Genre: Paranormal, Romance, New Adult
Torn between duty and survival, nothing can be the same.
Everything Ivy Morgan thought she knew has been turned on its head. After being betrayed and then nearly killed by the Prince of the Fae, she’s left bruised and devastated—and with an earth-shattering secret that she must keep at all costs. And if the Order finds out her secret, they’ll kill her.
Then there’s Ren Owens, the sexy, tattooed Elite member of the Order who has been sharing Ivy’s bed and claiming her heart. Their chemistry is smoking hot, but Ivy knows that Ren has always valued his duty to the Order above all else—he could never touch her if he knew the truth. That is, if he let her live at all. Yet how can she live with herself if she lies to him?
But as the Fae Prince begins to close in, intent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld, Ivy is running out of options. If she doesn’t figure out who she can trust—and fast—it’s not only her heart that will be torn apart, but civilization itself.
I want to begin this review by clarifying a few things. I would like to say I could blame this book all on Danya for proposing the buddy read to me and Kaja but that’s not true. I would have read this book regardless because Jennifer Armentrout is an author I love and hate in equal measure. Her books are always enjoyable regardless of how much they aggravate me with ridiculous storylines and character stupidity. As such, I don’t want you to think that just because I rated this book two stars I hated it because I enjoyed myself reading and I enjoyed complaining about it at regular intervals with Danya and Kaja. It’s easy to forget the things which you dislike about Armentrout’s writing when she writes an enjoyable mostly harmless read.
I want you to remember I said this when I start my review because my rants may put you off a bit.
Let Me Start With The Things I Enjoyed.
As I said, this wasn’t all hate, dislike, hate. I really did enjoy myself reading, why else would I keep coming back to Armentrout’s books?
I still love the New Orleans setting, although we saw a lot less of it than we did in the first book. I will forever always read a book set in New Orleans because I loved the city. Sure, I was another tourist clogging up the streets but it is such a beautiful city (and, seriously, it is no jokes about the heat in that place. Choose the month you go carefully) and Armentrout does write to do the place justice.
I really enjoyed the progression of the story surrounding the fae. In the first book they are portrayed as evil manipulative creatures which are just out to be able to find another meal in the world in the form of a willing (or unwilling) human. You learn little of them beyond their glamour and tricks and the fact they are out to free their prince. In this book the fae become a lot more fleshed out rather than two-dimensional bad guys who are just out to do evil as that’s what they are programmed to do. Much like you have Tink, who is a good brownie (as all brownies are good really) you discover their are more fae in the world than first appeared and they aren’t all out for evil. Some just want to live and be left alone and I really liked that ridiculous concept of all were evil was banished (although, why they should live by human moral standards is a whole other issue. Not all creatures have the same moral code as us).
The Things I Didn’t Enjoy… There Are A Few.
There are a long list of things which bothered me about this book when I was reading and I want to tell them all to you but then I don’t want a bunch of spoilers here, so I will talk in roundabouts and try not to get too specific or offer too many examples.
One of the big things which annoyed me was the character of Ivy. I mean, she was quippy and filled with pop-culture references in the first book and it was fun, but it got a bit exhausting in this one. I wanted her (and Tink) to tone it down with their references which will inevitably date this book in a few years time. That wasn’t a major issue for me, what was is that Ivy seemed to have misplaced her brain and her confidence in this book. At the end of Wicked she discovered she was the dreaded halfling everyone had been searching for and so it was inevitable she would have a bit of an identity crisis, I cannot fault her for that one. What I can fault her for is the fact she seemed to think being a halfling means she would have a different personality from who she was before she knew. I mean, that was idiotic but it’s the more the fact it continued for the entire book about how she was torn up about what she knew and who to trust and how to act and I was pretty sure this was a moral dilemma which could have been resolved in a few chapters, not an entire book.
Then there was the stupidity issue. I mean, this girl struggled to see beyond the end of her nose. At one point she was being deceived into thinking someone was someone they were not and it was so obvious. Like, I noticed within the first couple of sentences. It took Ivy about three chapters to figure it out! And considering they were acting so out of character it was jarring i don’t know how it took her so long to register. It was explained in the book, but the explanation was so weak and flimsy that I just couldn’t accept it. No one is in that much denial that they accept way OOC actions from a person. And what was even more annoying is she went back even after they had done something unforgivable! Where I would have been making excuses and been busy every time they called, she dropped what she was doing and went running. I mean, she gets all judgmental over the terrible actions of the fae but when someone she cares about does something unforgivable she goes running without a second thought. Where are her morals there?
And then there was the entire treatment of Ivy at the hands of the fae. The reason Ivy being the halfling is such a big deal is because there is a prophecy that says if a halfling willingly bears the child of the prince of the fae it will open the gates of the fae world to the human one so the fae can enslave and feast upon the human race. So, since the prince gained his freedom at the end of the first book you would think the fae would be doing everything they could to woo Ivy into falling in love with the Prince so she could bear the apocalypse baby, right? Oh hells no, there is deception, dubious consent and straight up brainwashing involved. And do we need to talk about the neck collar and chain Ivy wears at one point? The entire treatment of Ivy is degrading and pretty damn offensive. And it was completely illogical considering they want her to have some hybrid child thing! It felt like Armentrout wanted to give Ivy the worst treatment and degrade her for no logical reason apart from to put her in a weak position which isolates her from those which care about her! It was bad enough Ivy’s closest friend, Val, turned on her. And that when she revealed her halfling status to her boyfriend, Ren, he ran even though she said she loved him, she then had to be chained up and forced to do things against her will? There was no logical reason any of that happened. It just frustrated me the whole concept of consent went out the window even though Ivy needed to be willing to ever be able to bear any kind of child.
And the final thing which frustrated me? Te fat the more interesting storyline of the book was like a sidenote which is inevitably going to be explored in the third book and instead everything got overshadowed by Ivy loving Ren and her halfling identity crisis.
Basically, I Hated A Lot Of Things But I’ll Still Be Buying The Next Book
Look, I may have just written several ranty paragraphs which justify my low rating of this book, but the fact of the matter is I’ll be going back for more. I am Ivy in this situation, I am being stupid and going back for another book will inevitable annoy me even though I know I should be making excuses not to. Who am I to judge when I keep doing this to myself? Don’t let my complaints fool you, this would have been a 2.5 star book if for the readability factor alone if I hadn’t had so much to complain about.
Do you have that author you keep going back for from even though you complain about it more than you enjoy it? Do you reckon it’s because you really enjoy complaining about it? And have you read this or any of Armentrout’s books? What were your thoughts? Also, don’t forget to go see Kaja and Danya’s thoughts on this because they have some interesting things to say.