Truth of the Divine (Noumena #2) by Lindsay Ellis - Book Review

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

blue, yellow, and white book cover of Truth of the Divine by Lindsay Ellis

I received an eARC of this book prior to publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

TW: this book and review mention subject matter that can be triggering.

Oh boy, this was a difficult one. I signed up to read and review this because I somewhat enjoyed the first book. I love Lindsay's youtube videos and wanted to support her in her new career as an author. Since I do not request books often anymore, I try to only ask for ARCs that I will genuinely like. I hate writing negative reviews, but I also refuse to lie.

Truth of the Divine continues the story of Cora and Ampersand. It is a much darker book compared to Axiom's End, due to the trauma that the two main characters endured. The topics of PTSD, suicide, suicidal ideation, and self-harm are part of the main focus of this book. I appreciate that Ellis took the time to add a warning to the beginning about these and other potentially triggering subject matter.

Book two of the Noumena series also introduces two new main characters, Nik and Kaveh. If you read my review of Axiom's End, you know how much I disliked pretty much all of the humans. Kaveh is a major improvement. If the story had started with him, instead of Cora, I probably would have enjoyed both books more. I also really loved Nikola and how different he was from all of the other amygdalines introduced so far. 

Axiom's End was more focused on the first contact/alien arrival. Truth of the Divine dives into the aftermath of what that could lead to. Thus, we spend quite a bit of time focused on the political going-ons and the discussion of what the definition of a person is. Normally, I find these discussions to be interesting, but by the 50% mark my brain had almost checked out. I also got annoyed by the way certain things were explained because it came off very "look guys, I'm woke" and it just felt disingenuous.

If I had not requested this book as an ARC, I wouldn't have finished it. I have a big section on the page of notes I took while reading that just says "BORED"  that I doodle around while trying to focus. The idea for this story is great. I just don't think I click with Lindsay's writing style. I was admittedly more lenient with the writing in my review of book one. First books are always hard, so I gave a pass for the things that bothered me, with the hope they would improve in book two. They didn't. I hate repetitiveness in books unless it has a reason. I got to a point while reading Truth of the Divine where I decided if any form of "animal brain", "animal rage", or "alien brain" was used again that I was going to drop this book and write my review without finishing it. 

"Cora is whiny, annoying, impulsive, immature, and somehow painfully realistic. She low-key kinda reminds me of Bella Swan, and while reading I felt like I was crazy." (from my review of Axiom's End)

This got worse. SOOOO much worse. The difference between Cora and Bella though, is that I like Bella. Don't get me wrong, Bella is also a difficult character, but she's a teenager. (The more I think about this series, the more I can see it as fanfic of Twilight.) Cora is just stupid. I know she's dealing with severe trauma...but that girl has no common sense or the ability to learn. 

This book has been so frustrating. All of the elements of something good are there, something just went wrong. I struggled to finish it but was intent on doing so. I wanted to make sure to give it a fair shot...who knows it could have gotten better. Sadly, it didn't. Usually, a book ending is a sad thing. Finishing this book though has left me feeling relieved. 

Rating this book is also another challenge. I feel like a 2/5 is too low. I gave Axiom's End 3/5, but I enjoyed it more. So, I'm officially giving it 2.5/5, but for Goodreads, it is getting 3/5.

I believe this is meant to be a trilogy, so since I have read and reviewed one and two I will probably try to force myself to read the final book (only because I am a completionist).

Rating:  ★★ 2.5/5

Book Information: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Abebooks, Findbookprices

Lindsay Ellis: Goodreads, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Official Site

Is it worth reading?

😕 Did you read the first book? Are you a completionist? If you answered yes to both...then sure.

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