A Dark New World (Wicked Saints – A Book Review)

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Published: 2019

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated X because you won’t trust a single one of these people with your life unless you want to doom the world or yourself.

 

A girl named Nadya, who hears the whispers of the gods inside her head.

A prince surrounded by desperate suitors and deadly assassins.

A monster hidden behind pale, tortured eyes—and a smile that cuts like a knife.

Nadya has grown up in the monastery for most of her life, revering the gods, and she is the only known cleric that is able to communicate with all of them and not just the one she is bound to. After the monastery is attacked, she runs into a band of unexpected allies that seek to end the brutal war between Kalyazin and Tranavia, a god-fearing land and a godless one. With the high prince on their trail, it may seem tricky. But, the high prince is also trying to escape the suitors and assassins around him. A prophecy of dark magic and heresy that has been long known is put in motion and two countries may be in worse danger than this war never-ending.

 

I guess the perfect place to start with any review is stating right off the bat if you enjoyed or disliked a book, or at least that typically how I like to get started. To be honest, I’m not sure which direction I lean. Complex. That’s it. There was a lot of hype (mostly my own) about this book and it was even on the NYT bestsellers list for a while. This is one I’m going to want to reread later on. While the cover is completely mystifying and is really what attracted me—following the mini-blurb on the jacket inside the book—I really find that this story, this journey really stands next to those like LOTR (J. R. R. Tolkien), Mortal Engines (Phillip Reeve), and The Magicians (Lev Grossman). There is so much attention to not only detail but emotions.

War, religion, faith, and love are the strongest themes I came across while reading. The characters were always questioning everything as well as themselves, except for Rashid and Parijahan of course. Those two knew to the very point of their hearts what they wanted without a single drop of doubt. I truly loved those characters. Great for relief in intense moments and were proof that—in this book anyhow—there are people you can trust at face value because they’re upfront with everything with nothing to hide. Can’t guarantee anybody else in this book. LOL. Not even the main characters: Nadya, Serefin, and Malachiasz.

What is happening

This story was pretty dark. It had me questioning every page. I certainly didn’t trust any of the characters. Serefin is obviously an alcoholic which really bothered the heck out of me. Nearly every time his POV came up he was waking up with a nasty hangover. Each of these characters really struggled, and I get that they live in war-torn countries, but damn, they are messed the eff up. It was making me go crazy.

The cult-y touch with the blood magic versus what the gods of this world provide was epic though. That had me impressed. That, and the histories offered at the beginning of each chapter. So much depth!

Scarlet Reader

Giphy

 

Overall

I truly wish I had more excitement. There’s so much to talk about, but I don’t have any enthusiasm in me about it, which is a bummer. I think it’s just because so much was loaded into it that I was having a bit of trouble keeping up and catching on. Duncan really delved into her creation of a world whole-heartedly and it’s amazing. This isn’t a dislike review. Those are much more different. This is definitely a recommend for those who love fantasy and magic. Certainly, worth a shot.

 

Quotables:

“The was magic, it was power, it was mankind stepping out of the shadows and finding out the world had been kept in the dark by these gods.” (p. 50)

“Blood was not to be spilled for the sake of power. Magic was a divine appointment from the gods.” (p. 113)

“A boy made king of monsters for a kingdom of the damned.” (p. 346)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? When the Darkness Comes by Grace Fulmer.

 

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Trapped in the Underground (Survive the Night – A Book Review)

Survive the Night
Author: Danielle Vega
Published: 2015

Survive the Night

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

“We’re all going to die down here.”

Casey’s first night out of rehab, she’s taken to a party by her friends where her ex’s band is playing. After hearing about the wild rave, Survive the Night, she and her friends go on the hunt. Finding the rave down in an abandoned subway, Casey is overwhelmed by the enclosed space and drugs and alcohol; everything she worked hard to get free of. She puts on a brave face and tries to have fun anyway…until she finds the body of her friend, Julie, completely mutilated. Her friends think she was just seeing things due to withdrawal, but Casey knows what she saw.

The rave is broken up by the police, and Casey and her friends search for a way out of the tunnels only to discover that they’re trapped…and they’re not alone in the darkness. By who or what, they’re not sure. All they know is that it has claws and teeth, and it’s hunting them and there doesn’t seem to be a way out.

Creepy - Rebloggy

First things first. I’m a horror junkie. I live for the blood and guts when I’m not being a hapless romantic or thriving on paranormal adventures. If you’re searching for somebody to watch scary movies with then I’m your guy…girl. However, if there are clowns then I’m out. They eat people and are scary as hell. *shivers* Just no thank you.

 

This book was a lot of fun. It really made me think about the 90’s movies: I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream and The Faculty. Not so much because of plot, but because of the theme and style. I grew up with these movies and so many others, but this is the era that I flashed back to while reading. It made me giddy.

giphy

There was the group of friends, but not really friends, and there was the drama between exes and of course, the big bad. I finished this book all in one day and then discovered that my mom took and read it. Now, she listens to audio books (big fan of Stephen King and Dean Koontz), so I was surprised she picked up this book, since it’s the first time she’s picked up a physical—pages and all—book in years. She enjoyed it as well.

While the plot was predictable, the story was still a lot of fun. I loved the exciting feeling of wondering what was to come and most importantly, when. With a perfect amount of gore, I couldn’t get enough. My heart ached with sadness and burned with anger on this trek (in a good way, of course). Now, I can’t say it terrified me and kept me awake at night. It takes a little work to do that, and I don’t just mean the occasional jump-scare. But it did give my blood a bit of an adrenaline rush here and there as well as making my breath catch in anticipation.

A fun read. Certainly no holds back on the gory details and to make it better, you’re stuck in complete darkness. It’s got my approval.

oh yeah - giphy

Quotables:

“I inhale, trying to calm myself down, but the air tastes like fish and rot and something else, something sweet and familiar that makes me gag. I need to get out of here, The air’s too thick. I can’t breathe.” (Casey, p. 92)

“Then we’re running. Our shoes slap against the damp, trash-strewn ground and our breathing comes in gasps. My heart pounds in my ears, like a drum. We’re so loud. Everyone in the tunnels must hear us. I glance behind me, but the darkness is perfect. It presses against our backs like a solid thing.” (Casey, p. 134)

“I clench and unclench my hand, ignoring the sweat gathering on the back of my neck. I turn and stare in to the darkness. The sound cuts off abruptly. Like someone holding their breath.” (Casey, p. 189)

“This is it. I’m going to die.” (Casey, p. 249)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Trip Switch by Nothing But Thieves.