DISCLAIMER: Do not read if you have not read Crescent City or you will potentially be spoiled by the following.
Unfortunately reader SJM seems to be unable to write women that aren’t sassy and sexy and will always write her men to be tragically misunderstood “villains”.
If her writing wasn’t so addictingly easy to read I would probably have given up on this book for being too repetitive. But I guess if you love all things Maas you will love this book too.
A stand out moment for me was the Danika death plot twist which I absolutely loved the until a few pages later when it was ruined by reverting back to the culprit I had guessed waaaay before. Danika and Bryce’s friendship gave this book an emotional depth it would have been completely lacking if it was left to just Bryce and Hunt’s romance (honestly if you have read any SJM you know how this romance goes down). So the mystery of her death and learning more about Danika as a character was probably my favourite part of the book.
As for this being “adult” fantasy it for me offered nothing more adult than her “YA” titles apart from possibly more complex world building? Which to be honest was too info dumpy to be that enjoyable. I would have preferred to have at least have had a world map if you are going to discuss so many different places and not just a map of the city.
This book culminated in the typical showdown SJM is known for. Main character has more power than anyone thought possible, Male looks on at impressive female and truly understands her “soul” but also that she is badass. Male character seemingly sacrifices himself for female. Main evil person monologues the entire plot I just spent hours reading. It’s hard to not get caught up in it all but after about 30 mins of reading at a rapid pace you kinda start thinking “okay and is this the end now?”
One thing I cannot forgive Maas for is presenting a mystery to be solved but making it so the MCs have access to information we never see them get. Whole chunks of the plot in this book relies on scenes and actions of characters we never get to see or even suspect happened.
This book in the end was junk food that I couldn’t help devouring.
Rating: 4/5 stars