Title: Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy #2)
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Pub. Date: April 7, 2020
Darkness never works alone…
Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.
As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.
This will be a spoiler free review.
I’m currently kicking myself for waiting so long to finally read this book. Not going to lie, I was a little hesitant to start it, and for a few reasons.
- It’s been a long time since I read Wicked Saints – like 2018 long time. So, I don’t remember everything that happened in that book, but I remembered the ending.
- I was terrified wondering what Emily was going to do to me with this book. I’m now distressed.
- It’s thick and a little daunting.
- I wasn’t ready to have to wait for book 3. Now I’m waiting and it sucks.
I am glad I’ve finally read the book, because y’all, it’s good. Really good.
I love the way Emily tells a story, and her writing style – I could read it her work all day, every day. I love her characters and her fantastic use of snark, sass and sarcasm. I like how this book focuses on the whole group and we learn more about each of the core characters. I loved that I had no idea what was going to happen next and I don’t think I could have guessed the ending even if I had tried.
I don’t think the ending was as omfg as the ending in Wicked Saints, but it does leave you with this feeling of dread and uncertainty. After reading and knowing how book 1 ends, I kind of expected Emily to do something drastic, but I couldn’t have guessed what. She definitely succeeded.
Jumping back to the characters, I loved that this book was very much a character driven book, versus plot driven. Lots does happen in this book plot wise, but more time is spent focused on character relationships and internal conflict. Because I consider this more of a character driven novel, over plot driven, I think it read a little slow. Now, I don’t think it’s truly a negative since I was thoroughly invested the entire book, but it took me forever to read it. Like, hours. I don’t think the book is too long, and mainly I think it’s due to her writing style. Like I said, I love it, I think it’s wonderful and I wish I could write like her, but it’s also a bit flowery. It’s also full of A+ dialogue that seriously personalizes the characters and it’s so much fun to read. SO much fun. I do think character driven books tend to read slower anyways, since it’s not necessarily about the plot, so just expect to take your time with this book, and enjoy every minute of it.
Since it’s character driven, I think this kind of saves it from suffering from middle book syndrome. I want to know the characters and love the characters. I really enjoyed them in Wicked Saints, but I thoroughly love them because of this book. I want to protect them all and give them hugs and maybe mugs of hot coco, a blanket and a puppy. They go through a lot in this book and are really worse for wear by the end of it.
Now, I love a good creepy atmosphere in books, but some of the inspo pics Emily had been sharing had me a little wary and uneasy. I’ll just put it out there, I’m not a horror fan, and creepy, eldritch monsters are Not My Thing. At all. I steer clear. I don’t like being spooked.
With that being said, Emily is amazing at painting a very vivid picture in your mind and she had me caring for a creepy, eldritch monster boy.
Any other book or media, I would have Nope-d right on out of there.
Instead I was fully invested and now I need book 3.
I think my favorite part of this book is this scene with Serefin, where something comes to light, and it’s like a little light bulb moment, and it was just so damn cute. You’ll know it when you read it, I promise. I loved that moment. For a series that is so dark and gritty and full of snarky sarcasm, it was such a soft moment, and I need more.
If you liked Wicked Saints, then you’re definitely not going to want to miss the next installment, out April 7, 2020! Make sure you pick it up wherever you can!
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