I did give this one 4 stars. But there was so much that I disliked about this book. Yet what I did like still trumped my dislike, even though what I disliked, is still very much with me. So I'm gonna have to think about this one for a minute, before I can give a fair and honest review.....
Okay.. So I've thought about it... *takes breath*
What I ABSOLUTELY did not like...
And I know I speak for many when I say this. This may be a song that won't be over until we find the fat lady to sing it, butSubplots? What's the deal Ms Ward? I think this book what with everything going on, would have been tighter without theSola & Assail angle. Their issues have nothing to do whatsoever with Wrath & Beth & the issues of the throne. Their issues don't even parallel with them in any way. So once again these two were oddly misplaced in this novel. And though their plight was definitely way more intense/intriguing than it was in the last book, LaL, they still got way too much page time, IMO. For a subplot that has nothing to do with the overall arc of this book, it was way overkill with them. And I would have been happy not to see them at all in this one.
Especially since their presence, caused Xcor & Layla, whose story directly coincides with Wrath & the throne, to take a major back seat in this book. (I really think this is a sign that their book will be next though) They were practically nonexistent here. And what you got with them was disjointed, rushed, & very confusing, no I shouldn't say confusing but odd. Yeah. Very odd at times. So the switch up & preference Ward had for Assail & Sola over Xcor & Layla concerning this book was lost on me.
Plus, what was the deal with Assail? He was COMPLETELY different from the guy we were introduced to & who we saw in LaL.
Also Once again Ms Ward has pulled the "Either I don't remember what I wrote before, or I don't give a crap, I'm doing a re-write" Card, with this book. Many who follow this series will know exactly what I'm talking about. But what really creamed my corn here, was the re-write she pulled with iAm.
Now What I hated with Wrath & Beth... I felt like I didn't get enough time with them. They were not missing from their story by any means, but what I mean is for majority of their story, I didn't get anything really poignant with them. Compelling Or intense. And this has always been the calling card where these 2 are concerned in the other novels. ALOT of depth was missing here for me with these two. And it's partly because alot of the extra Sola & Assail time could have been used/replaced withWrath & Beth. I didn't like how Beth was portrayed here either. She's always been a stand up character for me. Strong. Didn't play games or make excuses. Here, I didn't see that. I really hated how sneaky & underhanded she was being about conceiving a child, not to mention in these uncertain & stressful times, while knowing where Wrath's head was at on that topic. Then she had the audacity to get mad when Wrath called her on it. Granted I hated his response to her,(I wanted to smack him) but I definitely was on his side concerning this matter. Simply because of how she handled & chose to go about it. Not. Cool. But then she finally comes to her senses & looks at the big picture & decides it doesn't really matter as long as they have each other. "LAME" Because you knew what was coming next...The Needing.
Which brings me to my next complaint WTF were the details?!
With all that was riding on this moment, the before & after, this HIGHLY anticipated 18 hour moment, basically since book 1, was greatly glossed over. And I for one was left wanting. Big. Time.
Now I can't end my "Dislike Rant" without mentioning this...
The Ads & Name dropping were out of control in this book. How irritating & obvious can you be? Ms Ward? Stop. It. Right. Now.
You have run it into the ground with this one. It's no longer cute or original. it really just left me like this every time I came across it.
What I ABSOLUTELY loved about this...
These subplots I did like. Cos they just fit. Trez & Selena
Trez's plight. You get deeper in the story of his history, tribe, and the why behind alot of things concerning him & iAm & their family. This was done nicely, IMO. With the right pace in letting you in, but not dragging it out for you and keeping you intrigued. Things are not solved by any means, but Trez has been given a sort of temporary reprieve. So I am a bit anxious to see how this all plays out. Selena, I have no idea what is going on with her. The little that is revealed about her & her plight left me a little shocked & a lot confused. I NEED to know what the deal is with her. But she & Trez has crazy chemistry here. I think their interactions & conversations held what I felt was missing with Wrath & Beth. There was a quiet intensity there with Selena & Trez Definitely hot & heartbreaking. I can't wait for more.
iAm he's talking alot more here. I'm happy about that. But I'm also more curious as to where he will wind up too. And his "Relationship" with Boo was just too adorably hilarious.
You meet a new Shadow here, s'Ex I'll let his entrance speak for itself.
LOVE LOVE LOVE! that I finally got to see John Matthew & Beth interacting with one another in real time! Do you realize how much & how long I've longed for this?!
Really liked the flashbacks concerning Wrath's father & mother. I loved how it all unfolded and the connections you see concerning the past & present. But what I loved the most here, was how we were always told how different our Wrath was from his father. But you see here in many respects, they were very much alike. And the things that make it so are quite tragically beautiful.
Now what tipped the scales and caused me to give this book a 4 instead of a 3 star rating, were the last 3 chapters. They were, IMO, the tightest chapters in this book. With the exception of chapter 1. *Fans self* I loved how everything came full circle for Wrath & Beth. Even though majority of this comes from Wrath being a total sap, you can't deny how utterly adorable it was. So I can't fully hate on that. I liked how the throne was secured even though the "door" that was opened to ensure this, by,Beth, I thought was quite lame. But the series of events that occur because of it, I did like.
All in all this one was a bittersweet read for me. I didn't personally get the feeling of a "Finality" like many claim to have felt, but I did get the impression that this book does mark a definite shift where others in this series will now be the main focus & not so much the Brotherhood, anymore. Though I do wish it could have been a 5 star read without so many conflicting issues for me, but I can't have everything I want can I?
In any case it was a worthy read of the BDB. But I can't honestly say that it was a read worth the wait. Sadly.