🌿 Hi, guys, I hope you’re having a beautiful day!❤️ Today I bring you a double review of both books: Wicked Saints and Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan, and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to read an ARC of the sequel. I wanted to do this little introduction to tell you that my reviews may contain quite negative thoughts in case it’s not something you feel comfortable reading or maybe you love these books and you’re very sensitive about them, I would never want to hurt your feelings. And of course, as I always clarify, these are just my personal thoughts about books, and nothing else, I always try to express myself with a lot of respect, and I’m very glad that you’ve enjoyed these books if you’ve read them, as well as I totally understand, that otherwise, you haven’t enjoyed of them. So without further ado, I hope you enjoy the reviews and we can chat about these books in the comments! I LOVE YOU 🥰 & thanks for the support, always. 🌿
Title: Wicked Saints
By: Emily A. Duncan
Series: Something Dark and Holy #1
Published: April 2nd, 2019
By: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Romance | Magic
Buy it: Book Depository
A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.
A prince in danger must decide who to trust.
A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.
Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.
In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.
| Goodreads |
“We’re all monsters, Nadya, some of us just hide it better than others.”
Well, obviously this book was a disappointment for me because I thought I would really love it, especially because I like the main idea a lot, cause it follows powers that come from gods and there’s an interesting background that touches on religions, but the execution of the book wasn’t successful for me. The characters are super weak in character, they lack a lot of shocking personalities, you know? as well as the world and the magic system, that although I liked the idea, it ended up being quite confusing for me.
The plot of this book focuses on three main characters whose lives will be intertwined, they’ll have to assassinate the king to stop a bloody war. We have a girl who can speak to the gods, who will try to save her people without destroying herself. A dark prince who must make the difficult decision of who to trust in & A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.
As I already said, the promise is incredible to me, it’s usually something that I enjoy a lot, especially when there’s a magic system involving gods, anti-hero characters & a world based in Russia. Everything sounds too good and since I read Shadow & Bone I needed something similar in my life. BUT, it didn’t work at all, the first chapters have personality and intrigue, and they really promise something but then the plot transforms into an utterly ridiculous romance, flat characters and a confusing plot that has no clear purpose. I also felt that the conflicts were resolved too quickly and easily, especially cause we spent about 20% of the book following the characters planing a super intricate plan that was useless. In the end, I feel mostly disappointed because I expected a certain impact in such a bloody promise, that promised so much action and impactful moments and then everything fell short, and I ended up getting a little bored. In the ending things got interesting FINALLY, but I can’t just judge on a couple of good chapters when the rest of the book was “meh”
I think there are a lot of dialogues in this book, and this is not usually something that bothers me, because I love good dialogues, but when the dialogues surpass the plot events, it becomes monotonous and boring. It’s like if the characters talked all the time about what they were going to do, or what could happen, but they never moved, and I just wanted something to happen!
I’ll talk a little bit about the characters, especially since they’re the main point of why I couldn’t enjoy the book. Let’s start with our supposed “strong and rude main character” who ended up being a love interest who couldn’t make decisions: Nadya, who ended up being a fairly flat and minor character in her own story. I understand that the main female characters, in this type of plot, start being weak and then grow up and are super badass, but I couldn’t see that growth because the author honestly doesn’t focus much on her own personality, but on how Nadya feels about others, you know? especially about Malachiasz, which was like everything she could think of. I just don’t think Nadya is a good material to be a main character. Then we have Malachiasz, and at the beginning, I was like, “who are you? I’m interested!” … and then I was like “What kind of Grisha Mal is this?”, you know? Malachiasz, unlike Nadya, has the potential to be more than he was, he’s a well-thought-out character and the plot focuses a lot on him, but at the same time the romance ruined the character a little and ended up wearing him down. Besides, I never understood how his magic works, maybe that’s a “me” problem and not of the book, but I swear I don’t know what exactly he is, but his blood has a special power that gives us pretty good scenes, I’d say. And finally, we have Serefin who tries to be something like The Darkling, or so I listen, but OMG, you know that The Darkling (my husband) is EVERYTHING for me, so I tend to be a little offended when people compare him and this time I understand the comparison, BUT still, Serefin is something completely different and lacks power and presence for that. I liked Serefin, though, I think that it’s the only character of the main ones that made me want to continue reading, and although he occupies the “evil” side of all this, I don’t think that the construction of his personality makes much sense, I think it’s a boy with a lot of family problems and things in his head that he doesn’t understand yet, it’s interesting to follow him and learn more about him, but I think he was lacking in something, he needed that extra power to really see him as a great villain, you know?
We have secondary characters too, we have Kostya, Ostyia, Parijahan & Rashid, among others, and I think they’re all more interesting than the main characters lol, they also bring greater diversity to the plot, we have LGBT+ characters and also characters of color and different ethnic groups, that’s super interesting, especially if it had been explored in greater depth
About the world, I don’t have much to say, I don’t think that there’s development really, there’s an idea and I understand the concept, but it’s quite flat and lacking in many aspects, I know more about the world from what the characters themselves told, that from descriptions or for really seeing it myself. On the other hand, I don’t end by fully understanding the magic system, I understand how it works, but not where comes from or why, its connection with the gods is super interesting, this book has the rating it has and not less, thanks to this point because I found it very interesting, and I LOVE when gods are used and there’s magic involved, but I really would have loved a little more depth on the subject.
I don’t want to continue being the evilest person, but I don’t have a lot to say about the writing style, I feel that it’s slow and goes around the same things a lot, that can be quite overwhelming at times, so maybe the author just isn’t for me and it’s fine, it’s super valid.
I’m SO sorry to bring you such a negative review, it’s been a while since I felt this way about a book, but I honestly didn’t enjoy it as I would have liked, I think the idea is solid but the execution is very poor and lacking in many aspects, especially in the characters and in the romance, of which I’ll not speak about because I hated it, literally there is not a single good thing to say about that, and on the other hand, the world itself, should have had a little more description and care, so at least I could have felt like I was into such a magical place. I couldn’t recommend it myself or I wouldn’t be honest, but since we all have different opinions and tastes, then I hope you enjoy it a lot if you get to read it, I know it’s a very popular and quite loved book.
Title: Ruthless Gods
By: Emily A. Duncan
Series: Something Dark and Holy #2
Published: April 7th, 2020
By: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Romance | Magic
Buy it: Book Depository
Darkness never works alone…
Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.
As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.
| Goodreads |
Super grateful to St. Martin’s Press & NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review
“The world they wish is broken bones and blood—always blood.”
I want to clarify before beginning that I’ve decided to continue with this sequel because I had an ARC, so I tried to give it another chance. I don’t usually do this when I didn’t really like the first book, but deep down I also had some hope that it could be done better, unfortunately, and although I’m immensely grateful that I read this before its release date, it didn’t work for me. Again, I’m seeing that this story isn’t made for me, and I must accept it.
This book and to summarize, it’s about Nadya who doesn’t trust her magic anymore. We follow, of course, Serefin that’s fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him & Malachiasz that’s at war with who – and what – he’s become.
As you can see, I decided that the best thing was DNFed it because I wasn’t enjoying it, I was feeling too tired of the story and plot, I was really getting bored. I didn’t want to be unfair with myself nor with the book, so if this is the best option. It made no sense for me to continue reading it when I knew I had to force myself to finish it, and on the other hand, it wasn’t fair for the author’s work because I knew that my rating wouldn’t be very generous, again.
I only read about 150 pages more or less from the book, so I’ll only give my opinion on what I’ve read and nothing else. was very anxiously waiting for the plot to take a different direction a little ruthless and savage I’d say, in this sequel, but it took a turn that although it’s valid and I think that many would enjoy, it wasn’t what I expected and I ended up being quite disappointed, it’s for that, that I wasn’t interested in continuing with it. I’m quite shocked to really see how the writing style has lost a bit of that essence, that although it doesn’t work so well for me in the first book, we can’t deny the author has something special, but in this book, the writing was kind of bad and I’m very sorry to say it, but the amount of repetitions that exist in it, is unbelievable, that made it even more difficult to move through the story.
I felt that all the problems that certain characters had in the previous book, were magically solved at some point that I never saw, it’s quite confusing, I think we reached a point where the characters begin to mold on whatever the plot requires, to allow it to keep moving, that’s pretty disappointing. But on the other hand, it doesn’t surprise me so much because these people have never had strong personalities, so it’s very easy for them to come out with an unexpected situation and you’ll never really know what positions they’ll take when they have no personality. It’s very crazy.
So in summary, it’s not the right story for me and that’s fine, sometimes it happens, I’m sure that despite all the negative content of my reviews, this story will continue to have a lot of hype and a lot of love, and I’m glad that there’s a story there outside that fits perfectly with us and this surely will also have its audience. I’m sorry I don’t have much more to say, I haven’t read much to go deeper, but I can point out some positive points that I like in my books and I’ve found in this story in general, and that’s a good religious and political portrait, which really promises a lot, and an idea involving gods that has potential, also highlighted the diversity of races and sexualities. I hope you enjoy it from the bottom of my heart if you get to read it, but this story ends here for me.
Have you heard about these books? | Would you like to read them? | What do you think about it?
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