Oh boy this was a lot. Like all of Sarah J. Maas books, there are a lot characters, a lot of POV’s and a lot of twists and turns. At the end of the last book. Bryce and Hunt have saved the city, killing 2 Archangels and started a relationship. Now, they just want to things go back to normal but of course they can’t. Bryce went through the drop and started to embrace her fae powers and all the complications with that. Hunt is no longer a slave but he still works for the Asteri. Both of their relationships with the Asteri is tenuous. They promised that they wouldn’t tell anyone what happened and in exchange they won’t be punished for what they did but it wouldn’t take much for the Asteri to go back on their word. Lay low. It should be easy. That is until a discovery a rebel that has a rare power that everyone wants because of what it can be weaponize. She also have information that could take down the Asteri. She risked her life to save her brother who is now missing and everyone is searching for him. You find the brother, you find her, if she is still alive that is. Of course, Bryce, Hunt and crew get messed up with this. Do they help the rebel cause and risk the freedom that they have earned?
This book was pretty fast paced and the characters are interesting and fun. I like the fantasy elements mixed in with the more contemporary urban setting. Bryce and Hunt are dealing with so many of the same every day complications that you are me deal with but with a super natural elements. I really feel for both of them. Bryce wants to move on but she just can’t. Everything always comes back to her friend, Dannika. She may have died at the beginning of the book but she is still involved in everything that is going on and it makes Bryce wonder if she really ever knew her best friend at all. Hunt has finally found some sort of peace with Bryce and is terrified of losing it and her. They honestly don’t want to be involved and just live their lives but they also can’t just turn a blind eye to the suffering around them. Especially since they both have power and influence to do something about it. As I said at the beginning, there are so many characters and twists and turns it is sometimes hard to keep track of who is who and what is going on. Especially since there are new characters added and characters that were just barely mentioned in the last book that all of sudden become front of center. This is what you signed up for when you read a Sarah J Maas book. Her books are full of characters and mysteries. Some work and some don’t but they are always entertaining.
I do really love Poppy. I love her curious nature and her willingness to put others first despite everything she’s been through. I’m not sure how I feel about Hawke, though. He’s great but there are also some red flags there. So I guess our typically YA love interest.
There are many “chosen one” stories out there. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Frodo from Lord of the Rings, etc. All of these stories end with the hero vanquishing the villain and living happily ever after. But do they really? We really never see what happens to them as they grow old. Well, we get a glimpse of Harry’s ever after if you have seen the Cursed Child and well, it’s not pretty for him. Anyways, Chosen Ones grapples with what happens to child heroes after they have saved the world and grow up. Sloane, Matt, Albie, Esther and Ines were all kids when they were charged with fighting the Dark One and after years of fighting they do. The story picks up at the 10 year anniversary of their victory and all 5 of them are have moved on one way or another. Well, all except for Sloane. She still has nightmares and panic attacks. She was heavily scared from what she did to take down the Dark One that she can’t really move on and when one of the five dies suddenly, it brings everything into a whirlwind. Maybe, the Dark One isn’t gone after all? They get kidnapped into a parallel universe, who’s Dark One is still out there and they must take him down all over again. However, Sloane is older now and more weary. As a kid, she may not have questioned what she was asked to do but now she does. She is no longer going to do anything until she is given a reason why and has no problem with asking questions or just finding out for herself. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was the best book from Veronica Roth since Divergent. I really felt for Sloane and her struggles. As a young girl, she was given over to the government to fight a force she knew nothing about and really didn’t have much chose. It broke her and scarred her ways that she is still is dealing with and forced to act like everything is fine. Like she didn’t spend her childhood in perpetually peril. So when she takes things into her own hands, I could only cheer her on. So, yes this was a good book and I think you all will enjoy it too.
What happens to the heroes after they have vanquished the big bad and save the world? The 5 chosen ones were teenagers when they were chosen to fight the Dark One. 10 years later after the final battle and they still are fighting demons but this time it’s their own. Everyone else has moved on but why can’t they? I really like this premise so I’m super stoked to read it.
Inspired to reread this book after listening to the Bad Women podcast. I do hope that Maureen Johnson is able to finish this series some day. I really love this series and it’s a shame that we don’t know what happens to Rory, Stephen and the rest of the Shades of London.
Well it was a year. I did read more books then I did last year but not anywhere near my pre-pandemic levels. But who is. I have found it harder to write reviews recently. You may have noticed. I’ll try to do better in 2022. Anyways, without further ado. These are top 5 favorite books of the past year. In order of which I read them.
Stormbreak by Natalie C. Parker – I just loved this whole series of women pirates taking on the systems keeping society down. It was just one adventure after another and it a great ending. I highly recommend the whole series.
The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeiine Boulley – This book is just so heartbreaking. What Daunis and her people have gone through is just so painful and yet the strength they processed is just amazing. Boulley’s writing is very striking. She doesn’t sugarcoat the experience her characters experience. Be aware. It does deal with sexual assault, drug use, racism and domestic violence.
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab – Addie Larue made a deal that she wanted to live her own life but in exchange no one remembers her. 300 years later, she finally remembers her and it seems like things maybe turning around but of course things are not as they seem. This book is such a rich book. Fantasy and historical fiction all in one. Loved it.
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee – Jo is lady’s maid. Not by choice but because her options are limited. When an opportunity presents itself to write an advice column under a secret identity she takes it. It gives her the freedom that she doesn’t have in day to day life. I loved reading about Jo because despite the card stacked against her she doesn’t give up.
The Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – I’m choosing this series as a whole since I read them all at once. It was recommended by a coworker and she knows her stuff. Cassie and her fellow Naturals are not your normal teenagers. They know how to read people and for that makes them useful to the FBI. I just got sucked into the mystery of this series and I was so happy that I waited to read it all at once.