The black humour of the Cabal books keeps me coming back, and I was so, so pleased to find this book focusing on Horst, and for the healthy dose of buThe black humour of the Cabal books keeps me coming back, and I was so, so pleased to find this book focusing on Horst, and for the healthy dose of buddy cop shenanigans between him and Johannes. However, there was a lot about this book that left me unsatisfied-- it felt like all the plot points resolved too quickly or not at all. (view spoiler)[Maleficarus turned out to be a non-entity who Johannes beat without any difficulty; Alisha all but vanished from the story once Johannes arrived, which made killing her off feel flat and un-impactful; and the reveal about Misericorde/the Red Queen came so late in the game that there was no time for it to affect the actual battle or what the Cabals did about it. (hide spoiler)] The ladies of the flying circus / warbirds were great, but I didn't feel like any of them really got character development in a satisfactory way. And ultimately the Ministerium and the whole apocalypse battle was a red herring, which is one of my least favorite kinds of plot twist. Really, the only person who changed or grew over the course of the book was Horst-- and don't get me wrong, he's wonderful, and the book is worth reading for him alone-- but in my opinion everything up until he got Johannes out of his sickbed should have been one book, and then the rest of it plus a LOT more character development and more of the story of the Red Queen should have been a second book. I'll be grabbing the most recent one in the series ASAP to hopefully find out how things wrap up.
3.5 stars, rounding up for the humour, the world, and Johannes's elephant gun....more
3.5 stars rounded down. I can't help it, I just don't connect with Theo as much as I do with Paul - maybe because Theo is actually behaving the way a3.5 stars rounded down. I can't help it, I just don't connect with Theo as much as I do with Paul - maybe because Theo is actually behaving the way a guy who's in love with a girl who doesn't love him back should behave, and keeping his emotions and desires to himself instead of making them her problem - but that lack of vulnerability means the reader doesn't get to know the real Theo that well, which makes it hard to connect. I continue to really dig the multi-verse aspect of this series, the numerous AUs the author puts the characters into, and I like Marguerite as a narrator and storyteller. I'm not really excited for the ~~edgy Marguerite to have made an appearance, and I'm hoping for as little of her and ~~edgy Theo as possible in the third installment. But still-- a solid YA offering, and I will definitely be finishing the trilogy. ...more
I was really hoping to like this one more than I did. It's Courtney Milan, so it's still a good book and a much better than average romance, but I thiI was really hoping to like this one more than I did. It's Courtney Milan, so it's still a good book and a much better than average romance, but I think I've been spoiled by the Brothers Sinister series, as I just didn't get into this one as much. It felt like earlier writing, or writing that could have used better editing; the plot and characters just feel better developed, more polished in the other series. I'll still read the others in this one, because I liked the characters and am curious about Ash's brothers....more
Ugh, this one might actually be my favorite of the series??? I did NOT expect to love it as much as I did but I actually couldn't put it down. I stillUgh, this one might actually be my favorite of the series??? I did NOT expect to love it as much as I did but I actually couldn't put it down. I still think Julius is my favorite character of the bunch (besides Ash, who I have a stupid fondness for, and I really wish there were more of him and Francis than just the one short story) but this book has a lot of plot for all that it's a queer victorian romance novel, and parts of it actually had me making faces and reading faster than I could flip the pages. KJ Charles is the best; may she continue plying her craft until the end of time....more