Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco – Review

52772417. sx318 Rating: 4.5 stars

Published: 2021

Genre: Fantasy, NA

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Synopsis: One sister.
Two sinful princes.
Infinite deception with a side of revenge…Welcome to Hell.

After selling her soul to become Queen of the Wicked, Emilia travels to the Seven Circles with the enigmatic Prince of Wrath, where she’s introduced to a seductive world of vice.

She vows to do whatever it takes to avenge her beloved sister, Vittoria…even if that means accepting the hand of the Prince of Pride, the king of demons.

***SPOILER ALERT*** This is the second book in the series and therefore the following review may contain spoilers for the first book. Read at your own peril. Review of the first book here.


This was every bit as addictive as the first one, I’ve been trying to get over my book hangover for the past 3 days and I have so far valiantly resisted the temptation to immediately re-read it. I even felt compelled to write this review, despite having completely ignored this blog for the better part of this year. Anyways, let’s talk about it. 

First thing to mention about this book is that is without a doubt character driven. Not a whole lot happens plot-wise. Instead, the focus is mainly the romance (and this is written as new adult, so it gets pretty steamy) and on Emilia adjusting to the Underworld. We get to meet some of Wrath’s other brothers, we get to meet some of Wrath’s court and of course, we get to know more about our favourite Prince of Hell (or my favourite anyway). I personally really enjoyed it, but it’s less plot driven than the previous book. Though it ends on a similar cliffhanger and I suspect there will be a lot more happening story wise in the next one. 

I loved seeing the underworld. Very Dante-esque, was very fun to get to see some of it. I would have loved for there to be more exploration of the Underworld if anything. But what we did get to see was very lush and decadent. There was a lot of sexual tension going around so if that’s your thing, you’re all covered. I’m personally not the biggest fan of smut, but this was actually pretty good. Didn’t make me cringe too much and was even occasionally enjoyable. Which is quite high praise coming from me.

Despite this being predominantly character driven, we did get a few story progression points and Emilia had a big eureka moment towards the end of the book. Although I do think that was actually a weak point of the book, as I felt that the main plot twist lacked impact. I can’t really elaborate on that too much without spoilers, but let’s just say that I think it should have had a much much higher emotional impact on Emilia. She just kinda shrugged it off. In fact, she had much stronger emotional responses to comparatively less important events. Which just kind of felt unrealistic and made the plot twist much less powerful. 

Some random observations: I was happy that the food descriptions were toned down in this book. I found them very distracting in the first book and they constantly pulled me out of the story. The lack of communication between Wrath and Emilia continues in this book especially at the beginning, but they definitely get better. Wrath is still super dreamy. And also a cutie. Okay I’m done. Read this book, it’s fun. 

Mulan Live Action Film Rant

I recently got Dinsey+ and I decided to watch Mulan today. The live action remake, that is, and it was so bad. The best thing I can say about it is that it was very visually beautiful. There will be spoilers ahead.

Okay, so they turned this funny animated film about a girl who goes to war disguised as a boy in her father’s place. Took 98% of the comedic value of that story and replaced with some weird, pseudo-Chinese magic plot line. Where instead of having a girl who overcomes the challenges  of being physically smaller and weaker than the other soldiers through cunning and hard work, you have a girl whose “chi” is strong. Except apparently girls can’t have chi (even though the film also defines it as something that everyone has but I mean okay) because… it gives them magic powers?? I’m really confused about this bit cause we have another woman with “strong chi” who’s been exiled as a witch? And she can turn into a hawk? Or a flock of birds. Yeah… anyway. Mulan is magic now. 

wat dean gif

And that’s honestly all there is to the film. That, and a phoenix metaphor. It was boring, man. It was boring and it made no sense. They got rid of Mushu, first and biggest mistake they made. Then there was a bunch of talk about honor this and honor that and then she decides it’s not honourable to lie so she lets her hair loose (literally) and gets rid of her armour (because I guess armour is not feminine enough and was restraining her chi???) which are the two least logical things to do when you’re about to head into battle but girl power amirite? 

f logic gif

Anyway, then she saves the day and goes back to her family to make amends and then the emperor gives her a sword and she becomes a legend. The end. It was just such a disappointment. It didn’t do anything right except cinematography. It was pretty. I’m not Chinese, so I’m only saying what I think, I may be wrong, but I thought even the rep was awful even though the cast was all Asian. And I’ve read some own-voices reviews that concurred. So, in the words of the great Mushu himself…


Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco


Rating: 4.5 stars

Published: 2020

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Synopsis: Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to discover who did this, and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. He’s been tasked by his master with investigating a series of women’s murders on the island. When Emilia and Wrath’s fates collide, it’s clear this disturbing mystery will take a bewitching turn…

Damn, this book was so good. I loved it way more than I expected to, which is kind of how it went with Stalking Jack the Ripper as well. For the sake of preventing me from dissembling into incoherence inserting some sort of structure into this review, let’s first talk about the few things I enjoyed less and that prevented it from being a 5 star read for me.

The main thing I didn’t really enjoy and that pulled me out of the story was the excessive description of foods. I think it’s probably just a personal preference rather than bad writing, but whenever Emilia started listing ingredients for whatever food… it bored me and it took me right out of the story. I strongly dislike cooking and while I enjoy eating food, I don’t particularly want to know how it’s made. That made the first few chapters of the book really drag for me since they were very food-focused. As the plot progressed, it wasn’t as prominent anymore, but it still happened occasionally and I just found it jarring. 

Another thing that bothered me was the lack of communication between Wrath and Emilia. Like, I understand that they’re kind of enemies and he’s a demon so she’s loath to trust him. But sometimes, it just didn’t make any sense and so many issues would have been avoided if she’d just talked to him. Overall, I really enjoyed their dynamic, but occasionally I felt that Emilia in particular was just irrational in an almost absurd way. Wrath was also reserved, but I felt that his reluctance was more natural and made more sense. 

Other than that, this book was everything that I wanted. I find myself recently really craving lush and decadent either fae or other kind of paranormal being, enemies to lovers romance, but not… too romancey. Like more slow burn and also other things going on. I already knew Maniscalco is great at writing gothic mysteries, so I wasn’t surprised by that, but this just hit the spot so well and left me craving more. I can’t believe I have to wait until October for the next one. 

The setting was so lush and atmospheric. Obviously, since it’s set in our world, there’s not that much world-building to do, but just the way the mythology of the world was set up just drew me right in and was so evocative. Especially the audiobook, the sound effects they used along with the narration was just… chef’s kiss. I definitely recommend this book as an audiobook. 

In terms of characters… I absolutely loved Wrath. I’m a sucker for a dark, brooding, powerful hunk with hidden but hinted at soft squishy centre. I also liked Emilia well enough. She was kind of the more boring twin, Victoria was definitely more fun for the brief time she was present. but that was kind of the point and we got to see how what she was going through changed Emilia. I definitely like the Emilia at the end of the book more than the Emilia at the beginning. She’s far more interesting and I look forward to seeing where her character goes from here.  Also… Emilia and Wrath had better be endgame is all I’m gonna say. 

Overall, I highly recommend this. It is quite dark and very… occulty, so if that’s something that makes you uncomfortable, maybe it’s not for you. It’s also pretty gory at times so that’s something else to be mindful of. But otherwise, I definitely recommend this. 

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett – Book Review

Rating: 4.75/5

Genre: Fantasy, adult

Pubilshed: 2018

Author: Robert Jackson Bennett

Synopsis: Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artefact of unimaginable power. Now someone wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them. To have a chance at surviving Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies.

This book was such a delight! It’s been a while since I’ve completely LOVED a book so much. I loved every character (with one exception), I loved the writing, I loved the world, I loved the story. It’s just fantastic! Robert Jackson Bennett is now the newest addition to my list of favourite authors. 

The story is set in this steampunky urban fantasy type thing. That sentence made no sense, but I’m going with it. This has a magic system so unique and complex, I loved it so much. It’s probably one of my favourite magic systems I’ve ever read. It rivals Brandon Sanderson’s magic systems and even surpasses some of them. If not all. It just has so much character. The magic system itself is almost like a character. It’s fantastic and I adored it.

It’s been a while since I loved a cast of characters so much. I think they’re generally great, with one exception. I did not love the love interest. I really wanted there to not be a romance at all. The fact that there was is what actually bumped it down a quarter of a star. The love interest is… fine. I just found her to be kind of… bland. I think to be honest, my very, very strong desire for there not to be a romance definitely played  played a part in my dislike of the love interest, but I also just thought she didn’t really stand out in any way. One thing I really am not looking forward to is the romance in the subsequent books. It’s so hard to find books without any romance and I thought this might be one of them because the love interest didn’t show up until maybe halfway through. But yeah… that’s just personal preference and if you don’t have that same problem, you’ll probably love it. 

I also found the main antagonist to be just a tiny bit… moustache twirling. It was one of those things where they make the villain be every evil thing ever just because. Without any nuance. Like “This guy is super evil. He likes to kill people. And is greedy. And he’s a rapist. Oh, and in his spare time, he kills puppies. Because he is SUPER EVIL!”. However, there was so much going on that it didn’t bother me too much and it was mostly made up for in other ways. 

The story was so fast paced. It was just one thing after another. If you love heist stories, you’ll love this. If you love stuff like The Lies of Locke Lamora and Six of Crows and those kind of heist stories, you’ll love this. If you like stories about unlikely allies and found family, you’ll love this. It’s just got so many awesome things going for it. I would 100% recommend, though do be aware that it’s fairly gory. 

The girl and the Stars by Mark lawrence – Book review

43155726._sy475_Rating: 4.5 stars

Genre: adult, fantasy, grimdark

Published: 2020

Author: Mark Lawrence

Synopsis: In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown.

On Abeth the vastness of the ice holds no room for individuals. Survival together is barely possible. No one survives alone.

To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same.

Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she learns to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.

This was by far one of my most anticipated books of the year and Mark Lawrence came through again and dragged me out of my reading slump to delight me with his fantastic world.

This book obviously takes place in the same world as the Book of the Ancestor series (which I’ve reviewed for your convenience). I don’t think we get a timeline of when the events of this book take place relative to Nona’s story, at least not in this first book, but it focuses on a lot of aspects of the lore that we just kind of glimpse in Nona’s story. Which I am so glad about because I still have so many questions and I can’t wait to see how it all ties together and I am just super excited for this series. I don’t think it’s strictly necessary to read the first series, but I would recommend it because there’s a lot of world-building in that series that you don’t see in this one. And it’s not because of bad writing, but it’s just because of the ignorance of the main characters. They will probably slowly get revealed in this series as the story progresses, but I think knowing those things in advance definitely add to the story.

The biggest problem I had with this and really why I didn’t give it 5 stars is that the relationships seemed kind of rushed. The whole thing takes place over I don’t know. A few weeks maybe and already after the first couple of days they were all tight friends and it felt kind of rushed. It wasn’t too bad, like it didn’t get in the way of the story too much but it was a bit of a let-down for me. Otherwise, I enjoyed the characters. I still think I prefer Nona over Yaz, but I really liked Yaz as well. I liked the supporting ast as well, though I do wish we’d got to know some of them a bit better. Thinking back now, I read the book maybe two weeks ago and I don’t have a strong feel for what a lot of the supporting characters are like. I think there’s just maybe 3 or 4 of them that I can distinctly remember and rest are just kind of a blur and even while reading I couldn’t really remember who was who.

We do meet some interesting characters who may or may not be human, who knows, and I thought they were really cool I just want to know more about them. I’m really, really intrigued by the conflict going on. It was kind of hinted at vaguely in The Book of the Ancestor, but here it’s just fully focused on and I can’t wait to find out what’s going on.

The underground setting was so cool. It just gave the whole of Abeth a new dimension and it took the world we already knew and expanded it and I loved it.

The ending was just such a… I don’t even know what the appropriate word for it is. It was just emotionally demanding. And a cliffhanger. And I just want the next book now. The tragedy of new books is that you have to wait so long for the next instalment. But yeah, would 100% recommend this book if you enjoyed his other series. And if you’ve not read that, then I recommend you go do that. Though do be aware that these are fairly dark books. There is a fair bit of violence and sometimes gore so reader discretion advised.

Worst Books I read in 2019

I was in a kind of reading slump for the majority of the year and as such I was very picky with what I read. So for the most part, I really enjoyed what I read. But as always, there are some books that missed the mark for me. These are in the order I read them in.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

a wizard of earthsea

This was one that I didn’t dislike at all, but I just found so forgettable, I hod to include it on this list. I never think about it and even as I was reading it, I was only ever mildly invested in it. It kind of felt like the outline for a good novel. Like it wasn’t quite fleshed out enough. And I was really disappointed because I’d heard a lot about Ursula K. Le Guin.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

children of time

I really didn’t like this book. I had a lot of issues with the logic of it. It didn’t make sense to me in so many ways. I didn’t care about any of the characters and the story was in turns boring and confusing and just… wtf. And on top of that, I found the synopsis very misleading, so I went into it expecting something completely different. I’ve written a whole rant about it, so you can check that out, but this was barely 2 stars for me. I think more like 1.5 stars.

Lock In by John Scalzi

lock in

I think this was my only 1 star read for the year. I cannot find even one redeeming quality for it. The writing was bad, the characters were annoying, the audiobook narration was bad. I did not like anything about it. This was basically one of those super stereotypical crime thrillers… but the main character was kind of a robot. I really enjoyed John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War. That was funny, insightful and well written. I don’t know what happened with this one. But it was bad.

To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

to best the boys

I didn’t hate this one, but I found it boring and predictable. I was expecting it to some extent. I went into it with the expectation of your basic YA fantasy and that’s what I wanted to read at the time, but something about it really annoyed me. I think it was mainly the science. I noticed that inaccurate science really bugs me in books. Especially when the MC is supposed to be a scientist of some sort. Because it just shows a lack of research from the author on very simple things. If you’re going to incorporate science into your book, DO SOME RESEARCH!!!! I do have a review of it, so you can read that for more details.

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

the toll

This is the most shocking one on this list. I fully expected to love this as I loved the first two books, but I really didn’t like it. Namely, the ending. I didn’t have a problem with most of the book. At least, not anything that would cause me to write off the book. But how it ended, I HATED. It was stupid and disappointing. Just no. It’s not cool to build stuff up for 2 and a half books and then end the book like that. I have both a spoilery discussion and a spoiler free review of this, so you can check those out. For the longest time, I didn’t rate this because I was conflicted. On the one hand, it’s well written and so on, but on the other hand I hate the ending. I finally settled on 2 stars. I can’t bring myself to give it more than that.

Those are the worst books I read in 2019. There’s not many of them, I had a pretty good reading year. There are some books that I DNFed that are not included in this post, but I have a separate post about them.

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang – DISCUSSION

I have a lot of feelings about this book even though I DNFed it at around 80%. This will contain spoilers, you have been warned.

Okay, first let’s talk about why I decided to DNF it. I wanted to finish it and maybe I will at some point when I feel mentally prepared. But the reason I DNFed it is because of the really, really horrific sacking of that city. I wanted to carry on reading because I know this is based on an actual fairly recent historical event and I always feel like I should know the stories of the suffering of my fellow humans. Not because I enjoy it, but because it’s the only thing I can do. To know, to get angry and to remember. But I honestly could not stomach it. I have a fairly strong stomach, I would say. I’ve read some pretty dark stuff, but this just got to a point where I just couldn’t. And I appreciate that the author was trying to portray the horrific things that happened but I had to stop. It was putting me in a really unhealthy place mentally. So that’s why I didn’t finish the book, if you have a stronger stomach than I, then maybe you can.

That aside, I still read most of the book, so I have formed some opinions. I really enjoyed the first half or so. I had a few issues, however. One of them – and I talked about this in my last wrap-up – is the way that Rin just destroyed her uterus because she got her period and it freaked her out. I don’t like kids, I don’t want any and my period has frequently made me feel like I want to rip my uterus out of my body and be done with it forever. However, the removal of one of one’s major organs, I felt, was dealt with rashly and it wasn’t really addressed. I would have expected to see at least some pondering on Rin’s part. There was one character who mentioned briefly that it’s the removal of her organs Rin’s talking about, but that’s it. I kind of understand that Rin was scared, didn’t really know or fully understand what was happening to her, having not been told about periods… but, firstly, I don’t think anyone would be so blase about something like that. And secondly, regardless of how scared or in pain she might have been, Rin was clever. It seems very out of character to me for her to not think about this at all. I found it weird. It’s something that I could overlook, but I found it weird enough that I had to mention it.

Another thing I find less easy to overlook is the drug abuse that goes on. The way the magic system works is through the consumption of mind altering substances. I find that very problematic. Because I feel like it almost encourages substance abuse. Yes, Rin grows up around opium addicts and is very against opium consumption. But then she turns around and uses other mind altering substances, including poppy seeds (which are the source of opium) for her magic. Not only that, but her mentor encourages her to cultivate her “magic” and feeds her drugs. Is it just me who finds this very problematic and not at all a good way to construct a magic system? Especially considering how much hype this series has surrounding it. Why is no one talking about this? Or am I just looking in the wrong places.

I still genuinely enjoyed the first part of the book despite my issues with it. I loved the bit at the school. Once the war started, I found it a bit more boring, oddly enough. Like, the new characters, the sikh (not sure I’m spelling that right, I audibooked this) seemed kind of dimensionless to me. I genuinely couldn’t tell you much about them besides that one was water, one was an ape guy, one had a rake and there was a girl who… had a twin? They just seem like token characters to me and it all focuses of Altin and Rin and I found that dynamic quite boring. I stopped reading shortly after that, so I can’t really comment any further. There are still things that I’m really curious about and I would like to finish this book and potentially carry on with the series, but I just don’t know when I’ll be in a sound enough state of mind to be able to read it without it being unhealthy for me. So I thought I’d talk about it, because I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb – Book Review

22016387Rating: 3.5/5

Genre: Fantasy

First published: 1996

Author: Robin Hobb


Synopsis: Fitz has survived his first hazardous mission as king’s assassin, but is left little more than a cripple. Battered and bitter, he vows to abandon his oath to King Shrewd, remaining in the distant mountains. But love and events of terrible urgency draw him back to the court at Buckkeep, and into the deadly intrigues of the royal family.

Renewing their vicious attacks on the coast, the Red-Ship Raiders leave burned-out villages and demented victims in their wake. The kingdom is also under assault from within, as treachery threatens the throne of the ailing king. In this time of great danger, the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz’s hands—and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.

Two years later, I finally continued with the series. My thoughts on this book are remarkably similar with my thoughts on the first one. It’s quite slow to begin with, although I think it wasn’t as slow as the first one. The first one took about half the book for anything to really happen, whereas with this one, once I got past the first third or so, things started picking up.

There was a lot of focus on Fitz’s romance with Molly, which I didn’t enjoy at all. I wish we’d had less of that (fingers crossed the third book has less of that going on). I didn’t care about the relationship at all. It was awkward and while the obsessing that took place is realistic, it’s also very annoying. Like, I find it annoying even when I’m the one doing the obsessing, I really don’t want to be in someone else’s head while they’re doing it. It didn’t help that I still don’t really care about the characters. I don’t dislike them or anything, I’m just detached. I’m not invested in their happiness and well-being, if that makes sense. I care a lot more about the story and the romance really didn’t move that forward in any way. So I personally didn’t like it, but I guess if you care about Fitz and Molly and you like angsty romances, this might be something you enjoy.

Again, this is very political. I think it’s not as political as the first one. There’s a bit more good old fashioned sword fights, but the political machinations are still the main focus. Which I enjoyed more than I did in the first book. Fitz started to think more for himself and make his own decisions, instead of blindly going along with other people’s manoeuvring. Which I definitely liked to see.

We also learnt a bit more about the magic, which was my favourite part. I wish there had been more of that going on and less romance. It was also sorely lacking in assassin stuff for a book that’s called Royal Assassin. That’s a persisting problem from the first book. I want more sneaking about and killing people, is that so much to ask? I also would have liked to get more about the external threat. As I said, it’s a very political story, so a lot of the threats and antagonists are internal politics, but there is also the external threat of the raiders, which is quite mysterious in a way and we don’t learn a lot more about it. We learn a little, but not as much as I would have liked.

All in all, as with the first book, I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. I will continue with the series. I have heard that the subsequent series are better and are worth pushing through this one. Hopefully it won’t take me another two years to get to book 3 though.

The Toll by Neal Shusterman – DISCUSSION

This has spoilers. You have been warned. I do also have a spoiler-free review of the series if you want to check that out instead. This is mainly a discussion for the final book, but I will also be talking about the series in general.

I didn’t like this book. I loved the first two, but I hated the ending. It’s so unsatisfying. The problem that we spent two books on, namely Goddard and the New Order Scythes is not solved. At all. Sending a bunch of people into space to possibly set up colonies and start over IS NOT A SOLUTION!!!!! I am so mad at that ending. It’s rubbish. It’s utter rubbish! I know that Goddard did die, but it still wasn’t a solution. It just happened because Rand was fed up. But the resolution of the plot was to send a bunch of people into space and hope. Which was a stupid solution.


Especially with the whole fail-safe thing. Scythes were cancelled, basically. So the Thunderhead could have intervened. He could have like supplanted the New Order Scythes. Or it could have let one of its copies that didn’t have the stupid no-intervention rule to supplant them. Or something. I don’t know, literally anything would have been more satisfying than what we got. They could have dealt with Goddard and THEN tried colonising space. That would have been fine. And if the colonies were successful, they could cancel the fail-safe too and then it would have been even more utopian. I don’t understand why do it this way. It’s stupid and totally unsatisfying and it ruined such a great series.


Also the fail-safe was so anti-climactic. We spent so much time building up to it and then it all resolved in like one chapter. We barely got to see any repercussions for it. Everything was just left open ended and I hate it. I don’t always mind open ends, but this one sucked. And it didn’t make sense. If it had made sense, I think I’d have been okay with it, but it just didn’t. There were so many better solutions to all the problems. And I just find it hard to believe that the Thunderhead, who supposedly was never wrong, figured that this was the only viable option.

f logic gif

I also didn’t like where most of the characters ended up and how their stories developed. Wasn’t a fan of Greyson’s story arc in the final book. He could have been so much more interesting based on the first 2 books. The whole Toll thing was just… meh in my opinion. I didn’t hate it… but I just found myself uninterested whenever his chapters were on. I didn’t think he really evolved in this book and he was annoying at times when interacting with the Thunderhead. To be fair, the Thunderhead was being infuriating as well.

eleven don't like it gif

I think Scythe Rand was done a huge disservice. There was so much potential for character development with her. I loved the parts about her and Tiger and I think way, way more could have been done with her, but she was just kind of relegated to the sidelines. At least she kills Goddard I guess, but more could have been done.

ten don't like gif

I would have been… okay with how Citra and Rowan ended up. If it had been under any other circumstances. But considering how much I hated the space thing, I was not happy with how their story developed either.

sheldon chamomile_gif

I didn’t really care much about the two new characters. The captain and the former nimbus agent. I forget both their names. I didn’t really like the captain, I found him/her annoying on several levels, but at the same time, I could very easily ignore that because I just didn’t care about him/her. I have no opinion whatsoever on the nimbus agent. I think she was bland, to say the least.

meh gif

I think the only character I was okay with how they ended up was Faraday. I think that all things considered, he’s the only one who got a somewhat satisfying ending.

So yeah, I’m very mad at this book. I have strong feelings, which just goes to show how much I cared. It’s such a great story and I’m really mad that it got such a crap ending. It deserved better.

Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman – Series Review

Series rating: 3.75 stars

Genre: YA, utopian, sci-fi

Author: Neal Shusterman

Synopsis: A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

I have mixed feelings about this series, as you can see from the rating. I loved the first two books, but I did not really like the finale. I talk about it more in my spoilery discussion, but basically the ending didn’t make sense to me and I didn’t like it.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

This series has one of the most interesting utopias I’ve ever read. To be fair, I’ve not read that many, but this is very well written and cool. I think it does a very good job of imagining what society might look like if there was no death or disease and I really liked how it touches on… does life really have any meaning when you’re not needed and how our sense of meaning is tied to work. I think that’s really interesting and I think overall the series does a very good job of presenting these questions for the reader to  consider and answer.

I also liked the characters. I didn’t necessarily like where they ended up and how stuff progressed, but I did like the characters themselves. Though they did frustrate me at times. As for the plot, like I said I really enjoyed the first two books and I even enjoyed a good chunk of the third book, but the ending… no. Just no. I didn’t like what happened and I didn’t like the way it happened. It’s hard for me to talk about it without spoilers, so check out my discussion for more details.

I would still recommend this series, I think it’s definitely worth reading and everyone might not have the issue with the ending that I did. And even if you do, I would still say it’s worth reading for the rest of it. But just be prepared for a potentially unsatisfying ending. I know this review is very short, but most of my thoughts on the series are spoilery, so I can’t really talk about them here.