In the Serpent’s Wake, the sequel to Rachel Hartman’s Tess of the Road, continues the story of Tess, a determined young woman tracking the Polar Serpent to help her friend. Throughout her journey, she discovers secrets long buried and omitted from written history by those in power. However, her journey intercrosses with others with different ideas, such as Marga, an explorer with high hopes for her future, a dragon named Spira, who is searching to rediscover themselves, and Jacomo, a priest searching for his purpose. They all have different theories about what uncovering the serpent could do for them as they run from their history. However, the past cannot stay buried forever.
While I enjoyed the plot and the continuation of Tess’s dedication to helping her friends, I found the overall layout lackluster. It was enlightening to read the story from multiple perspectives, but there was no beginning indication of who was narrating each chapter, making it confusing to figure out what was occurring. As well as that, the wording wasn’t very engaging, causing me to have to close the book for days at a time to regain the energy to finish it. However, I loved Tess’s character development from the first book and her longing to help her friends while overcoming something herself. Overall, I enjoyed the storyline but felt the plot was very drawn
I felt the most memorable part of In the Serpents Wake was how each character was going through something that the others weren’t aware of. That moral is incredibly important during our age of technology, which often restricts empathy towards others.
Reviewed by Ella H. at Twin Hickory