“Never Flinch.’ A cold whisper in her ear. ‘Never fear. And never, ever forget.”
This is honestly the hardest book for me to rate/review. I hated it so much but loved it at the same time. So I’m still sitting on the fence about my rating, I think 2.5 stars is the fairest rating for this book, not great but not terrible. Firstly I must mention the writing, I just don’t know how to feel about it, I’m leaning more towards hate. The writing itself is very flowery and descriptive, it’s full of terrible metaphors and similes. So I found it extremely overwhelming and annoying, I also grew to hate the useless footnotes despite some of them being hilarious. It distracted me from the story. I understand some people love this lyrical writing style and see the beauty in it, however I’m a simpleton and saw no beauty. It honestly made me at time not want to pick the book back up. Some descriptions were so long and unnecessary, like I mean they didn’t even make sense at all. So half the time I was rereading what I just read and thinking “dafuq is that shite”. Example; “If her face were a puzzle, most would put it back in the box, unfinished.”
That quote made me want to put this book back in the box unfinished, but I didn’t I forced myself to read on. Why? Well firstly because the main character is AMAZING, secondly there was a lot of badassery going on; “People often shit themselves when they die. Their muscles slack and their souls flutter free and everything else just … slips out.”
So considering that the cons out weighed the pros, I’m going to say that this book was extremely average for me. I loved some of the quotes and I appreciate the differentness of the novel but there was too many tropes and that writing.. *shudders*.
“Iron or glass? They’d asked.
Mia clenched her jaw. Shook her head.
She was neither.
She was steel.”
The story follows a girl named Mia, her whole family is killed and she swears revenge. Mia is sent to a school where they train killers. But there is more to Mia then meets the eye, she has a special gift she must learn to use before she becomes a killer of killers. If I were to right now look past the writing and rate the story I would give it four stars, despite containing the whole school/competition trope and having a mean girl bully like every book these days, it was interesting, the magic system is definitely unique and I’m happy with the character development. I think I should talk about Mia now (I’m really gonna gush because she’s my animal spirit). Mia is incredible, seriously everyone needs to go and read this novel now, if you hate the writing just read it for Mia, she’s my perfect bloodstained psycho snowflake. O’gentlefriends, trust me when I say Mia is a badass. “Cock is just another word for ‘fool.’ But you call someone a cunt, well …” The girl smiled. “You’re implying a sense of malice there. An intent. Malevolent and self-aware. Don’t think I name Consul Scaeva a cunt to gift him insult. Cunts have brains, Don Tric. Cunts have teeth. Someone calls you a cunt, you take it as a compliment. As a sign that folk believe you’re not to be lightly fucked with.” A shrug. “I think they call that irony.” Unfortuntely when I think of female characters as assassins my first thought goes to Calaena from Throne of Glass, I know what your thinking.. Why do I even consider that loser as a proper assassin? The thing is I don’t. but she has stained female assassins for me forever, she’s not a badass just a joke, imo. Fortunately in this novel we are given Mia, who thankfully is the complete opposite to Calaena, Mia is a blood thirsty, cigarillo smoking, smart mouthed, sassy as fuck, badass warrior assassin who actually kills people and does her job instead of farting around a castle, eating cake, complaining about period pain and staring in the mirror. Mia is everything Calaena should have been. I love her.
“At the heart of it, two kinds of people live in this world or any other: those who flee and those who fight. Your kind has many terms for the latter sort. Berserker. Killer instinct. More balls than brains.”
Another thing this novel is not YA, the author even said so himself on his blog. This is an adult coming of age story, YES the MC is 16 years old but that doesn’t mean this book is a YA! It talks about the nitty gritty of being a female, periods, first time sex & crushes. But that’s where the YA stops. This book is warped and I can’t recommend you enough to keep your young kids away. There was a part in this story that surprised me at the warpedness of it. Mia imagined stabbing someone and riding them at the same time and was turned on by this thought!!! Incredible scene but definitely O’ gentlefriends not for children. It also contained torture, a lot of death, swearing & more death. Okay while we are still kinda on the subject of sex this book contains the most horrendously written sex scene my poor eyes has ever read. It was a disgrace. Worst then SJM sex scenes… In future can this author not call a penis a root?! Wtf.. I’ve read some pretty questionable sex scenes in my life but the one in this book tops it. I actually felt embarrassed after reading it and I have no idea why.
“I appear to have misplaced the fucks I give for what you think…”
Pretty much an okay read for me, I think most people would love this book tho. Despite it being boring as hell in the middle and having extremely over used tropes, I found myself satisfied at the conclusion.
I nearly forgot to mention HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS COVER IS. I feel blessed by its beauty. I actually love all three covers, like they are probably one of my all time favorite book covers. Ever.
“You’ve got the look of a girl who’s no stranger to the page. I can tell. You’ve got words on your soul. ___ quote continued after editing out some talking__ “The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of the words. A girl with a story to tell.”
I will continue reading this series and am looking forward to more future works from this author.
please note all fanart used in this review is not my own, all fanart can be found on Google images & credit can go to the wonderful artists who created them.
Review by Luna