This series maintains its high level and doesn’t disappoint. I do have one complaint, however, and that it that sometimes it does feel a bit ‘too much’. …But it is possible that I feel so because I read to fast, and when you read this book within 2 days (while doing full-time work in between) all the angst, gore, sex, and the emotions that do run thick in these books come in a doze that is too concentrated to feel good. (It affected my sleep, and I didn’t enjoy that>.) But otherwise, this is a great, very well written and unique series.
I find myself very cautious reading this. There is simply too much senseless violence and gore. Their whole world is based on the survival of the strongest and proving it in the cruellest ways possible. Blood, torture, too many innocent victims… Too many triggers at every step. But then there’s also a certain kind of captivating elaborateness that makes me keep reading.
It’s not a big surprise that the biggest factor that keeps me with these books is the main relationship. The kind of love that is longer than forever and strong enough to destroy the world for each other. I usually don’t like books where the relationship is wobbling near the line of using force and other dominance play tendencies, but since they don’t actually cross that line and are striving for a two-way street on most aspects of the relationship, I find myself captivated. Also, the fact that the main character tries to stand against all the cruelty and heartlessness certainly helps.
It’s a very well-written book, with a complex and well-built world, multitude of no less complex and interesting characters, and captivating story. But I find myself constantly waiting for it to cross some line where I won’t be able to follow it… because too much gore and sadism is too much.
So much teenage idiocy… I have a mixed feeling about this book, because, on one hand it seems that there is a passable fantasy-suspense story plot lurking on the background, and the main character is not too terrible (she even seems to use her head…sometimes…more so in the beginning, than towards the end), but the rest of it… Characters, without exception, are either just creepy (or creepy and disturbing) or mostly faceless. This book reminded me of that ‘find the main character’ meme where people make fun of anime by showing a picture with a room full of identical characters with brown-black hair and hardly any facial features drawn, and among them a single character with pink hair and detailed expression. This is exactly how his book feels, with the exception that when a character has a face or a name they will be creepy as hell… Or, all males will be creepy and disturbing in a dangerous way, and all females creepy and preoccupied with sex (including the 70yo housekeeper). There are no classmates except for the creepy stalker boys and one vain venomous cheerleader. There are hardly any teachers other than the Coach “teaching biology” by talking about sex, and “councillor” who is even worse. People in the shops and restaurants are creepy. Police are creepy. (The mother maybe the only exception, but she is also absent most of the time.) It would’ve actually maid so much more sense if the “twist” of this book was that all this time we were reading an account of a mentally unstable (paranoid and delusional) person (who understandably lost her marbles after her father was murdered), and that was the reason why every person who came into focus in her POV acted suspicious and disturbing, and why so much weird shit was happening around her. The explanation “it was all in her head” would’ve maid this a much better written book. Because when it’s not in her head, the “tunnel vision” and “one colour” world building make this into a rather weakly written fantasy book.
Then there’s the problem of the ‘best friend’ of the ‘who needs enemies with friends like this’ variety, (a.k.a. the reason for all problem situations in the book) where you want to strangle this ‘positive character’ more than all the creepy negative characters in the book. Literally the worst character in the whole book, by far. And I don’t comprehend her existence.
Things are kind of happening, but it actually feels like they are not, because we are not getting any closer to the answer to the “what the hell is going on” questions for at least for 250-80 pages, and things of repetitive nature (Someone got hurt. Did boy A or boy B do it? Is something supernatural going on or am I loosing my mind?) keep happening on the sidelines, keep raising the exactly same questions over and over, but giving absolutely no answers.
The ending was actually better than I expected it to be, but I wish we didn’t suddenly devolve into romance, just like that, after a whole book of unhealthy and not-okay behaviour.
I haven’t really read any angel-themed fantasy before (though I’m aware there are plenty), so this world was new and unique to me. The world and its concepts are interesting and well-developed, even though it’s also full of ‘intimidating and possibly sadistic alpha males’ that are kind of old hat by now. The characters, including minor ones, are well developed, as are the relationships between them. The main character has a head on her shoulders most of the time and is interesting to follow. I enjoyed this more than I expected, despite how very bloody and violent it is. I was also positively surprised by the level of writing, because before this I’ve read only Slave to Sensation and it was difficult to believe this was written by the same writer.