Updated: Feb 27
“Through love, all is possible.”
This quote is what surrounds the entirety of this book, of course with further help from kick-ass fight scenes, hilarious moments, ugly crying, and lots of temptation!
In this modern fantasy novel, we follow Bryce Adelaide Quinlan, a half-fae and half-human young woman who enjoys her life to the fullest. By day, she works in an antique shop where questionable wares are often moving in and out of the building. At night, she let's loose from the struggles of work by partying, drinking, and having the occasional one-night stand. However, when her dearest friend is found dead, the life that Bryce once had, takes a downward spiral. The assumed murderer was captured and locked away, however, two years later similar attacks begin anew. This causes Bryce to be sought out for help in finding the person who murdered her best friend. She is unwillingly aided by Hunt Athalar, an infamous fallen angel now turned slave to those he attempted to overthrow. As one, they race against an unknowing clock to save the world from those who threaten their home and manipulates sinister powers from the shadows.
It's entirely hard to summarize this book because not only was it so long, there are so many memorable moments. So I am going to first give you my overall opinion and then touch on my favorite things about the book.
I could not put this book down for longer than a few hours! Every piece of it was amazing and written in that SJM style that we stans enjoy so much. I have encountered people who try to label these books as guilty pleasures, but I feel no guilt for loving them. This is a guilt-free zone, you will find zero guilts here! Most people dislike her books because of the sexual scenes which I admit can at times be over the top and the way she describes the demeanor of her lead male characters can be off-putting. Or Alphaholes as Celaena Sardothien so eloquently refers to them. I personally love these things about her books and wouldn't want to read books that aren't just a little over the top in some areas. Otherwise, we'd essentially be reading real life. I have Sims 4 to reenact real life and even their content is a little wild. Fictional books are supposed to be a little off the rocker, that is why they are fictional. As in, this shit would likely not happen in real life. As in, I can live out my dreams of sexing up hot fae and now, angel, men without being ashamed of it. It's all for entertainment and people take it entirely too seriously. You can tell from SJM's writing skills that she can write just about anything that she wants. She chooses these books because she loves them just as much as we do. So I wish people would stop complaining. If it is not for you then fine. However, it makes me sad because I wholeheartedly believe that the pros of her writing largely outweigh the cons created by non-SJM lovers.
There is no one better at world-building than SJM, at least no one that I've discovered so far. I have read just about every book composed by SJM and as always, the world building is phenomenal. In each series she produces, we acquire a firm grasp of what it is like to live in the world of her characters. Everything is a perfect balance of telling and showing which allows the reader to visualize the scenes in their mind. I know some care more about character growth than world-building, but I believe that world-building goes with character growth. It makes me believe what the author is telling me about this character because I can see the world they live in and what they go through. For example, in this book, Bryce doesn't have many friends even before her best friend dies, and this is shown from how SJM weaves the tale. Describing what people believe in, what they respect, and what they seek in life. These are all key factors that show you how lonely Bryce would be and currently is without her friend there. Furthermore, some scenes take place in the book that would be impossible without the previous world-building. When something crazy happens, you're unconfused because you were already shown that this is the kind of thing that happens a lot. This is why world building is important to flesh out stories.
What can I say about Miss Bryce Fucking Quinlan? I mean, other than I love her and I think I have a girl crush on her! Bryce is brilliant and by far one of my top five female characters in all of SJM's books. What I loved most about Bryce is that she has tough skin, but also a gentle heart if that makes sense. People frequently assume women can only be written one way or the other, but that is ridiculous. Even Ogres have more than one type of layer. Bryce is capable of showing compassion, vulnerability, courage, and strength without ruining who she is at the core. Ordinarily, when feminine characters are depicted, people forget they require a life outside their male love interest. That they need more in their world outside of whatever crucial plot is going on. Bryce had hobbies, a job, a limited number of friends, and time to still just go out and have fun. She is well rounded and wasn't just an attractive face there for the sake of being available. I equally loved the growth she underwent throughout the story! You undoubtedly witness the evolution of her personality into something beautiful by the end of the book. I can't give spoilers, but all I can mention is that I cherish her and we're getting married in my mind. Sorry, Hunt!
The plot in this book was everything I didn't realize I needed. Spectacular, juicy, and succulent are just a few words to explain how well done the plot was. What I love most about plots is when they hurl me through so many unconnected loops that I always think I'm close, but never really get there. Then, even if you do get there before the end of the book, the struggle to find it was thrilling enough to make you appreciate the writing. There are so many clues and foreshadowing that you might not notice at the time because the story is directing you in so many other patterns. There are so many clues and foreshadowing that you might not notice at the time because the story is directing you in so many other patterns. Only to figure it out just a few chapters before it was revealed. I love that shit so very much! No one wants to always be right, because then there is no pleasure in finally figuring it out. Nor is there any fun in the journey you experience with the characters you're reading about.
This part won't take long, but I felt like I had to make note of this for those who have not read the book. Friendship is so underrated in books, and I don't just mean the characters the mc hangs out with. I mean the deep and personal connection between two non-romantic characters that make you a hundred percent feel like you're apart of their friendship. The friendship that makes you feel like you'd risk your own life or give your everything to save them. You see this a lot throughout the book and if it doesn't make you tear up or at least want to, then you're probably a robot. I was constantly in a whirlwind of emotions from laughing, to crying, to anger. It was all over the place and I couldn't help myself. SJM just invokes these emotions from you without your permission. I looked like a demented woman going from hysterical laughing to disturbing ugly cries. This book is likely the best I've ever read when it comes to friendship alone. Well, second-best because nothing touches the Infernal Devices.
That is all I have to say about this. I hope you enjoyed my review and I encourage you to read this book. I know love this series already and I think I'll likely have a panic attack if I have to wait a long time for the next book.