Review: The Antithesis Book 2 Alpha by Terra Whiteman

Qaira Eltruan is the Commandant of the Enforcers, Sanctum’s Special Military Sect of angel exterminators. The war against the Archaeans has been nothing but a seventy-year stalemate, however all of this is set to change with the arrival of a mysterious Scholar who can serve to sway the battle in their favor. But this Scholar has secrets of her own… Secrets that may kill them all

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Review

As I finished The Antithesis: Book Two Alpha (TA2a), sequel to The Antithesis (TA), I felt galvanized into sharing all the thoughts tumbling through my head. That is until I sat down in front of my laptop. Now I feel exuberant and excited to share, but at the same time I’m paralysed mentally because of all those thoughts. Half of those thoughts are focused on wondering what will happen next, needing to know the outcome of the story, and itching to pick up the next in the series. I find this feeling to be overwhelming my need to share, but I know if I don’t do it now I will be too caught up in The Antithesis: Book Two Beta and beyond, losing my chance to share my opinion at all.

As is probably evident by now, I’ve found the story of The Antithesis very engrossing and it’s been quite some time since I felt the need to pick up the next (and next and next) book in a series. TA ended with somewhat of a cliffhanger and this is where I enter into spoiler region. For those who haven’t read the first book in the series, let me tell you that it’s a great read. Right now it’s less about a war than it is about the main character’s journey and the individuals surrounding him. What starts out as a read for its uniqueness has turned into a riveting one to follow for both its plot twists and character make-up.

[Spoilers] – TA left us wondering what will happen with Alezair, with the build up of finding out who he is, and finally (hopefully) having his curiosity (and ours) sated. Don’t get me wrong, the other elements to the story, and indeed the whole plot, are not to be left by the wayside. However, Alezair about to find out about his true identity is what we’re left with at the cliffhanger ending, and it has become my main focus. We’ve followed this complex, lost, and mysterious individual through his discoveries of the Multiverse, the Vel’Haru, and what he inherently knows (surprisingly for him). When the story ends on that note, of course it’s no wonder I was hanging to know who the hell he is. What monstrosities could he possibly have committed to make so many people act the way they do around him?

Well, I’m not disappointed in the slightest! TA2a has been a fascinating read in one part due to finding out more about Alezair and the beginning of how he got into his current predicament. I find it quite interesting to read such a character change and yet have his character be so similar compared to how he began with TA It was a tad unsettling. By the end of TA2a I admit I’d completely forgotten Alezair’s name (I even had to look it up…) and now know him as his former identity. The unsettling aspect, slight yet present, is the fact that Alezair is more of an anti-hero with his alcoholism and his fits of rage. I found I couldn’t help but feel some sort of positive feeling towards him; I adore his character (this may be another version of my Perry Dawsey love, in that he was mixed up and one of my favourite characters). I couldn’t help but be won over by his sense of humour, his curiosity, and his confusion, even when being appalled by some of his reactions.

Following Qaira’s story, knowing how he is as Alezair, is a wonderfully appealing mix. On one hand there’s the same traits, bouts of anger mixed with a violent temper, his overuse of expletives (which honestly make me laugh), and his sense of humour are all there, but he seems to be amplified and more despairing then before. As a person he would be a massive train wreck, but as a character I think this makes him all the more entertaining. I can’t wait to read the rest of the story and discover how his duality, which is mostly only there because of his lack of knowledge, comes together. I want to know how he copes and to find out how Whiteman will go about portraying him beyond this point.

Another interesting element I discovered with reading TA2a revolves around Leid. In TA she bugged me to the point of not really liking her and to be honest she also bugged me in the beginning of TA2a. Her arrogance can be grating and her barging into where she isn’t welcome didn’t exactly appeal to her character. As I read on, I realised that how Qaira sees her is mainly how you get to see her. I don’t doubt that she is an arrogant character as it is, but following Qaira’s story brought about a grudging likeness for her. I ended up enjoying Leid almost as much as Qaira by the end. I love that she’s this small female figure, considered to be dainty and possibly weak, but in actual fact could do so much damage and is to be feared.

What else I love, about the characters in general, is how human they can be. Naturally, in a science fiction you’re going to have certain facets of the story and setting you can’t experience or appreciate realistically. So many elements are don’t exist and are too far-fetched to be read without suspension of disbelief. It’s likewise with some characters being too alien. The Antithesis is set in a very sci-fi, multi-versed reality, harbouring characters that are alien. Luckily the characters in TA so far don’t come across as being out of reach, even when they have otherworldly strengths and traits. They have all been very realistically human, especially with their added stresses and mental disorders. TA could be considered a mental disorder fun house, but having mental disorders myself and knowing a lot of others with them, it was all very humanising and relatable to me. All the characters have come across as being well proportioned with their weaknesses and their abilities to kick arse. It makes it very difficult not to be engrossed with their lives and makes them so beautifully robust.

Last, but not least (far from least), there is the story surrounding and bringing these fantastic characters together. With TA, it was a great read, but it was more the uniqueness and a refreshing take on the concept presented that drew me along.  TA2a has settled more into the story it is and that is what I’ve really been swept away with. I found myself completely immersed into the story when reading and not being able to read fast enough. I sighed about having to go to sleep, having to stop reading for anything, and I couldn’t wait for when I was able to begin reading again.

I am so glad that my copy of The Antithesis 2a is an eBook. Why? It means I can buy the next one straightaway, stuff waiting! Even the wait brought about by buying it and typing up this review is driving me crazy. Now, if only I didn’t need sleep so I could read all night long…

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Word on the street is I love guest posters. It’s true! If you’re interested in guest posting on BA, whether it’s book reviews or something else book related, drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.

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