Very often, book sequels tend to suffer from Second Book Syndrome, where the author’s second book doesn’t turn out to be as good as the first one. But when they defy this, the series becomes even more enjoyable. Yashesh Rathod’s Frank Carter series is one such that defies.
The first book of this historical fantasy series, Something Strange Over the Yellow Lotus, is a book I read and reviewed last year, and though I found it to be lacking in the language used and writing style, the plot is promising and despite the shortfalls, makes for an entertaining read.
If you’d like to watch my review of the first book, here’s where you can: Watch on YouTube.
Macabre Expedition, the second book in the Frank Carter series, picks up 8 months after the end of events in the first book. Frank Carter and his family have now moved and have established a quiet life. But Randolph Smith is now in contact with Frank again, warning him of dire consequences for having played around with the timeline. They must now go on a macabre expedition to collect three pellets that will give them the power to overcome the ancient guardian of the timeline, Um-Tuk-Nuaar, who is chasing them for having messed with it.
What I Liked About It:
The most obvious thing that I liked about this book is that it is better written than its predecessor. It makes for a snappier read, in some places going as far as to become the best version of this story. There’s no time travel in here, as in the first book, but there’s loads of action that takes you through multiple terrains and places that makes for a nail-biting read. The introduction of a female mercenary makes it even more exciting, for her skills, combined with Randolph’s and Frank’s are what take the story forward.
Again, like the first book, almost every step in this book is unexpected. Every character and their actions are not what you’d probably expect them to be. Combine these with the intriguing plotline and you have a world that you would love to see come to life in more ways than one. Add to these the myths and stories that the author has constructed of the places the characters visit – for example, the Divine Tigress – and the enjoyability of your experiences increases multifold.
What I Didn’t Like About It:
I mentioned in my review of the first book that there were too many chinks in the armor that went ignored or unaddressed. And it remains the case with this book as well. The writing is tedious and detail-heavy. Everything is described in painful detail, and not in a we’re-under-the-roaring-sun-at-least-there’s-light manner. But the strange part is that it doesn’t take away from the experience. It’s like an annoying sniffle, but one that you can handle.
Many phrases used in the book convey what the author is trying to say but are completely inappropriate when it comes to language semantics. For example, ‘which was near the up-going staircase’ and ‘I had been here for some serious business aeon long ago’ tell us the intent, but the usage is just not right. I just wish the author had gotten the book proofread and edited before going ahead with publication.
A much better written second book in the Frank Carter series, Macabre Expedition takes Frank’s story forward in an exciting manner, although it still carries its heavy baggage from the first one. I can’t wait to see where the next book, At the Mountain of the Divine Tigress, takes me in this journey. Expect a review soon!
So, what do you think? Will you go and give this series a try after reading my review? I’d recommend you do! And let me know what you think of it. 🙂
I’ll see you soon in a new blog post.
Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life! 🙂