Well, I thought I’d already written this review, but I suppose I haven’t. I really ought to, before the next book in the series comes out and I become even further behind. And besides, it’s the sequel to the book that really got my teeth sunk into this author’s work, so why shouldn’t I pay it some mind? (And I promise, I’ll write you a review of someone other than Micah someday!)
Mindline is an amazing follow-up to Mindtouch, the first of the duology. We continue to follow two of my favorite of Hogarth’s characters, the Eldritch Jahir Seni Galare and the Glaseah Vasiht’h, as they continue to find their way not only in the world they are growing into, but also their expanding relationship. Mindtouch left off with a horrific cliffhanger as the two split company in a heartbreaking manner (which I have only forgiven Micah for by the glory that is this book), but needless to say, Mindline sees them back together again, and Jahir into his residency at one of the most prestigious hospitals he could work at.
While I haven’t had a chance to really look in-depth yet at the amount of research and effort Hogarth put into the book, it shows in how seamless the transition is—both in clarity for the reader and jaggedness for the characters. Jahir is entirely unprepared for the physicality of the world, the strain the residency places on him, the unnerving emptiness being apart from his friend leaves in his heart. Vasiht’h doesn’t know what he’s doing, really, but he knows that he can’t do it sitting back at school with Jahir a world away. He dives head-first into a world he hadn’t expected to enter, and finds himself required to hold not only his own, but a portion of his friend’s as well. And through it all, the two find themselves closer and closer bound, until finally there is a choice to be made…and it may alter the course of their lives forever.
While I have often commended Hogarth on her writing, and could type out words of praise for an entirely unnecessary amount of time, there is a scene in this book that truly shows her shining at her brightest. I won’t give the details, as it comes near the end of the book and gives a rather major point of the conclusion away, but it is a wonderful balance of anticipation and panic. Jahir is faced with an abrupt shift in his future, and can feel the floor give out beneath him—and that is a feeling that was absolutely replicated in me. Very few times have I ever been so moved by a book, but as he walked through those moments, I felt my heart sink and my stomach twist. I knew it couldn’t be—Micah wouldn’t have done that to us, to them—but I couldn’t bring that to mind then, and couldn’t think of anything that could be different even if I had been able to. I was lost in the despair Jahir felt, the absolutely and utter defeat…which meant when the floor suddenly came back and straightened us out again, I exclaimed out loud at my Nook and pointed fingers and confused everyone at my place of employ greatly. It was the longest page or two of a book I have ever read, and the some of the most fulfilling moments in my reading experience.
There are portions of this book that make me bounce with glee, and parts that make my heart stop in fear, and parts that shred my heart into bits and force tears to my eyes. Yet again, Hogarth’s characters are real enough to walk around your room and force you to know their world just as well as they do, and these two in particular are champions at stealing away hearts and doing as they will with them. We are all just lucky that Jahir and Vasiht’h are as compassionate and caring as they are, and that they are just as likely to apologize for the pain and offer as much consolation as they are able, as they are to do anything. And for that, I will continue to be grateful.