This is the sequel to Too Much Trouble. I barely remember anything of the first book, since it's been a while since I read it. I couldn't even remember the characters names or anything, but after a while it did all start coming back.
The book focuses on two brothers, Prince and Emmanuel (nicknamed Em). Whilst the first book detailed about how they were kicked out onto the streets and had to fend themselves, including falling in with a bad crowd and stealing for a living, this book focuses more on their life after they are taken in by a foster family.
Now, these two brothers aren't orphans. Their parents are very much alive, but they were separated from them due to the war...I'm not entirely sure which war it is. A pretty violent one. Their father managed to get them out of the country.
The thing is, I don't feel that much happened in this book.
They are reunited with their mother halfway through the book, and she feels like a complete stranger to them. The overall climax of the story is that they find out that their father is in trouble - in debt with some gangster - and they have to get onto a plane and rescue him. Somehow.
That part is pretty tense, actually, because it turns out that their father is also dying from TB. But it really doesn't seem like they thought this through.
They end up stealing fake passports, stealing things to make enough money for the plane tickets...and that's just to get out of the country. Never mind the return journey.
I'll just say here and now that it's a happy ending, everything's resolved in a really fast way which feels a bit hamfisted, and they even have enough money to get back home again. It's like 3 pages right at the end to serve as a conclusion and IMO feels pretty unsatisfying.
We see the boys' thoughts about how their mother seems like a stranger to them, because she hasn't seen them in about 10 years and she's crying every night that their dad's in trouble. The abusive uncle from the first book makes a comeback, too, and now suddenly we're meant to like him. It just feels a bit off.
Oh, and they've got a baby sister now, by the way. I don't know why the book bothered to mention her. The story's so short that there's barely anything said about this baby sister. It really should have been expanded upon...
I mean, come on. The first book was exciting, full of tension and adventure from start to finish. People died. They got shot. The brothers were on the run from the police, constantly running from one place to another, stealing to survive. Now...it just doesn't feel as exciting.
I enjoyed the setting and overall plot, but I feel that this book was lacking nevertheless. Seriously, they could have fleshed out what happened with the family for, um, more than 3 pages? It just ended so fast. I will therefore give it 3/5.