*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
5. Ridiculous. Glorious. Stars.
I can’t believe this book has been sitting silently on my shelf. Its amazingness should’ve created a hole on my bookshelf, at least. Normally sci-fi leaves me confused and struggling but this was not the case and I can’t grovel enough to the reading gods. It was easy to follow and it’s now one of the best debut novels I’ve read. It was incredibly addicting. As soon as I opened this cover, real life faded away and I only had eyes for this book. If I had to do something, you best believe I took this book with me. I couldn’t stop reading and I refused to fall asleep until I devoured every word.
The world-building was amazing. It was action-packed, heart-wrenching, and brutal. It tore a few gasps out of me and that normally doesn’t happen. My heart was invested in this story 100%.
This book follows Kora, an alien queen whose brother is a blood-thristy man seeking to replace her. We get to witness the politics behind being a ruler and it was an intense experience. The love she has for her people is easily seen. She would do anything for them and it goes to show what type of person she is. She made me angry at times due to a particular character but all in all, I loved every moment I was in her head. She isn’t perfect but she is the most perfect ruler her people could ask for.
This book also follows one of my now all time favorite characters, Eros. (We get his POV!!!! We all know how crazy male POV’s make me.) His looks are definitely jaw-dropping but that’s not why I love him with all my being. He is incredibly loyal and I love his smart mouth. His tongue is quick to lash out comebacks and I found myself anticipating the next one. His backstory and journey physically hurt me. I can’t tell you how many times I sobbed for him. I had to witness so many close-minded people look at and treat him like scum, instead of the respect and devotion a man with a heart of gold deserves. He isn’t judgmental and puts other people’s needs before him, even when they clearly don’t deserve it. He is beaten down time and time again but he doesn’t let it break him and stands back up as a stronger man every time. My respect and love for him knows no bounds; I gratefully thank Ava for introducing Eros into the world. The second he was brought into my life is a second I will never forget.
The pace of the relationship between these two left me giddy and proud. It wasn’t insta-love, far from it. We saw their closeness progress with time and their experiences. I honestly need more of these two as soon as possible. I am experiencing withdrawals and it isn’t fun. I have found one of my all time favorite couples. Their attraction to each other was palpable and all I want in life now is to see them happy together.
There are other characters I grew to love (*ahem*Serek*ahem*) and it was hard on me to witness them all go through hell. It was awful, but I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world.
Also… THAT ENDING!!!!!!! What?! How?! Why?! Just kidding, I know the answers to these questions but you can see how out of sorts my mind was, still is. I lost is as soon as I read the last word. I had to reread that page a couple times because of how amazing it was. This has to be one of my all time favorite endings ever since it was so well-deserved for my beloved character. I feel like I am exhausting my use of the word ‘favorite’ but I regret nothing. This is a book I will reread over and over again because everything about it is my favorite and at the end of the day, it makes me happy to know this book exists. I am in awe with Ava. I am officially obsessed with everything she has to offer and I will be stalking her for every bit of information I can get on the sequel(s).