Publisher: Flatiron Books
Published: May 7, 2019
Read as: US Hardcover
Average Goodreads rating: 4.41
My rating: 3
“Tonight he was smiling like a wicked prince, escaped from the stars, ready to spirit her up into the heavens.”
Here I sit, once again, trying to come up with the words to talk about a book that was, well, just alright. The plot was alright, the characters were alright, and the ending was alright. It was just…alright. If I dislike a book it is easy to sit and describe what didn’t work for me. When you like a book, it is easy and even fun to tell others why you loved it. But when you can’t elicit more than “meh” from the experience, writing a review feels a lot like a chore.
The story picks up a few months after the end of Legendary. Tella and Scarlett are living in rented rooms near the palace were Legend/Dante is set to be crowned emperor. The game of Caraval that encompassed the first two books does not exist in this story in any form which is a large departure from the plot we’ve come to recognize. Instead, the Fates have been freed from their cards (along with the girl’s mother) as well as the head honcho of the Fates who is huge jerk. Mr. Big Bad Fate wants to take over the world, as most Big Bads do, and wipe out mankind in the process. You know, no big.
Scarlett is still just as boring as she was in the first book except she is more Proper Princess boring than she was before. The girl loves to pretend she is always in the right and doing the right thing and blah blah blah. Reading about her is like eating overcooked chicken, dry and lifeless. She makes one dumb decision after another while pretending that love conquers all and it is just the more annoying character trait I can possibly fathom.
SPEAKING OF the “love conquers all” nonsense, that seemed to be the theme of this whole book and it bored me. Everything tied back into one character or another’s love story instead of any kind of plot and just…it was dull. I enjoy a good romance subplot, really, I do, but this was a romance novel with fantasy elements that seem to be meant only to further the romance. It got very tiring, very quickly.
One thing I will never fault Garber for is her descriptions. I love how she describes things. The picture she can paint with words is vivid and flowing and I love the images it conjures in my mind. That being said, it was probably the only thing in this entire book I could say that I truly enjoyed.
Before this turns into a rant, and I do feel it quickly brewing beneath the surface, let me wrap this up. This book was disappointing. The plot felt rushed, everything revolved around a love story, some characters did not get a proper end (JACKS), parts of the plot didn’t make sense, and in case I didn’t mention it EVERYTHING WAS REALLY RUSHED. This could have been a great book but almost everything I loved about Legendary had disappeared. As it is, this conclusion was okay at best. Garber is capable of better writing, she has shown that, and I will still read what she writes in the future but I must say, my expectations will be lower.
“He was tailored suits over inked tattoos, and lies that people wanted to believe. His palace would be breathtaking in the way that only powerful things could be.”