Mindy McGinnis is back with a second installment in the Given Series. Given to the Earth is the continuation of Given to the Sea and is a tour de force through the lands of Stille and Pietra and concludes the story of this varied cast of characters.
All of the characters from the first installment have returned to this sequel. The book is told from numerous points of view with each chapter heading telling from which viewpoint we are experiencing the story. Some chapters are as short as a few sentences, while others are lengthier.
A spirit of exploration is the theme of this book. Looking for new lands, new perspectives, and new relationships–all which assist to shape the tone of the book. Overall the book is more positive in nature than the first but does continue to carry themes of violence and vengeance. I was very surprised at some of the alliances that the author provided in this book, but at the end of the story it no longer seemed as surprising and more as if it were inevitable.
While the first book focuses on the fear of the sea, this book develops the ancillary characters in a more detailed manner and focuses on the fear of the earth and how characters are connected to the earth. The relationships between the characters are well-developed and the story clips along at a quick rate. It didn’t seem like the story line was going to wrap by the end of the book, but Ms. McGinnis wrapped the plotline by the final pages and so I wouldn’t expect a third in the series.
Overall a great read but read the first, Given to the Sea, if you haven’t done so already in order to familiarize yourself with the characters and intricacies.
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Profanity/Language: 4 derogatory names; 7 scatological words; 1 anatomical terms.
Violence/Gore: Woman shoots animal with bow; references to bruises on a child from being hit by adult; reference to soldiers drowning during battle; reference to multiple murders; multiple verbal threats; reference to sending elderly out in boats to die; woman killed with poison; baby with deformity suffocated; 2 instances where throats are slit resulting in death; people choose to be sacrificed to sea; reference to man falling and breaking neck resulting in death; multiple bruises and injuries from attempted escape; animal kills another animal; recall of child being mauled by wild animal; 2 page and 4 page scenes of battle with animal with graphic blood and injuries and animal death; man falls to death during avalanche; corpses found; woman covered in blood; adult slaps child in head; 2 page hand to hand combat resulting in graphic bone to brain and death; depictions of dripping blood from wounds three times; woman throws spear through man’s head; man grabs burning arrow graphically burning hand; woman snaps man’s neck; woman cuts off skin from arm; ships are burned; man catches fire and burns head; woman burned to death for treason; man violently grabs woman’s wrist; punch to face; woman stabbed with graphic blood; 8 page graphic bloody sword battle with numerous graphic injuries and death.
Sex/Nudity: Numerous references to adults having sex or going to each other’s beds; 7 instances of hand-holding; multiple veiled jokes or references to female and male genitalia; five caresses of face; one kiss; sex between adults implied; woman stripped to change soiled clothing; hug between couple with man’s hand on woman’s pregnant belly; man and woman are naked while changing clothes with no detail.
Mature Subject Matter:
War, racial conflict, child abuse, death, infidelity, and suicide.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Adults drink wine.