Time to (softly) hit us all with some sequel reviews! And never fear…no spoilers.
It’s always hard to review sequels without just sitting down in a puddle and screaming ALL YOUR SPOILERY THOUGHTS. But I shall not. I will resist. And I was super super excited to read both of these! I have a horrible habit of not finishing series (lowkey comes from me forgetting the first book and having no time to reread) but this year I’m working hard on reading more sequels.
Thank you to Walker Books and Allen & Unwin for these review copies!
ALLIED (Ruined #3) by Amy Tintera
Emelina Flores and her sister, Olivia, were determined to bring peace to the people of Ruina. But as the war for liberation raged on, what triumph and freedom meant to Em and Olivia slowly changed. As Olivia’s violence and thirst for vengeance became her only ambition, Em was left to pick up the pieces.
But it’s not only Em who is upset by Olivia’s increased violence. Other members of the Ruined army are beginning to see the cracks, and soon a small group of them defects from Olivia’s army and joins Em instead.
The two sisters are soon pitted against each other in an epic battle for the kingdom and the future, and only one will win.
I’m fond of this series, even if it does have a quiet ending!
This is probably the most chill epic fantasy series I’ve ever read?! The characters are so mellow and even when everything is about to TURN TO ASH AND DESTRUCTION…they’re just taking it onboard and keepin’ on keepin’ on. I do so like the writing style though, so this didn’t bother me a lot. I just wish it had had a more explosive finale. I mean, this is a FINALE.
- It does kind of have the misfortune of being a series where the Ruined was 5-stars, Avenged was 4-stars, and then Allied is just 3-stars.
- The pace is pretty ambling and slow.
- I LOVE the characters though! They’re just so sweet and all into justice and goodness, awww. Look at these pure wonders.
- Cas! Em! Galo! LOVE!
- Lots of talking and politics and plotting happens. Everyone is trying to avoid death and world-wide desctruction from Em’s sister, Olivia, so this seems wise. Although it did feel like a quiet canoe down a river.
- The dialogue was A+ the whole time. Smooth banter and wit —> moving easily to tension and stress.
- The book felt less YA though? The characters have got to be in the early 20s now and…eh, IDK. I feel like I show up to YA to actually read about teens acting like teens.
- But we have prison breaks! Betrayals! Sisters in strife! Forbidden romance! And Cas cooking his own food despite being king, so he doesn’t die of poisoning! Just…possibly self poisoning from his own cooking BUT HE TRIES. THE PURE SON.
- I do like the series. This finale is soft, but with murder.
THUNDERHEAD (Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman
Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.
Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?
Okay so WOW this was intense and full of plot twists and politics and muRDeR.
I really enjoyed Scythe although the style takes me a bit to get used to (again, it’s a really chill sort of style but then…MURDER. So yeah, wow.) And the ending of this thoroughly hurled me by the throat off a cliff and I approve. The Toll is out in 2019 and neeeeed.
- The plot is slow but thoroughly entertaining. It’s 500-pages which usually makes my brain melt out my ears (I’m SCARED of long books ok) but it flew by so fast! It’s addictive.
- Although it could’ve been a little more concise. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But I have the attention span of a gnat, so.
- I love how twisty it turned out, and the ending was a heart-thumping masterpiece.
- Citra and Rowan have very separate storylines. Citra is off doing the political Scythedom work and fighting against the “new order” of scythes that think killing should be pleasurable. Rowan is of the same mind, buuuut he’s like killing all the bad scythes. oKAY ROWAN.
- I love them both.
- I love Rowan so so much though but this series delights in thoroughly beating him up. He’s such a cinnamon son but he just gets smeared all over the page. WOW ROWAN. ARE YOU ALRIGHT.
- I did find Citra’s storyline a lot less compelling, purely for lack of things happening and instead just a lot of talking.
- Can we agree the Thunderhead is the BEST!? It’s the all-powerful-world-encompassing AI system and not only will it run the entire universe to such a close degree to perfection…it also can be your friend, tell you your tie is nice, and listen to your problems.
- It’s the mother we all need.
- Also lowkey thinks it should be worshipped, but mothers aren’t perfect.
- I also much approve of the scene at the Scythe Conclave meeting where they made cupcakes to match the Scythes robes.
- STILL WANT A SCYTHE ROBE.
- Rowan is just always so chill even when he’s getting punched into next Tuesday.
- I loved Tolliver’s storyline (although I’ve legit forgotten his first name…haah, I’m sorry) and it got more and more intriguing as the Thunderhead gently and lovingly manipulated him.
- It got SUPER DARK at several points. There’s such a grisly scene that reminded me so much of Unwind.
- Exceptional world building! Epic writing! Murdery schemey plot!
- I am absolutely desperate to know what happens next.