A History of Madness (The Outlands Pentalogy #2) by Rebecca Crunden – Book Review

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  • Source: Review Copy
  • Pages: 257
  • Publication Date: 14 July 2017
  • My Rating: 5 stars

A History of Madness by Rebecca Crunden is the second book in The Outlands series. It is the sequel to A Tough Of Death. You can read my review of the first book A Touch of Death.

The book starts right from where the first book left off. Nate Anteros is serving his punishment in a workcamp in Argon Basin. While he is managing surviving in this place, his mind is troubled with strange dreams. He is also anguished for Kitty, the woman he loves, and worried about his other fugitive friends.  

On top of everything, the plague has come to the Kingdom. I was interested to see how that would fit in with Nate and Kitty’s already difficult lives. 

The book starts with a chilling scene in Redwater prison, similar to the first book, with the King’s Hangman giving a prison tour to a group of children. The kingdom does this to show kids what will happen to them if they rebel or dissent in Cutta, the dystopian dictatorial society that the story is set in. Everyone in this society is brainwashed and made to believe that freedom is bad. 

In this book, there is finally some backstory about Nate and Thom and I thoroughly enjoyed that. I am glad that it was right at the beginning of the

I flew through the book. I was on edge constantly while reading about Nate. I wanted to know everything that was going to happen to him. He’s a compelling character, even though he’s an extreme person. He is compulsive and he loves fiercely, making it both his strength and weakness. 

Nate and Kitty both were going through a lot of trauma and grief. This book was more emotional than the first one. It delved deeper into the characters’ feelings. We got more insight into their psyche and how they view things now that their world has been turned upside down. 

There was a particular character death in the book that I found anti-climatic, but I also liked that it wasn’t stretched for too long.

Something that I found interesting is that in this world, people aren’t homophobic. But they are required to be bound to the opposite gender to procreate, taking away their freedom anyway. I also appreciate the author for being inclusive in terms of different cultures when it came to creating her characters’ names. 

The mutant involvement in this book and the angle that the author took with it was fascinating. The author does a great job of creating characters that you just want more of.  

Almost the entire book was from Nate’s point of view and while I loved that, it left me craving more of Kitty. 

Some history of the Kindom of Cutta and how it is formed is explained in this book. A lot of my questions about the Devastation were answered. I really like the world-building of this series. It is unique, and it’s not so complicated that I was trying to understand it instead of enjoying the story.  

This is a perfect follow-up to the first book. I can’t remember the last time I read a book of this length so fast. It carried the pot forward, yet it introduced new elements to make the story even bigger. I absolutely loved the ending! I can’t imagine many people not wanting to continue reading a series after an ending like that. I’m still not over it. 

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