On the Horizon – shorefall (Robert Jackson Bennett)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. While I try to post no spoilers, if ye haven’t read the first book then ye might want to skip this post. If ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril .

shorefall (Robert Jackson Bennett)

Title: shorefall

Author: Robert Jackson Bennett

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Publication Date: TODAY! (hardcover/e-book)

ISBN: 978-1524760380

Source: NetGalley

Shorefall (Founders, #2)

I really enjoyed book one of this series.  It had wonderful world building, excellent characters, a fantastic magic system, and a heist gone wrong.  So I was super excited to get a chance to read book two.  Sadly this was just okay.

The main issue for me is that the scope of the novel was too big in terms of ideas.  The first novel was a character driven story that felt intimate and fun.  I loved watching the characters grow and influence the world around them.  And of course so much of that fun involved the key.  Now I didn’t read the blurb and went into this blind.  Mehaps that was the problem.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still love the characters and the world in general.  I loved the set-up for this book and was looking forward to the scrapes that Sancia was going to get herself both into and out of.  Well sadly, both her and the other characters get lost in the minutiae of the set-up for the big showdown in book three.  Also suddenly all of the characters seem to have acquired the ability to be super-humans and conveniently get themselves out of everything with rather little effort.  Sancia in particular just seemed to ease her way through every magic situation with her talent.  I wanted more struggle and character connections.

Really I wanted the character-driven story back.  The plot also became a bit too meta for me.  I can’t get into it because of spoilers but it was both convenient and lackluster.  Perhaps this was because I have read other books where the same type of magic happens.  There wasn’t enough difficulty in execution and adjustment.  The two main characters in this situation just seem to take it in stride and it became a little too woo woo in terms of making human relationships better.  Argh!  I wish I could explain this better but I don’t want to ruin it for those who may find these circumstances mind-blowing.

The crew has overwhelmingly given this one five stars.  Wish I could say the same.  I am likely to read the last book because of how the battle has begun.  I actually did think the ending was the best part.  I am interested in seeing how the mess gets resolved.  I just be sad that book two didn’t make me fall in love the way book one did.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Random House!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Having narrowly saved the metropolis of Tevanne from destruction, Sancia Grado and her allies have turned to their next task: sowing the seeds of a full-on magical-industrial revolution. If they succeed, the secrets behind scriving—the art of imbuing everyday objects with sentience—will be accessible to all of Tevanne’s citizens, much to the displeasure of the robber-barons who’ve hoarded this knowledge for themselves.

But one of Sancia’s enemies has embarked on a desperate gambit, an attempt to resurrect a figure straight out of legend—an immortal being known as a heirophant. Long ago, the heirophant was an ordinary man, but he’s used scriving to transform himself into something closer to a god. Once awakened, he’ll stop at nothing to remake the world in his horrifying image.

And if Sancia can’t stop this ancient power from returning? Well, the only way to fight a god…is with another god.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Robert Jackson Bennett – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

shorefall – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

foundryside – book 1 (On the Horizon – Fantasy eArc)

15 thoughts on “On the Horizon – shorefall (Robert Jackson Bennett)

  1. Yeah, I enjoyed this one – but not as much as the first. A little bit too much detail, it does have a sort of set up feel and also Sancia just felt a little ‘flat’ somehow. I love this author and he’s so creative so I always look forward to what he’s doing next so I think my expectations can sometimes be a little, maybe, astronomical!
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aye, I think book one was just such a great read that I over-estimated in me expectations. I also realized after writing this review that I may have read his book city of stairs. I read it a long while back before the blog and so the details are fuzzy. But this book felt similar in feel and I was trying to figure out why. Then someone else reviewed city of stairs and it clicked. Kinda makes me want to read that one again actually. I remember liking it.
      x The Captain


  2. Great review! This series is on my TBR though I haven’t started yet. Sorry to hear this one wasn’t as good as the first book for you! Hopefully the third volume will turn things around, I find the second in a series is often my least favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aye, the dreaded second book slump. It is rare that the second book is me favourite though it has happened. Really though I think me expectations were just incorrect. After sitting on it for a bit, I am still looking forward to the third.
      x The Captain


  3. A great review, Cap – I understand that you found the shift in perspective from the first book to the second one rather jarring. Because it was as much about the antagonists as our plucky gang of idealists, this time around. Though I rather enjoyed being swept up in the drama of the larger threat, though can appreciate your misgivings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually did enjoy the antagonists and thought they were the better part of the book. This is one of the few times I wished I would have read the blurb to have had a more realistic idea of what I was getting into.
      x The Captain


  4. I’m not giving this 5 stars either, unfortunately. Although I think I enjoyed it more than you did. But it was a real slog at times, which surprised me! I feel like Bennett was more interested in describing all the different aspects of scriving and it seemed to take forever to get to the meat of the story. But I guess I’ll save the rest for my own review, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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