Anyway, when I picked this book up, I didn't remember much of the characters or even the names of most of the places. That's mostly because I forgot a lot about the last instalment, but slowly, the characters came back to me but they still felt lifeless. After Natasha Kestal got help from Ryan Wesson's crew and crossed the pacific with endurance and a few drakons, the RSA has been taken down more than a few notches and a few people have started to rebel and are on Nat's side. It's too bad the RSA wasn't given a lot of detail in the book to make it originally sinister or differ from any other book with a corrupt government. Nat has been in The Blue with her drakon for a few months and learning what life was like when it was warm outside before the freezing, before New Vegas became a part of the garbage country and one of the best things you could eat was a plasti-burger. Eww. I expected Wes to be on the breakthrough of finding his long lost sister Eliza at the start of the book with his group, and then it turns out it's basically the plot of the book. Meanwhile, Nat is having hallucinations about some chamber and she's met a drau (a being that was also in Eve Silver's Rush, matter-of-factly, so I guess you can call it a common name now) named Faix who has a similar power to Michael Vey's Nichelle. I've also met a book that was, even at only two-hundred and seventy pages, a struggle to read.
The first problem I saw with this book is that Nat's drakon spends an unprecedented time away from her rider, which adds to the fact that I felt this was a missed opportunity. It also spends a lot of time featuring Nat and Wes' relationship and how they can never be together. A problem I found with this was that in the dialogue, they are mean to each other, but as the chapters change the main character from Nat to Wes, in that order, we see how both characters still love each other, but by the end of the second part, Wes says to Nat that he'll have no problem leaving her behind when they head to New Kandy. Really? Wes' story doesn't make much sense either. First of all, something doesn't go according to plan, so he just decides to end the mission midway through even though he knows and we know what would happen. That isn't the only time surrender is mentioned in the book. A character is killed too early and is given too original a name for me to forgive it. And does this Bradley character really expect Wes to change sides after everything? That's like a criminal deciding to work with a cop that killed his entire family and still blabs about it in public. Did anyone really expect the business to stay? A romance scene while Nat and Wes are being chased and surrounded? There are occasional action scenes, especially this surprising twist that I didn't want, persuading me to buy the next Heart of Dread, which is supposed to be called Golden. But just like the last instalment, which I'm now questioning if I ever liked it, it gives off wink after wink (after wink) that the next Heart of Dread will be better. Much better. What I wanted in this Heart of Dread sequel was a change in pollution and good criminal propaganda and I instead got a cold hike of a story with a drop of fantasy.