Armistice is the second book in the spy thriller series The Amberlough Dossier.
Lara Elena Donnelly excels at endings.
Endings are rarely my favorite part of the story, but the first thing Amberlough and its very different sequel Armistice have in common is that I always ended up emotionally compromised.
I wasn’t even loving this book until the last 20%. I really liked it, I love all the characters, but I have to say that the pacing around the middle of the book wasn’t the best, it almost dragged. And then the ending happened, and here I am. It didn’t even need to be as cruel as Amberlough, it was intense anyway.
Armistice is mostly set in Porachis, the tropical country in which Lilian works as a diplomat for the now-fascist Gedda and Aristide is now a film director, and where Cordelia is trying to find allies. As a setting, it was never as developed as the city of Amberlough, but I can say that I loved its atmosphere. Its climate meant that everyone was scheming against fascists in pretty clothes and great weather, and considering that the aesthetic is half the reason I’m reading this series, I really appreciated it.
The other main reason are the characters. I love all of the main ones, even the ones who are terrible. Many of them went through a lot during the first book, and in the second book they have to recover. Their development was really interesting, especially considering what they learned: things usually work better when people don’t hide everything from each other. People solving things with communication! And there’s still scheming! It’s great and I love them all. Especially Cordelia (she changed so much and she’s amazing), but all of them, the new ones as well. It took me a while to get attached to Lillian, but once I did I cared a lot, and I also loved Daoud and Pulan, two characters whose main purpose is, basically, to annoy Aristide (Aristide is petty. Not recommended, but some of those scenes in the second half were hilarious.)
And one last thing I love about all of this – it has many sad moments, many heavy moments, but it never feels like a tragedy. It’s always so alive, and also funny at times.
Now everything seems headed towards a war and I have to wait at least a year for the sequel. At least this ending wasn’t as evil as the first.
My rating: ★★★★¼