I didn’t know if ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ applied to the wait between books in a series. It does.
Story: First off the description on the back of the book is terrible. Okay, will not really. It’s mostly just misleading. Starting off where the last book left off (sorta), Harvey is taking Kieli to the sea of sand (which covers 60% of the world’s surface I believe). At first it’s sort of the same formula from the last book. Go to new city, Kieli wanders away, experiences a spirit, Harvey saves her, etc. However in the process Harvey gains a mechanical right arm (as, if you’ll recall, his arm was blown off at the end of the last book). So, our trio (it may be easy to forgot Corporal is still there seeing as he barely says ANYTHING this time around) board the ship where they meet a spoiled kid who serves to be Harvey’s ‘rival’. Well Kieli sort of tries to arrange it that way but it doesn’t exactly work that way. The kid gets attacked, the kid and Kieli get into trouble and finally Kieli is possessed after Harvey trips out and they end up falling off the boat where they are rescued by old friends of Harvey. (which follows a little bit of formula from the last book as well, I suppose) However they are betrayed and bad stuff goes down. Kieli finds out about her mother and another Undying she knew as a child and gets to speak with her mother before she passes on. In the end they return to port where they meet up with spoiled kid and they split ways for about a second. But in the end, Kieli decides to continue travelling with Harvey and that is that. (okay that was a worse, less detailed synopsis than the last one but I didn’t want to go on and on so this is what you get now)
Characters: Unfortunately, I found there was a little less chemistry between Harvey and Kieli this time around. Harvey seemed more quiet and bitchy than usual and really, they spent more time apart then they did together. But there were scenes that made me dawww and reminded me why I loved this couple so very much. We are sort of introduced to another Undying this time around but it is only through the doll/Kieli’s memories and in the end we don’t really find out what happens to him (do we?). I suspect he’ll probably play a big part in a future novel(s). Another new character is Juli who I also suspect will possibly appear again. I could be wrong though. I kind of hope he doesn’t even though he really wasn’t half as annoying as I expected. Another big disappointment was that the Corporal was broken for most of the novel and for the parts where he wasn’t broken he said very little. I swear, he must have only called him Herbie, like, twice!
Art: I think the artist, Shunsuke Taue, has improved a lot from last time. We don’t have quite so much shoujo-esque art going on this time just rather something classic about it (it’s more noticeable in the art of the mothers). You may remember I raged last time because Kieli cut her hair and nothing good comes of that. However, Kieli doesn’t look nearly as bad as I expected. The artist managed to pull it off, I suppose. Still, I prefer girly-Kieli to boyish-Kieli.
Overall: While I of course loved this volume and flew through it in a matter of a few hours, it didn’t hold the same charm as the first book. It was enjoyable… but in a different way. Like being with a friend you’ve known for a really long time. You still love them but you get set into a routine. Of course, there was still enough ship tease to make me giddy and dawww at every sweet moment the couple had. Personally, I think it was the boat setting that I didn’t enjoy. Very limiting. There wasn’t quite as much gorn as in the first volume. Although Harvey getting shot with a harpoon and then dragged through the sea of sand (or rather his description of what was happening) was pretty gruesome. I’m still disappointed that the Corporal had such a small role as he always instigates lulz or more ship tease. I did enjoy learning about Kieli’s past and am looking forward to this being expanded upon. Auggghhh, in the end it was so worth the wait between the first book and the second (although given the release wait between what I’m reading now and this… it’s really not so long at all) I’m very sad that I’ve finished White Wake on the Sand and cannot wait for the next instalment which comes out in September. Still, if you’re a fan of supernatural or romance (or supernatural romance!) or unabashedly and unashamed of liking Damsels in Distress (as I so totally am), don’t mind a little gorn (or enjoy it, idk) then you’ll enjoy this story. I mean there are a lot worse light novels you could be reading out there. (I won’t give any examples because I’d feel like a traitor)
Fang’s Rating: 9/10 (fangirl bias is biased)