Jud

Ever the Night Road, Book 2

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
374 Pages
Reviewed on 01/07/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Carmen Tenorio for Readers' Favorite

Jud (Ever the Night Road Book 2) by Michael Breen opens where Book 1 ends, with the main protagonist Dagny spending her time in the Under Road as she waits for the gateway to Jud to open. Her main task was to find and save her sister who ran away and went to Jud. The place is filled with mythological creatures and various characters from giant cats, faceless knights, an eye-stealing prince, and a queen whose heart was consumed as well as terrifying and amazing scenarios of fantasy and dread, all of which present challenges to Dagny's quest. When Dagny arrives in Jud, she almost always faces an obstacle which is either a dangerous hindrance or some much-needed assistance to help find her sister Grete. Can Dagny survive, save her sister, and fulfill a promise to herself, despite all the threats she is facing as an uninvited outsider in Jud?

Jud is a sequel worthy of its predecessor. Michael Breen continues with Dagny's highly anticipated adventure in a multilayered narrative with an illustrative and skillfully descriptive style that evokes captivating images as the reader is absorbed in the story. The illustrations perfectly complement and visually incarnate excellent and coherent worldbuilding. The development of the various places and characters naturally comes out in the dialogue and sequence of the story. The characters are out of this world and are well-written. The interweaving of the interactions and reactions of the unforgettable and amusing qualities of the players against a maddening setting calls for countless fascinating possibilities. It has a lot of twists, surprises, thrilling scenes, and even some small parts bordering on mature themes but is still acceptable for YA readers. Being a coming-of-age story, it also presents dilemmas that call for the characters' wisdom and development—something that strengthens the character arc. The story also has the underlying theme of connecting with family, friendship, and relationships and their changing dynamics. Fans of YA fantasy with drama and action will appreciate this series.

Angelique Papayannopoulos

An exciting young adult read, Jud by Michael Breen follows the dangerous and intriguing quest of 18-year-old Dagny Losh searching for her sister Grete. Dagny, who grew up in the wealthy neighborhood of Old Rork, ventures deep underground into the shifting city of Jud to find her sister whom she thought was dead. Grete, meanwhile, escapes a dangerous gang after searching for the heart of Jud’s first queen, Odestinas, who remains lost in a forgotten mystical realm. Aware of the dangers ahead, Dagny enters the maze of Jud’s shifting pathways and buildings, encountering dangerous creatures, monsters, and eternal knights along the way. As she travels through the city’s dangerous alleys, she connects with a mysterious boy named Melwes, and Pren, among others, who help her through this intricate journey.

A fast-paced adventure full of challenges and imaginative mythical beings, Michael Breen’s Jud will captivate you from beginning to end. As the quest unfolds, the reader is immersed in a fantasy world of shifting streets, dark buildings, narrow pathways, and metal mythical princesses. With its easy-to-read style, the story will take you on a magical flight of fancy. There are many unique aspects to the characters, and the plot keeps you guessing about their intentions. Jud is a fantasy adventure in the truest sense of the word. There is an immense amount of imagination and creativity displayed by the author in this magical and mystical tale. Jud is a very creative and entertaining story for young adult readers and a must-read for fans of fantasy action novels. Readers who appreciate elements of mythology, magic, and mysticism will be delighted with this book.

K.C. Finn

Jud is a work of fiction in the fantasy, action, and adventure subgenres, and forms the second novel in the Ever the Night Road series. Penned by author Michael Breen, the work is intended for the young adult reading audience. Set in a mystical world with a hidden fantasy city, we return to the adventures of Dagny Losh, a 17-year-old longing for connection and adventure. The narrative weaves together themes of family, discovery, and the mystical city of Jud. Dagny's quest to chase down her sister, Grete, leads to yet more dangerous encounters and the mythical Under Road that may lead her to the fabled Jud if only she can locate it.

Author Michael Breen has crafted a superb work of YA fantasy that chronicles a journey into a realm of enchantment, where characters grapple with their destinies in a city that defies understanding. This compelling sequel allows readers to jump right into the action with a lot of natural reminders of the story so far, offering a high-octane continuation of the fantastical elements and character development from the opening novel. I was really impressed with the depth of the worldbuilding and the lore and mysticism surrounding the action, and I loved how legends and clues weave into the plot as secrets are revealed. The close narrative focus on Dagny gives YA readers a chance to personally connect with her and all her vulnerabilities and strengths, offering a realistic and admirable hero for the tale. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Jud as a compelling read for fantasy enthusiasts who appreciate intricate world-building and engaging storytelling.