Author: Megan Brannen
Pub. Date: November 17, 2020
Pub: Blazer + Bray
Genre: YA Fantasy
Gelya is a Vessel, a girl who channels the word of the One True God through song. Cloistered with the other Vessels of her faith, she believes—as all Ovinists do—that a saint imprisoned Elath the Great Demon centuries ago, saving humanity from earthly temptation.
When Gelya stumbles into a deadly cover-up by the Ovinists’ military, she reluctantly teams up with Tavik, an enemy soldier, to survive. Tavik believes that Elath is actually a mother goddess who must be set free, but while he succeeds in opening Her prison, he inadvertently turns Gelya into Elath’s unwilling human vessel.
Now the church that raised Gelya considers her a threat. In a race against the clock, she and Tavik must find a way to exorcise Elath’s presence from her body. But will this release stop the countdown to the end of the world, or will it be the cause of the earth’s destruction? And as Tavik and Gelya grow closer, another question lingers between them: What will become of Gelya?
This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible and I 100% blame Sammy over at We Write at Dawn for making me read this. I also blame her for the pain I went through that is the end of this book, because what the fuck. I’ll link her review to this book, so you can check that out as well. I finished the audiobook at work, threw my AirPod down on the table and texted her. My work best friend had to listen to me as well, as I ranted about my feelings. It’s been like a week, maybe a week and a half and I’m still thinking about it.
I loved this book. It’s phenomenal, it makes you feel everything, and you feel like you’re right there with the characters. But the ending.
I still don’t know if I loved it or if I hated it.
But regardless this is still one of my favorite reads of the year, because it was so damn good.
I also don’t know if my anger towards the ending is what makes it a 5-star read.
All I know is that I’m still not over the damn ending, and if you read this book, you’re going to yell “what the fuck” when you get to the end of it. I promise.
The funny thing is, I almost stopped reading it at the beginning because I have very little patience for religious men who think women are inferior. But I kind of figured out what the author had planned so I stuck with it. And honestly, it’s totally worth it.
I loved the writing in this book – it’s amazing and Megan is so incredibly talented. She made the world come to life. The way she uses words, the tones she creates and the voices she gives to her characters is phenomenal.
And speaking of characters, Gelya is wonderful. Her arc in this book is superb and you can’t help but like her. She’s strong – even in the face of her belief system crumbling she never gives up. Tavik is just as wonderful. He’s such a fun character and I love his journey as well. Gelya and he change each other. Their chemistry from the beginning is fantastic and you just know that they’re meant to be together. I can’t express enough how much I love them. They’ve become another one of my favorite OTPs and I’m so annoyed that this is a standalone novel and if I want to experience them again, I have to deal with the ending that closes out this book. I mean, they’re epic. They’re enemies to friends, to lovers. Like I said, the chemistry is on point and the banter and sass that Megan wrote for these two is Top Tier.
Fuck, you just need to read this book and fall in love with them.
As for the antagonist in this book – and there end up being a few – are perfect. Don’t get me wrong, they’re annoying and relentless, but who they are is so impactful. They’re both incredibly important to Gelya and Tavik and that makes their betrayal even more hurtful. And the crazy thing is, you can completely understand their point of view, why they’re doing what they’re doing.
Then there’s the whole religious system, and omfg. I don’t know if I can explain without inadvertently spoiling, but things get twisted, history gets lost and rewritten – it’s a bit of a mess. It leads to massive amounts of misunderstandings but also enlightenment.
Overall, I highly recommend picking up this book. Like, you need to read it right away. This book is stunning and so good. You get sucked in, go on this amazing journey with these two characters who have to almost relearn how the world works. The world is imaginative and vivid and just comes to life on the page. The ending will wreck you, but the book is totally worth it. You can yell at me later once you’ve read it. So, go pick this up right now.