Heart on Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #3)

Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can’t. My love for the first book just couldn’t win over all this angst. The repeated over and over soul-crushing conversations of fate and greater good. The pain, the losses, the manipulation, the sacrifices. Where did the humor and the fantasy of the beginning go? I definitely liked the ‘in denial and running away Cat’ much better the ‘the Queen Catalia’, and when the bigger picture was not in the picture. This book begins with a blow, drags on through all kinds of pain and doubts with hardly any reprieve and then ends in an entirely anticlimactic way with the weight of all that happened still on everyone’s shoulders.
I mostly feel sad that this series lost so many good things and went in this direction…and so betrayed I might cry.
If we don’t get a lighter ‘do over’ in some time in future and if Kato doesn’t come back, I believe I’ll have to forget about the existence of books 2 and 3 and just re-read the first one on its own from time to time.

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Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #2)

Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I thought I love this series too much to give it less than 5 stars (or more like I love the 1st book and the characters so much I decided I must love the series), I do feel like this book was sometimes difficult to get through… (and then I read the 3rd one right after this, got my hope got snuffed out entirely). It’s really disappointing that so many authors decide that sequels must always be twice as angsty and, as a result, lose more than half of the good things that were going on in the first book. I still love a lot of things about this book, but I just couldn’t enjoy it as much as the first one because of all the heavy emotional events. Also, a number of rape-y events that did not sit with me (especially the Kato one). And the fact that the Beta Team kept drawing short strings for angsty developments.
It’s still a very well-written, imaginative, and engaging story. Just…, compared to the first book, not nearly enough fun and a tad too heavy on negative emotions to be as enjoyable or leave a good aftertaste.

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Nightchaser (The Endeavour Trilogy)

Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Space pirates, romance, found families

I’ve been looking forward to his book a lot. I do love stories about outlaws in space, especially with a dose of quality romance, even if it was a bit too instantaneous for my personal preferences.
I wouldn’t say this book is without issues – I feel like there could be a bit more of environment/world building; it felt like the book was too short and covered too little – like an introduction that opened a lot of questions and not much else; it asks you to swallow a lot of ‘…but what about this/but why?’; it leaves a lot of characters and interactions out for no reason; the oppressive tyrant image is a bit too tired. And so on.

Nevertheless, even though there’s plenty of angst, it’s exiting and well-written, and the characters all promise to be interesting. There are books, cats, and handsome rogues. What else needs to be said?

‘Wanting more’ is a good thing, but the fact that this was considered ‘enough’ for this book worries me a little. I hope we’ll get more sustenance in the next one, even though it will have to wait for a year.

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