasis on the baby and Sephy's relationship to it, that constantly changes, felt too drawn out for me. The chapters on Jude were interesting, though I was sorry to see that the development of him into a three-dimensional character is virtually wiped out by the end of the book. Still, it's a good read, with exciting plot twists, and I felt the bits written from the perspective of the two mothers were really good. Though the reader's knowledge of the world is expanded a little, the book often comes back to the principles already set out in Noughts and Crosses and ruminates more on those, to the point that it becomes a bit too obvious what Blackman's political stance is (which was more subtle in N&C, and something I particularly liked). The cliffhanger is to die for, that must certainly be said!

milffiction's review against another edition

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4.0

i'm literally shaken to the core after finishing this book, i don't even think i have the capability to talk about how astounding this part of the noughts & crosses series is. my jaw dropped several times throughout this book, i couldn't even believe what i was reading. it was so sick and twisted and i ate up every word written on the pages because i became so invested in their purpose and perspectives. the alibi they came up with is literally incredible, unraveling it was truly my favourite part of the book. including meggie's and jasmine's perspectives was so useful to have an insight on additionally. the only thing i disliked was the huge time skips with no clear mention of how life had generally been. however, the ending to this book is literally insane and it makes me so excited to read further into the series.

whatbritreads's review against another edition

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3.0

I read this book in one sitting and honestly, still don’t know whether I’m liking the series or not – my feelings are so conflicted in regard to several aspects.

First and foremost, I still stand by the fact that the political themes in this book are brilliant and well executed. The entire idea for the series is amazing and I love the dystopian aspect too. I think it’s a very thought-provoking and bold series for young adults, and is rally daring in the dark topics it puts forward. I love the idea of the books, the execution just falls short repeatedly which makes me sad.

The chapter style in this book was an improvement on the first, the chapters were longer which made the story feel less disjointed. I’m annoyed that there were more than two points of view though, I just feel it’s unnecessary and adds nothing at all to the story. I will say I loved being in Jude’s head for this one though – it was wild. Also, little is left to the readers. Things are stated so obviously with no opportunity to read between the lines for ourselves and infer from the text – many things really didn’t need to be stated but were which grated on me after a while.

The pacing is so much better, as the book take places over a much shorter time period than the first (which kept skipping several years randomly). I still didn’t care about the characters though, and side characters kept getting randomly introduced. They had no real personality yet again; a running theme throughout this series. Though the plot twists in this book do keep you guessing and come as a surprise, some events do feel so random and out of character that it confuses me – some of it feels like its in there purely for the shock factor which takes away from the emotion of some scenes.

Still a solid three star and by no means bad, it’s definitely worth reading and I still find myself wanting to know what happens next but the writing of it is just very mid-range.

kiaramcc's review against another edition

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2.0

Okay I loved the first of the trilogy and a good bit of this but by the end I wasn’t convinced - it might just be personal opinion but I think that within a book you’ve got to at least be rooting for someone but after a few shocking turns in this there was no one left to root for. I get it that all characters should have at least some flaws, something to make them a little more realistic but that’s not what these character arcs do at all…

Probably still going to read the next one though as it was left on SUCH a cliff hanger.