I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review courtesy of YA Bound Book Tours and the author. This in no way influenced my opinions on this book.
Okay, so I accidentally read the excerpt from the next book at the end of this one, which really frustrated me as I’m pretty sure I spoiled myself for something and I hadn’t realised that the book ended and kept turning pages, so I didn’t get the satisfying moment of finishing the book, which really annoyed me for quite a long time and left me feeling a little off-kilter. It’s strange how small things like this can really mess up.
As for the actual book, I thought that it was good, but there were definitely things that I wasn’t a massive fan of. For example, I typically love romance in books, but I felt like the romance in this book was a little lacklustre. I didn’t really feel the chemistry between the characters, but I have nothing against it either. It just felt comfortable and convenient, which was slightly annoying to someone who usually loves the romantic element in a book. The friendships, on the other hand, were much better in my opinion and I hope they continue to be explored and developed in the next books.
Kohanek explored some of the complexities that arise when it comes to rape and rape accusations and dealt with some dark topics such as a teenage boy becoming deranged. However, although these things were good to include, I felt like they should have been developed a bit more- especially the mental state of one of the antagonists. I also felt like the book could have done with some more world-building.
One topic which I feel was dealt with very well and will continue to be of importance throughout the book is the inequality between the Chosen and the Unchosen, which parallels many relevant and historic inequality issues we face in our world.
Basically, I think most of the problems in this book came from the pacing. The entire book was very fast-paced and easy to read and generally enjoyable, but it ended up lacking a certain depth and as a reader I didn’t really connect to the characters for the most part. The issues in pacing were especially evident at the end of the book which made some of the twists and changes feel inorganic and just generally rushed.
I ended up giving this book 2 stars after writing this review and really critically considering the book. However, to be fair to the story, I did give this book 4 stars at the end of reading this book. I have been more strict on my ratings this month as I have read a lot of books which fall in the high 3 stars to high 4 stars area which have to become 3 and 4 stars respectively, so I gave the book a 3 star instead of a 4 star because of adjusting my ratings to reflect that. It was only when examining the book from a critical perspective as to why I didn’t absolutely love the book that I determined to give it 2 stars. Therefore, if the plot is more important than the characters to you or if you don’t mind about depth in fantasy books so much as action, then this will definitely be a good book for you.