When three strangers arrive with a desperate plea for help, Lee and her friends are swept up in their quest to break the curse that plagues their home. Unraveling the mystery of the curse will take them from an island where merfolk swim in the coves to a city hidden beneath the streets of Seattle and beyond. As the danger grows, relationships are tested, new ones are forged, and in the face of impossible choices, Lee learns the hardest lesson of all: Where there is love, there is also heartbreak.
With time running out, failure could cost their lives—and success could cost them everything else.
*May Contain Spoilers*
From the moment I finished Flicker, and realized that there would be MORE, I've been waiting patiently for my reading list to tell me it's time for Brightly by Kaye Thornbrugh! Filo, Lee, Nasser, Jason, and Alice barely survived Byrony the Dryad the year before and now they're being blackmailed. A small island off the coast is experiencing some troubling magic, and three other gifted humans are forcing the Flicker gang to help cleanse the island of the curse.
Readers of Flicker already have a firm connection with the main characters, especially Lee. With this second book, the scope widens to include Jason and Alice more, as well as keeping focus on Nasser and Filo. The whole group is blackmailed by three islanders, Henry, Clemetine, and Davis, to help them cleanse their home of a merfolk curse that puts humans in a trance, with barnacles growing on their skin, and the overwhelming urge to walk into the ocean.
Lee has been learning magic from Filo, and as the only one that isn't included in the blackmailing scheme, she has an outsider's perspective of the whole situation. Readers know that she always has a helpful attitude and she is more than ready to stand beside her friends to help them. The relationship between readers and Filo will increase dramatically in this sequel. For one, we get to witness Filo fall in love for the first time. This is huge for his character. He normally keeps his feelings hidden and focuses on surviving. The emotions that readers witness him deal with really opens him up for a deeper understanding of his character, good and bad. A new facet of Nasser's personality is also revealed to readers here. Nasser is painted with a martyr-like personality. With this book, readers get to see him reach his limit. Knowing he has a limit will turn Nasser into a more realistic and down to earth character. Jason and Alice have to make a few hard decisions in this novel and I think those will allow readers to solidify the initial connections made in Flicker.
Brightly is a novel that contains many stories, like a picture within a picture. The main plot is that of Nasser, Filo, Alice, and Jason being blackmailed by the Islanders. That line leads to the Island itself and the curse devouring the citizens that live there. Within those boundaries lie even more subplots including the relationship development between all of the characters and the involvement of the Guild. Each part of the story is in itself intriguing, but when combined the plot becomes incredibly entertaining and emotional. Readers who enjoyed Flicker will undoubtedly be consumed by Brightly. I know I was. And the effects are still lingering. So obviously, the announcement of a third book has me shivering with anticipation!
Rating: 4.5/5 Cups