I love seeing two sides of a war. Being able to understand both sides of an argument or a war makes me feel more connected to the story — so this series has been just my kind of thing.
There’s a short recap which I appreciated but even if you skip it there are refreshers placed early on to remind you of what happened before. I love the ghouls from book 1 and Gyre’s storyline is very much so intertwined with them this time. I loved the ghoul side character and how she brings depth to their culture and their background throughout the book. She’s probably my favorite character, honestly. She has a deep need to help people even at the expense of herself and I always love characters like that. It makes a darker world more tolerable and provides balance to a story. She wasn’t a POV but she was on page enough to have depth and texture.
Gyre and Maya’s two storylines become even more opposed to one another. where they may have found a common sentimentality in not taking a burn-it-to-the-ground approach when confronting the Republic, Gyre has only become more set in his ways, as has Maya. I understood why Maya was doing what she was doing, but since I also understood where Gyre was coming from I just got so frustrated with Maya. I’ve always been fairly antigovernmental and unimpressed with their bullshit political shenanigans. So, I tend to find it very difficult to relate to characters who have this stiff loyalty to an authority organization. Both of these characters really come into their own, and into their powers. The fight scenes that happen in this book were really excellent. I tend to kind of glaze over for extended fight scenes but these kept my attention.
I love the romance between Maya and Bec. I love healthy relationships and I feel like they aren’t terribly common. There’s so many books that focus on the problematic aspects of romance — but I love it when it’s just sweet and uncomplicated. I wasn’t as crazy about the awkwardness that happened between Kit and Gyre. I mean the whole thing makes sense, and Kit’s reaction is very Kit-like… but you’re left wondering/feeling like she’s definitely hurt and not totally okay with it all. Or, maybe that’s just how I interpreted the voice-actor, either way it just made me feel kind of sad and weird. I also wasn’t all that interested in Gyre’s new romance prospects, so that dampened things a bit, too. I did however love the concept of Kit being stuck in a thousand different constructs, essentially turning her immortal. I love her attitude about it too, she’s looking forward to outliving everyone, ahaha. <3 Kit.
As far as the world building things exploded towards the end and shit got exciting. I always love finding out about non-human races, and I’ve always loved more structured magic where there are some kind of rules or guidelines to be followed. Gyre and Maya do sort of border on the edge of ‘overpowered’ by the end… but something else even more fucked up and powerful is set to take them on, so it comes out in the wash.
The pacing was great, but I do kind of have a thing for cliffhanger endings — I’m not a fan, lol. I like things to be at least somewhat wrapped up and not ending in the middle of a scene.
Overall I really enjoyed the second installment and will be reading the third.
- Plot: 12.5/15
- Characters: 12.5/15
- World Building: 13/15
- Writing: 13/15
- Pacing: 13/15
- Originality: 11/15
- Enjoyment: 8/10
Final score: 83/100 or 4.25/5 stars on Goodreads