CHAPTERS 1-5 ONLY (NetGalley Extract)
We’re introduced to Bryce and her world is, to put it bluntly, chaotic. A clear attempt to bring in an older audience, but the story will be what really makes it work. Hints of an intriguing world, though we’re not given a lot of detail here. What we do get, however, is a definite setting-up of a story to capture our interest…who is behind this attack? Why Bryce? Will she survive this?
Thanks to NetGalley for the sneak peek…thank goodness I don’t need to wait too long for the release of the book itself.
HAVING FINALLY MANAGED TO READ THE FULL NINETY-SOMETHING CHAPTERS…
I got a little caught up in the hype at this foray into adult literature. I started in earnest…and then I have to admit to struggling.
I can’t put my finger on exactly why this was so hard to get into, but I really felt like I might not finish it at certain points. And that feeling continued for over thirty chapters – which is just too long to expect a reader to stick with you in the expectation that it’s going to get better. I did…and put my trust in reading buddies who pretty much unanimously voiced the view that it was worth sticking with. To them, thanks, as left to my own devices I probably would have bottled this.
The character of Bryce (part-human child of the Autumn King) is flawed, but you root for her from the beginning, and the dynamics of her various relationships hint at some intriguing developments. There’s plenty of background info given and the world-building is established as we read. We get lots of suggestions about shifting power alliances and past events are clearly going to have bearing on what we see/will see. From the outset we are clear that a range of groups have a vested interest in the events depicted…and we are somewhat in the dark as we try to piece together quite how everything fits.
To cut a very long story short, this book focuses us on a hunt for a long-lost Fae relic. As the search takes place, we have a side-story of what exactly led to the deaths of Bryce’s friends at the start. There’s the drawn-out relationship problem, this time featuring Bryce and Hunt. For those familiar with Maas’s writing the relationship is a prickly one, with both parties damaged in some way; a lot of teasing and sexual tension; the usual ‘white noise’ of overblown sexualised moments that promise much but never quite deliver…and the very firm expectation that things will sort themselves out eventually. We also get a fair amount of complicated family relationships and action from other worlds that means we’re never quite certain where this is going. And then, once things get going, we have some great scenes.
I think this is one to mentally prepare yourself for. Perhaps you’ll love it from the start – in which case, once we hit that magic moment (it was part three onwards for me) you will be fair gushing in your praise for Maas and the feel good factor delivered by what comes later. For me, the latter stages really were emotional with plenty of action to engage us and hints of some fascinating developments to come. There was upset, love, fear, hope and a growing sense of a world showing its true potential. It helps that Bryce has her vulnerable moments, as when she really gets going she’s hard to ignore and that knowledge that she’s in it for the right reasons keeps us rooting for her.
Having taken weeks to get to part three, the latter stages got their claws in me and I raced through the last fifty-odd chapters in a couple of days. That doesn’t sit well with me, but it was most definitely worth it. And now I cannot wait to see how Maas continues the events set in motion.