*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has in no way influenced my review.*
Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes that is just the only appropriate way to start a review, and I’m not sorry. I have officially reached the point-of-no-return, still-thinking-about-them-even-when-not-reading level of investment in these characters. You would think the thing that happened in this book actually happened to me by how excited and giddy and good it made me feel. I have to talk about it, so just don’t read the spoiler unless you’ve already read the book or aren’t planning to. *SPOILER* It’s funny because I never ship friends. Friendship is awesome on its own and doesn’t need to be more in order to make it special. But I was totally shipping Dorian and Noah because they just seemed like they should be more, like they’d be good for each other and make a good pair. I wasn’t even sure if Noah swung that way, but he had never actually said he didn’t… and squeee! It actually happened! It was also written perfectly since I do understand why they love each other, and like I said, they just seem so compatible. And it had definitely been building up throughout all the other books, with little hints like the way Noah kept hanging around, the way he followed every time Dorian did anything dangerous, the way he mutilated those doctors who experimented on Dorian, the way he asked Vance to find the other people like Dorian then completely changed his tune when Dorian said he didn’t want that, the way he threatened Rudgar so he’d stop looking for the others, the way he trusted Dorian with his wakizashi, the way he tried to stop Dorian from fighting the demon lord, etc. *END SPOILER*
Anyway, moving on from the fangirling, time to talk about Noah again! It’s oddly fitting that Noah keeps stealing all the attention in all of my reviews for this series since that is so like him. Apparently his presence and need for attention is so big that it carries over out of the book. I miss him when he’s not around though. I just want him to be in every scene in every book. Is that really too much to ask? I think that’s reasonable, and I’m 100% sure Noah would agree. But seriously, I felt worse for him than ever this time. What Aurelia was doing to him was terrible, and he was just so much more broken than I’ve ever seen him in the previous books. I was nearly in tears at some points. But he was also so much more open and changed so much, and it was amazing.
As for Gianluca, he had my alarms going off all over the place, and I was just as concerned about his actions and emotions as Dorian was. I was glad when Dorian finally stood up for himself, and I completely agreed with every word he said. But I also felt bad for Gianluca because the poor guy was still genuine with good intentions but was just so displaced and lost in this new world after being asleep for so long. *SPOILER* I would’ve been devastated if he had taken the blame and guilt for everything again, so I was really glad that Dorian and Noah were able to get through to him. *END SPOILER*
I don’t wanna forget about Lyle either because he may be “just a human” among all these supernaturals, but he has always been an amazing person and great friend and such a lovable character.
And Dorian, well, he’s grown so much over the series and has really come into his own as a leader and a person.
Oh, and all the romance stuff, the situations and the emotions, was so realistic and well-written—both the happy things and the struggles. (And in case anyone is wondering, there’s no explicit sex.)
As you can probably tell from my review, the best thing about this series is definitely the characters. It’s crazy how much my opinion of all the characters keeps changing so much as I see more of them and get to know them more. I was actually worried from the blurbs that this might be the type of the series that would get big in scope and kind of forget about the character development and turn them all into nothing but martyrs and villains, but it turns out my fears were not warranted because so far, even with the whole “saving the world” thing, the story has stayed focused on how Dorian and those close to him are affected by everything. I mean, yes, Dorian is willing to go risk his life for everyone without much thought, but when you’re as supernaturally powerful as he is and are one of the only people who actually can do something against the bad guys, it makes sense.
Another thing about this series in general, it seems like a lot of research went into it. There’s all this stuff about different weapons, forms of martial arts, cultures, religions, architecture, etc., not to mention the details behind all the magic and supernatural stuff.
So overall, I’m just loving this series and definitely getting more invested as it goes on. The characters are so unique and developed, but there’s still so much action and plot to go with it, plus a bit of romance and a whole lotta supernaturalness, and I definitely recommend this to anyone who likes all of those things!
*I’ve read this book multiple times. This review was written after my 1st read.*
*If you’re interested in learning more about the series, you can find an interview with the author here!*
4.5 Stars (1st Read – 2016)
4.5 Stars (2nd Read – 2019)
Fans of Books 1-3 in J. Armand's The Immortal Coil series. Anyone who likes intense action, complex plots, large casts of lovable and continually growing characters, sweet friendships/relationships, and lots of supernaturals.