Mini Review Catch Up

Hi everyone! Is anyone else struggling to get caught up with reviews? I have more time now with this whole social distancing/quarantine, but I can’t seem to find the motivation. So…I’m doing mini-reviews to catch up.

Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

Synopsis:

Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

My thoughts:

I anxiously waited a year for this beauty after really loving Wicked SaintsWicked Saints had great world building, blood magic, feuding kingdoms, and characters that I enjoyed.

Ruthless Gods was such a let down in comparison. Rather than using the second book to further focus on the world that was initially built and dive deeper into the magic system that wasn’t explained as well as it could have been, this one was essentially a character study of the three main characters (Nadya, Serefin, and Malachiasz) with little focus on magic.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for further character development, but even with the new revelations in this book, these characters didn’t grow or develop. Instead, I’m left wondering what was really the point of this sequel.

Thank you to Wednesday Books for my gifted copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Synopsis:

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

My thoughts:

I wish that I wouldn’t have waited so long to finally read this book. Priory of the Orange Tree is an absolute masterpiece and worth ALL of the hype!

Right from the beginning, the story pulls you into its grasp and doesn’t let go until you finish that last page in a glorious haze. The world building is lush and incredibly detailed that it really makes you feel like you’re experiencing everything alongside the characters. All of the characters are fully developed and complex. (My favorites were definitely Ead and Tane.) I was most impressed that the dragons were characters with rich histories and personalities versus magical beings to be gawked at.

Samantha Shannon literally created a world that felt so real that I am so disappointed that it’s not. I can’t recommend this one enough, and I most definitely will be rereading this incredible story.

Saving Eden by K.R.S. McEntire

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Angela and her father are the last survivors on earth. She dreams of adventure and romance but only finds it in books. In the confines of her garden paradise, she’s untouched by contaminants that caused the rest of humanity to mutate into murderous beasts or die. But staying in the garden sure gets lonely.

When a seventeen-year-old boy stumbles upon Angela’s home with news about a thriving community, his presence upheavals everything she knew about the world. She dares to leave her garden for the first time to find a better home.

In the authoritarian society that she finds the line between man and mutant is murkier than she expected. Her father is danger, and the men tasked with protecting the settlement are extremely fond of murder. With their lives on the line, can Angela create one last happy ending in a hopeless world?

Fans of dystopian societies, post-apocalyptic futures, diverse characters, fantasy, and coming-of-age adventures with heart will fall in love with this post-apocalyptic fairy tale. 

My thoughts:

I’m a huge fan of dystopian stories, so when I first came across this one, I couldn’t wait to read it.

Be warned that this one starts off a bit slow as we orient ourselves to the sheltered life of 16 year old Angela. Angela and her father live outside of the dystopian society off-grid, so Angela is ignorant to the ways of the world. She quickly learns how different the world is from her own once she meets a strange boy who stumbles upon her in her garden.

The world building is fantastic. I loved the post-apocalyptic type setting. There’s a whole myriad of diverse characters that we meet who are a part of The Resistance. Interestingly, because Angela was raised outside of the post-apocalyptic grid, she gives an outside perspective to the dystopian society, which I thought was really unique.

The pacing of the plot really took off and everything was one non-stop adventure. Definitely a fun read!

Thank you to the author for my gifted copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

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