I’m just going to put it out there… this book gave me whiplash. Oddly enough… I liked it.
The first… 60% (I’m snowballing here because I’m not that sure) of the book is a slow-building romance. It’s very similar to the original Beauty and the Beast fairytale in that Feyre is getting used to her surroundings and slowly falling for the “beast”, Tamlin. Suddenly the next 40% is a thrilling, dark, and engaging book that you couldn’t put down! Let’s break this down a bit:
The pacing was really inconsistent. Like I said before, it goes from a snail’s pace to HOLYCRAPWHAT’SHAPPENINGINEEDTOKNOWMORE in a matter of pages. The first half of the book introduces us to a lush, beautiful, and magical world. The other half finally presents the terrifying bloodthirsty antagonist, and shows the underlying darkness that was present all along!
Feyre was interesting, although I wanted to hit her over the head at times. I liked how badass she was; how she had hunting skills and knew how to use them. However, she was pretty naive… Feyre is a puny human in a land of magical creatures much more powerful than her, and she thinks she can take care of herself *facepalm*. I understand her independence but at the same time she can’t be dumb enough to believe that she could take one of the Fey in a fight.
Also, there was a lot of secrecy and misdirection going on at the beginning that would put off some
(impatient) readers. I wanted to know why Feyre was welcomed into Prythion after killing one of them. Why there didn’t seem to be any consequences to her crime. And we do get the answers… but almost when it’s far too late.
But…. the magic aspect was absolutely engrossing. I loved the intricate world-building, the different creatures we encountered along the way, and all the different aspects of Pythion that made it the beautiful land that it was.
Like I’ve said before, the romance is slow building… but wow is it beautiful. Feyre and Tamlin share a special connection; one that’s steamy and passionate at times, but also sweet and considerate as well. I’m kind of nervous for the second book since there’s hint at a love triangle, but I hope Feyre and Tamlin’s love endures.
There’s also a really great friendship and family aspect! Feyre becomes great friends with brooding, sassy, Lucien. Lucien is completely adorable and his friendship with Feyre is so easygoing and playful. Feyre’s family also plays a huge part on her fate. They’re actually the reason why almost everything in the book happened to her. I liked seeing her interact with her sisters and father, and trying to sort through her feelings of resentment/love towards them.
The audiobook narrator is absolutely amazing. I think Jennifer Ikeda made the story better. Her voice would have a different inflection for each character, and she would keep that consistently throughout the story. I didn’t need her to say which character was speaking because I could tell by the sound of her voice! She also managed to keep me completely hooked to the story, which is sometimes difficult when it’s an audio.
Overall, this book is dark, thrilling, steamy, and intense. Sarah J Maas creates another amazing story that’ll leave you desperate for more. The audiobook narrator definitely goes above and beyond and really enhances the story. A must read! (or listen!)