Man, did the ending save this book from getting 3 stars. I was dyiiiing. I even cried a little. After that I couldn't give it less than four stars even though several things bothered me about this book.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed all of it. But it did take me longer to finish than the previous one. I just wasn't AS invested. I have to acknowledge that the author managed to pull me into the story once again even if a lot of nothing
was going on. And it was over 500 pages! You'd think well, maybe there wasn't as much action as in the last book, but I got more info. about the characters, and a lot of my questions were answered. Weeeeeell... not really? Yes, I feel I know Lila, Kell and co. a liiiitle better. But it really didn't give me much for 500+ pages. Honestly, it was more introducing new characters, excruciatingly detailed descriptions of places, people and objects, a lot of unnecessary scenes and the author repeating the same information every other chapter.
Yeah, I was ready to take two stars due to all of the above. Also, it kinda bothered me that Kell and Lila finally reunited at roughly 75% into the book. WTH? I live for the banter between these two and they had about two decent conversations and one very out of nowhere (if great) make-out session, and then they were separated shortly after. Whaaat?
But on with the actual story.
I was most shocked and bothered by the way Queen Emira and King Maxim treated Kell in this book. What a couple of hypocrites. To think that I defended them in my last review and even blamed Kell for feeling like the odd one out in the royal family. HE KNEW. HE SAW THROUGH THEM FROM THE START AND I WAS TOO BLIND TO SEE THAT HE WAS RIGHT. They don't deserve Kell, and I'm repulsed by both of them at this point. You don't treat your adopted SON like that the moment he makes a mistake. And to make things worse, they just blatantly favored Rhy in front of Kell without a care in the world, because suddenly, it's too much effort to even pretend you give a shit about the person who saved your biological son and your city and spare his feelings.
"At least when you treated me like a son, I could pretend. But now..."
*screams* I don't think I'll care if anything happens to either Emira or Maxim in the future because the way they treated Kell and made him feel is almost unforgivable in my book.
Rhy. My poor baby. You're so sad and miserable. He...okay, I think... I think that they should let Rhy die. There. I said it. I love him, I really do, but he's never going to be happy if nothing is done about his and Kell's situation. Also, the author likes teasing us so much with the possibility of Rhy dying at any point that I'm just like, bring it on. Kill him. I'm tired of this will / won't he die. Just do it already or don't. Also, I hate that he's being used this way to hurt Kell and I don't want to read about them resenting each other anymore. I'm probably as sick about this situation as the characters seem to be.
I think I felt even worse for Kell though. His family just treated him like absolute crap throughout the book and I was so frustrated I cried in the last couple of chapters at the injustice of it all. I actually cried. I felt so, so bad for him.
Kell watched them bicker, focusing on the cold, letting it spread like frost, overtaking everything. He was so tired of caring.
*cue the sound of my heart breaking into a million tiny pieces*
That's Kell in this book. Kell worrying about Rhy, Kell worrying about Red London, Kell worrying about Lila. Kell worrying and worrying and worrying and sacrificing his own happiness, and he's repaid with punishment, rejection, and people not even listening
to him. Poor kid needs a break and when he thinks he's got one... all hell breaks loose. GDI.
Lila was still a joy to read, but this time I did find myself wanting to smack her more than a couple of times. Some of the things she did were incredibly reckless and just unnecessary. I actually didn't approve of the whole Elsor situation and how she handled it. Lila can be sort of a brat when she wants something and the lengths she'll go for some things are ridiculous. She needs a good slap back to reality, and I'm not sure she gets just how LUCKY she's been so far. Some of the things that she pulled off in this book weren't as believable as in the first one. I found myself staring skeptically at my Kindle more than a couple of times and muttering "Uh-huh...right...okay" (such a contrast to the first book where the things she did seemed more believable and she wasn't even able to use magic back then). But okay, I suppose that's Lila's role, for now, is making the impossible seem possible.
ALUCARD. Alucard was the saving grace of this book. He made all those chapters full of nothing interesting just with his presence. I think I could read a book about Alucard alone. He's that great. I loved his chemistry with Lila. It was so much fun seeing them trying to figure out each other's secrets. And he was so supportive. I think he kinds of fills the role that Barron had in her life.
Alucard's relationship with Rhy was also a great one to read about, it was a shame that we didn't get more of it (again, 500+ pages and we got one or two scenes with these two together, really??). And he and Kell were hilarious, I love jealous Kell.
"Alucard has always been careless when it comes to precious things."
Your corny is showing, Kell.
Holland and Ojka. How can anyone hate Holland? Honestly, the poor guy has had it so bad I can hardly blame him for the decisions he has made. I don't even believe he's bad, he just has had it worse than anyone else in these books.
I think of Ojka as the Lila of White London. There are some very obvious similarities there and even though they're both very unique, I don't think it's a stretch to say they seem to have a very similar past in common and that it shaped them into the badass ladies that they are. I can't wait to see these two face off.
The book doesn't lack for great characters, some my favorites are: Lila, Kell, Rhy, Alucard, Calla (the official KellxLila ship captain), Hastra (sweetie), Jinnar (very secondary character but I still hope I get to see him again), Tieren, Ojka, Holland and... that pirate woman... Jasta? I forgot her name, but I bet she has a more prominent role in the next book. I got a good vibe about her (I hope I'm right) and Alucard made her sound like such an interesting and kickass character and she was there only for like one paragraph, haha.
I don't think this review was very coherent and complete, but I'm a mess of feels right now and my thoughts are all over the place. I might edit it later.
Now to wait for the next one.
At least there's an excerpt already out and I'm going to go read that now and then agonize over the long, long wait.
"Look, everyone talks about the unknown like it's some big scary thing, but it's the familiar that's always bothered me. It is heavy, builds up around you like rocks, until it is walls
and a ceiling and a cell."