Review of ‘Sophomore surge’ by K.R. Collins
Despite not being a huge fan of hockey, I can safely say that Collins’s debut novel, ‘Breaking the ice’, quickly became one of my favorite books of the year. Not to backtrack too much, but it’s important to understand that in that first novel in this series, we watched the main character, Sophie, as she struggled against a number of difficult obstacles in her quest to prove herself worthy of being the first-ever woman drafted into the (fictional) NAHL.
To get the elephant out of the way first, since for some reason lesfic readers seem to want a romance in most novels, there’s no romance in this second book once again. That did surprise me since I thought book one was leading us in that direction, but once again, it didn’t bother me one bit to see any romance once again!
There are inklings of the media beginning to question Sophie’s perpetual single-ness, with their labeling of her as “hockeysexual”, but no real discontent. To be honest, once we learn early on that the things from the end of book one that had us thinking would lead to a romance for Sophie in book two starts to fall through, I was actually beginning to think that Collins would lead this towards showing Sophia as an asexual character, but once again, that’s not the case either. I’m actually really intrigued at this point by this whole situation and wondering when Collins will bring this to the table just because it hasn’t happened yet at this point! Actually, I’m wondering how long she’ll be able to keep lesfic readers interested in the series without the romance aspect, but that’s a whole other issue and social experiment and I’m getting off-topic at this point.
Anyways, we’re treated to the same wonderful storytelling style from Collins in this second novel. This hockey book is packed with sports action, on and off-court tensions, and we’re also treated to more and more about Sophie as she learns who she is as a person. To be blunt, there’s not much of a change in the storyline overall from what happened in book one, but it feels like the change is within Sophie herself this time. We get to see how she struggles through loneliness, works to gain respect from her fellow teammates and others around the league, and we watch as she begins to stand up to her overbearing father. It’s subtle and very internal, but I really enjoyed watching Sophie begin to grow and mature.
This did feel more like a transitional book rather than a massive plot development for Sophie and the team, but I’m very much invested and can’t wait to see what happens next! This can be read as a standalone novel by the way, but I do highly suggest starting with book one for maximum enjoyment and understanding. 4 stars.
Many thanks to NineStar Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.