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Defy #2

Ignite

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Murder, kidnapping, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson's acclaimed YA debut, DEFY.

Alexa continues to harbor a secret love for the newly crowned King Damian, yet she remains by his side as his guard and ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion's people. However, when a new threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on the once friendly nation of Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. Once again the fate of her country hangs in the balance. Will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy -- before it's too late?

304 pages, Hardcover

First published December 30, 2014

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About the author

Sara B. Larson

9 books1,875 followers
Sara B. Larson is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of the YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE) and the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology. Her next YA fantasy, SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT, comes out November 5th from Tor Teen. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.

She’s online at www.SaraBLarson.com.

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Profile Image for Mango.
215 reviews305 followers
May 30, 2021
“Fear and ignorance are the strongest weapons any ruler can wield.”

Hey! Welcome to another one of my rant reviews. This review includes special features including me yelling at characters and run-on sentences!

Warning: This review contains spoilers from the previous book, Defy. All spoilers from THIS book will be tagged.

Wow. I have to admit, this surprised me. I did not expect to like this book. Because ummm let's just say the previous book Defy kind of got me a little bit mad.

When I got this from the library, I was a bit reluctant and did not have high hopes for this. But wow, I was wrong. This was definitely better than I expected, but it had some flaws. Come to think of it, a LOT of flaws.

Characters: The character were...not what I expected. Alexa was an idiot...and not an idiot? I have mixed feelings about her. And ummm surprisingly I like Damian more now. Oh, and Rylan disappointed me, leaving me to feel empty. :(

Alexa: One word for her: Annoying. She was so cool in the beginning of Defy, why did she become worse? Oh right. Damian.
See this is why I am biased against romance books. The main character is awesome and chill. And then their love interest comes. And then they become suckers for their crush and then just...suck.
Yes, I am aware I have said this in other reviews lol.
And I am sure there are spectacular romance books out there, it's just the romance books I've picked which aren't my favorite. I have read a good romance book, so hopefully I'll find more amazing books from this genre. :)

Okay...that got off topic. Anyways, moving on to Alexa. She was a moron. In the previous book, Alexa rejected Damian because she believed she nothing more than his mere guard. But throughout this book she can't stop thinking about how pReTtY his eYeS are and how MuScUlAr he is. Like I don't care ok? Okay, so he is in shape, and has blue eyes. STOP MENTIONING THEM ALL THE TIME AND FOCUS ON PROTECTING THE KING.

So yeah, that was one thing I didn't like about her. She constantly thought about how much she loved him but couldn't have him. Like DUDE you rejected him. He offered his heart to you and you said no. Why are you complaining so much about wanting him? My God.

However, I did appreciate her courage and devotion to her post. When she did everything in her power to help the situation. She showed great bravery and the book definitely had some really cool moments of her fighting.

Well umm that's about all I liked about her. Her bravery, loyalty and fighting skills.

Hmmm how did she grow? I guess she became more loyal to Damian and willing to fight for her kingdom...but there was not any huge growth in her.


Damian: Hey Damian! So umm I guess I owe you an apology lol. In my uh previous review I despised you. I guess I should apologize for that since I like you now, and I think you're now one of my favorite character in this series. :)

Damian was amazing in this book, he definitely improved from the previous book. He was actually considerate to Alexa. Even though Alexa rejected him, he didn't give her the silent treatment or anything, he treated her like a normal human being. And he also cares for Alexa A LOT, like throughout the book where Alexa is overwhelmed about , he was very considerate.

He also is so devoted to Alexa. Despite her rejection you can tell how much pain Damian is going through and I enjoyed watching him endure the pain and just continue with life. Of course, at the end

However, there was one thing I didn't like about him. He just became king. And he's like the perfect ruler. Umm hello? What happened to the struggles of being king? In the book he was literally the perfect ruler. I wanted to see him make mistakes and see him grow...but nope. He was perfect from the beginning.

I didn't see any character growth in him so that's one thing I disliked about him.

Rylan: Oh Rylan. Remember how I worshiped you in my previous review? Well guess what? I have lost all respect for you! Congrats.

Throughout the book, Rylan keeps hinting that he's still into Alexa, which I can tell made her uncomfortable. Like DUDE if you know she's in love with Damian, why do you keep trying to seduce her? That's not only creepy but very cringy.

And then when he freaking gives her the silent treatment. Like I'M SORRY, what did she do to you?? I mean okay, she rejected you, but that's no excuse for your behavior. If you truly love her, you should be happy for her and not be such a jerk. I mean sure, you can be jealous, I guess. But that's still no excuse for your crappy behavior. :)

I admit that Rylan was still a little sweet towards Alexa. Even though he tried to seduce her, he still cared for her when she was overwhelmed. I still don't have much respect for him, but I'm glad he still has some sense to actually care for Alexa.

Okay, I'm not going to reveal who the actual villains are, because that would be a major spoiler. But, I would just like to give a shout-out to them. I really liked how Larson portrayed the villains, they were really cool. I admit Larson created some pretty cool villains which are going to be tough to beat. I am excited to see how Alexa will deal with them in the future.

Plot: The plot was definitely the better part of the book. As you read...ummm I didn't care much for the characters, but let me tell you, I was at the edge of my seat for the plot. SO MANY PLOT twists, one time I literally fell of the bed reading one of them (true story).

So here's the basic gist of the plot:
Major spoilers from this book will be tagged.

So Damian is crowned king, and Alexa is his advisor. They both secretly love each other even though they don't show it. Then, they are visited by Lady Vera, from another kingdom. Alexa despises her immediately and even Damian is suspicious. They have some dinners with Vera and are even more convinced that something is wrong with her. Then, which worries Alexa a lot. My question is, what would they villains want Alexa for? Apparently they think she is some powerful sorcerer so they want her. Haha. If only they knew she was a silly girl only thinking about Damian.

It is then later revealed that This is where I might have fallen off the bed. Then, it turns out that I found this pretty cool which makes them really good villains. So the whole book is Alexa trying to stop them. And I have to admit, the action sequences were pretty good and I liked it.

Also, it was quite heart-warming when Sure, I hated that they were so obsessed with each other, but I guess I still liked their proposal lol.

And that ending...I need the next book lol.

So yes, I really enjoyed the plot. And if you're wondering, I no longer ship Alexa + Rylan.
I ship Alexa + Damian. Surprising, but yep.

Writing: The writing was...meh. It's nothing to geek out over honestly. I mean it's just your typical writing...? I liked the descriptions I guess, but otherwise the writing was quite simplistic and nothing that special about it lol.

So I took off 3 stars for the irritating characters. I know I am being extra critical with them, but I don't know...they just annoyed me?

To conclude, I really enjoyed this book. Sure, it had its flaws, but I really liked the plot and am looking forward to reading the next book!

Thanks for reading my rant review!

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UMMM WHAT? That was actually pretty good! Did not expect it to be good. Review to come... ;)
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Just put this book on hold, hope I know what I'm doing...
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I guess I will eventually read this, despite me still being mad at the love triangle in the previous one. :/
Profile Image for Alicia Batista (Addicted Readers).
256 reviews505 followers
November 10, 2015
Sara Larson, What have you done to me???? You are KILLINGGGGG ME!!! That ending, no, THAT WHOLE BOOK, BLEW ME AWAY!!! There is no words to express the full depth of my love for this book!!

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But I'm kicking myself for reading this so early, because now I'll have to wait even longer for the third book, AHHHHH!!!!

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But it was worth it, look at me after reading IGNITE!!

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5 Blazing Stars


IGNITE was amazing, absolutely A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!! I mean, WOW, there really are no words to put my feelings into check! Oh, it was powerful, and beautiful, and showed that love can conquer all! I was moved by this story. It was like an invisible hand was guiding my feelings and emotions, string them along and spinning them so fast I could hardly keep up. It was breathtaking, and gaspful, and oh, so dam painful, but by the end, it was utterly blissful!

Sara Larson packs a powerful punch in this utterly hypnotic second installment in the DEFY series!! The writing was just as alluring and sweeping as the first time around! The world building unfolded nicely, and evenly flowed into the second book. The action and adventure just kept coming, with just the right amount of breaks to keeps us entertained, yet, gave us a little breathing room to interrupt what we just read. The plot had me spinning in every direction, as the twist and turns just kept coming, and had me in amazement as they unfolded into their pure awesomeness!!!

THE PLOT

Alexa has saved her kingdom from destruction by their own vicious king. She defeated the vile and deadly black sorcerer in order to save her people and the ones she loves. She helped bring peace and freedom to her people, and put the most amazing king any kingdom could have on the throne. But it all came at a price, and the cost for that victory was high, and all Alexa's sacrifices will forever be branded into her heart and soul. She battled with all her might to achieve that tranquility, but it's about to be threatened, again...

The peacefulness the kingdom of Antion has come to know is about to come to an end. Their comfort and security is about to be breached. And again, Alex must step up and show her loyalties by defending her kingdom and the king she would give her life for. But their is something more sinister at work then anything they've ever experienced. And many innocents may suffer casualties, because their kingdom is on the brink of war, again...

But the battle that Alex wages with herself is what weighs her down. Her love for her king comes rushing to the surface every time he's around. Feelings she knows she shouldn't feel, and fought so hard to keep buried since he claimed his rightful place on the throne. But as every passing day comes, so do her feelings, threatening to take over, threatening to take what is hers, threatening to claim what has been given to her. But that is something she cannot allow to happen. She is unfit to be queen. She is just his scared guarded, burned, and... ruined. But King Damion feels differently, and his love has never wavered, and is a constant reminder of what she yearns for, but is forbidden...

Alex will have to put all her reservations and feelings aside, when threats from every direction arise. They are unsure of who is the enemy and who is ally. But whatever power is running rampant within their kingdom, it is unknown, and very powerful. And has the potential to bring their kingdom to it's knees, if not stopped. Alex will have to rely on herself and her friends if she as any chance of locating this threat and ending them before their kingdom falls under the deadly clutches of the enemy....

AHHH, that was just beautiful!! It stole my breath away with every page, and had me enchanted by it's beauty. Before I started this series, I was sure I wasn't going to like it as much as I hoped. But the second I started reading, and got to know Alex, and her challenges, and her fierce, unwavering strength, and the worldbuilding it was built around, I just knew this story was going to steal my heart away. And steal it, it did!!!

Overall, IGNITE blew me away, and had me on my toes the entire book, screaming for just one more page. I love these characters, and the world setting, and the strong fierce demeanor they carry, along with the compassionate, yet deadly way about them. The writing was swift and engaging, and totally addicting. The plot was full of depth and development, and the overall feel of the book took me back to the beginning and made me remember why I love this series so much. Entering the first page was like I never even left. I'll be in dire anticipation until book 3 releases and blows me away even more then this one!!!

NOTE: I received a physical ARC from Scholastic Press for reviewing purposes! All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way!
Profile Image for Sara Larson.
Author 9 books1,875 followers
November 22, 2014
I'm a tad biased, but I love this book and I hope you will, too! ;-)
Profile Image for Horsegirl275.
107 reviews
January 4, 2015
When I first saw the release date for the sequel, I was at first all like:

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Then, this:

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Finally, I managed to get to this:

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Now i'm just:

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I have no idea how i'm going to wait for this....Can't wait!

*edit: IT HAS A COVER!! And it's so pretty! AND A TITLE. I'm so excited for this you have no idea.

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**UPDATE:

I've read it. Was it fantastic? Yes. Did it send me on a rollercoaster of emotions? Oh yeah. Was Alexa as kickass as ever? You'd better believe it. Are you left with burning questions and a deep desire for the next one, NOW? Oh, heck yeah. Was it even better than the first? Yup! Overall? AMAZING.
Profile Image for Mollie!.
172 reviews13 followers
Want to read
December 19, 2014
UPDATE*******SOON, I shall begin you! #mostanticipated

LOOK AT THAT COVER LOOK AT THAT COVER LOOK LOOK THAT ONE RIGHT THERE!!!! *drools*

Oh thank The Lord it's a series!!!!!! The second book should be called Deny because I feel very denied right now! #impatient #punny
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews838 followers
December 2, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Ignite by Sara B. Larson
Book Two of the Defy series
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Murder, kidnapping, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson's acclaimed YA debut, DEFY.

Alexa continues to harbor a secret love for the newly crowned King Damian, yet she remains by his side as his guard and ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion's people. However, when a new threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on the once friendly nation of Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. Once again the fate of her country hangs in the balance. Will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy -- before it's too late?

What I Liked:

I know I gave this book and Defy the same rating, but this one is definitely better than the first book (and I mean that nicely, not snidely). I liked Defy a lot, but I wanted more from the story, and less from the romance. One reason why I loved Ignite as much as I do is because the romance is much more clear-cut (thank God).

In Ignite, a new threat has arrived. Blevon seems to be threatening Antion, burning villages and sending parties to attack the king. Meanwhile, a beautiful noblewoman named Vera has been given refuge at Antion, someone much more suited for King Damian. But Alexa knows that Vera has a secret motive to seduce the king, just like she knows that Blevon can't be behind the attacks - someone much more powerful must be manipulating the country. But how many players are in the game, and how many threats can Alexa uncover?

Larson up the ante in this book, putting Antion and Blevon at odds. Everyone in Antion wants to go to war with Blevon, but Damian (and Alexa) don't believe that Blevon is at fault - perhaps a black sorcerer is. All the while, Damian is falling into the web of Vera, who seems to have power of her own - or is Damian just that captivated by her? Not to mention that one of the royals is held for ransom, and by a very powerful enemy... who wants Alexa in exchange for the royal.

Phew! Lots of crazy going on. Plenty of deceit, ransom, murder, angst, heartbreak, and action. I read this book in two sittings (only getting up for lunch and things), and it went by really quickly. The plot is very fast-paced and interesting.

The romance - let me talk about that for a bit. It might seem like the romance is all sorts of twisted, right? Damian, Alexa, and Rylan were locked in some sort of weird love triangle in Defy, but no longer. Personally, I didn't think it was much of a love triangle at all - to me, Damian always seemed to have Alexa's heart.

But then there's the matter of Vera seducing Damian in this book - pshh. We can deduce that this is a plot twist of a sort, with no real feelings involved. I'm all for Alexa and Damian in this book (and series), though I don't mind Rylan as much as I did in Defy (hate Vera though). The romance between Damian and Alexa is very angry and passionate and raw and sweet all at once - love!

I like Alexa more in this book. She continues to show her toughness, her strength, her grit, but she also breaks down a little and shows a softer side. To Damian, whom she really loves, but she pushes him away, thinking of what's best for the kingdom. To Jax (Damian's little brother), who wants to learn to be as brave as she. To her friends, and even those who aren't her friends. I like that Larson really spearheaded the issue of Alexa being a female in the King's guard - the author brings this up a lot, which makes the issue more authentic and plausible.

I really like Damian, though sometimes I find it hard to believe that he is the King. He seems and acts too young sometimes - not in an immature way, but in a, well, young way. However, I so want my own Damian. Is that too much to ask for?

The book ends on an okay note, though there is definitely room for another novel. It's not a cliffhanger, not quite, but there NEEDS to be more to the story, to resolve the conflict at the end that wan't quite wrapped up. The book has a bit of a bittersweetness [is that a word? Should be] to it, but not to the point where you like OMG THIS SUCKS. Just... book three. There needs to be a book three.

What I Did Not Like:

I can't think of anything specific that I didn't like - I wish the author could have included just a little more background of the events that happened in book one? Only because I really could not remember many things. For example, Alexa's parents, their death... this comes up again, in Ignite, and I wish I had remembered more from Defy. Of course, this could just be me!

Would I Recommend It:

If you read book one, you MUST read book two. It gets better in book two - take that as you may. If the romance bothered you in book one, relax, it clears up in book two (in a really obvious way). If the fantasy bothered you, then keep reading because things get rocky between countries. Basically, it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep reading this series, whether you liked book one or not!

Rating:

4 stars. I really hope there is a book three, because this series just CAN'T END YET. I mean, it could, but I feel like there is a much more fulfilling ending to come... so, everyone, cross your fingers for a book three announcement!
Profile Image for Erica.
1,271 reviews677 followers
January 4, 2015
Ignite . . . this was THE book of 2015 for me. As soon as I finished Defy, I began a count down for this one and waited and waited. Only now I'm stuck in a similar situation again. Ignite was even better than Defy was, which is really saying something, and I'm not entirely sure I can comprehend the awesome I just read. Regardless, all I know is the rest of 2015 has some insanely high standards to live up to - because I'm really not sure it gets much better than this.

High fantasy is my favorite and will always remain so. However, Sara B Larson writes her own special breed of high fantasy that blows the socks off of basically everything else I've read lately. I love the intricacies of the plot and the subtle romance that plays such a large role.

The everything about Ignite was beyond awesome. I loved how the plot from book one only fed into this one and was made even more awesome. Readers really get to learn more about the world in Ignite, and I loved that. This one answers as many questions as it asks however. And I am really eager for most of those answers.

The stakes are high in this one, and it really takes off at full speed. I read straight through without putting it down for a moment. Ignite is a book that reminds me why I love YA and those with strong heroines. Alexa holds her own, and I love that we see her weakness in this one. It only serves to make her stronger.

Larson's sophomore novel was even better than her first. I have all the feels and I think Ignite broke me. It was just so perfect and everything that a book 2 in a trilogy should be. Hitting book 2 right on the head speaks so much for Larson's talent, and I cannot wait to see what other amazing things she does in the future.

Alright, I'm shutting up now. If you need me, I'll be over here rambling some more, dying for book 3.
Profile Image for Bekah.
745 reviews977 followers
December 28, 2014
Original Review found at: www.awesomebooknuts.blogspot.com

*sigh* Such a GREAT series so far! I'm loving it! I think I am going to have to add Sara B. Larson to my list of favorite authors! I was blown away by Defy which is the first book in this series and this second book is no different. If you're looking for an adventure with swoon worthy romance, this you should definitely check this serious out. LOVING IT! I did have issues with some things in this book which made me give it a 4 instead of a 5, but we'll get to that later.

I really liked that there wasn't a lot of missing time in the beginning of book 2, we start off basically where book 1 left us

Which leads us to the main character Alexa who has helped save her kingdom and her people from destruction by their own vicious and cruel king plus killed a deadly black sorcerer. Along with all this she helped place and good king, the son of cruel king, Damian. However, Alexa did not come out of this unscathed.

Just when things start to look like there will be peace again, an assassination attempt on the new king's life put their entire kingdom at risk against a kingdom that should be their ally. Which causes Alexa to put all her feelings for a certain someone aside to keep him and herself safe.

I really enjoyed the political intrigue, the twist and turns of the story, where you had to keep asking yourself, "is it them?" "could it really be them?" "but what about...?" it was great, and I loved every minute of it.

I loved how Damian is a GOOD guy! Too many guys in books these days are TERRIBLE and yet they have the "bad boy" so awful to the female and yet they fall in love and somehow that changes he "bad boy" and blah blah blah, now don't get me wrong I enjoy a good brooding but the GREAT thing about this story is that the main male role is actually a GOOD MAN! YAY! He was perfect of what male characters should be! Strong, kind, thoughtful, smart, good, etc.

One thing that kinda bothered me was the fact that there was SO MUCH romance that I felt it ALMSOT overtook the story. Is this a romance? Sure, but I don't like it to overtake the story TOO much and this almost did. But it was sweet, which is good.

I did NOT like the fact that Ry (Alexa best friend from Defy) turned into such a boring and a bit annoying character! He was supposed to be cool! Instead I find myself disliking him more and more as the story went on. He became whiny and a bit more like a 13 yr old who was slighted by some girl. GROW UP MAN! anyway, a bit disappointed in his character and lack of development.
Overall the story keeps you on your toes and I read it in one sitting, it sucks you and keeps you wanting for more. I loved it, regardless of things that bothered me.

Sexual Content: Moderate (PG-some kissing, talk of a breeding house for human females)
Language: mild/none
Violence: moderate (fighting scenes-not too graphic)
Drugs/Alcohol: mild
Profile Image for Natalie (Never trust a duck).
264 reviews170 followers
January 19, 2015
Let me start this review off by pointing something vital out:
I HATED Lady Vera. I visualized throttling her every page since I discovered her literary existence.

Right, just needed to get that off of my chest.

This book was such a fast and fun read. I read it until 2 am (yup, one of those books) and picked it up first thing when I woke up. I practically slept with it, I didn't wanna put if down.

It starts out with Alexa being her typical stubborn self, convincing herself that she isn't good enough for Damian (can somebody say dramatic much??) and thus crushing Damian's heart in the process. I just kept seeing him turn these big beautiful blue (3 alliteration points to me) puppy dog eyes on her (not that he did, he put up his mask of indifference, but a girl can dream).
Then Damian is attacked (for reals this time, not something he staged). But, right before the assassination attempt went off, Lady Vera Crack Head (probably not her last name) walked into the room and charmed the hair off of everyones' head except for Alexa's (and someone else...maybe...maybe not...you find out for yourself, stop making me do everything for you xD).

All you really need to know are these key things. Take note. Grab that pen behind your ear and jot this down:
Jax is the cutest little boy.
Damian has the biggest heart...and blue eyes....and muscles (what?).
Alexa can kick some serious behind.
Rylan may be jealous because of reasons.
Tanoori has a crush (But who you ask? Some dude *shrugs*).
Eljin likes picnics...except when he doesn't (show up, that is).
Vera, though she is a ginger like me, is forcing it. Quite literally.
Rafe, I don't know who you are, but I will find you, and I will kill you.

The only thing I didn't like about this book was what I've been WISHING to happen since Defy. Can you guess? Lemme tell you, close your eyes, and picture this. Damian and Alexa face off in a sword fight. It may sound weird, but I'd really enjoy that. I think I may get my wish in the next book ;)

Happy Reading!!!
Profile Image for SmilingDork.
243 reviews
October 17, 2016
MIND.....FUCKING......BLOWN!!!!!!!

That was SO good and AWESOME!!! I can't believe it took me this long to get the second book in my hands!!! So glad I did!!! That was a fucking AWESOME book and I am ready for the third!!!!!!
Profile Image for Joanna .
426 reviews84 followers
July 19, 2017
Hey Book Peeps

So this is my first reread of this series but you are probably wondering why I started in the middle. This was because I was using this book to complete my District Task in The Hunger Games Reading Challenge that I am a part of. The task was to read a book with an arrow on the cover and this fit the bill. I was happy though that this challenge got me to re read part of this series because it really is soooooo good and why I bumped it from my 4.5 star rating to a full 5.

I can't impress upon you how much of a badass Alexa Hollen is. I just can't. This girl has gone through the gauntlet and then some and she still comes through. I can't tell you how many times characters in this installment ask themselves and others whether Alexa is a sorceress or not . They just can't believe that just sheer will and determination are all that drives this human woman to do the impossible.

Ever since I started to incorporate audio books in my reading routine, I've always wanted to include this series as one I would like to try and listen to. I am so glad I did because the narration was fantastic and I really felt that Rebeeca Mozo voiced Alexa perfectly. Listening to this story in this format really added to the feel of the overall story and that is why I bumped up the star rating well. I can't wait to be able to listen to the first and the last book in the series via this format as well.

Let me know what y'all think about this book if you've read it. If you haven't started this series then you need to get going cause your missing out big time :)

Happy Reading

Jo
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This is closer to a 4.5 for me just cause the beginning was a bit slow but otherwise the ending was awesome and once again proving to me that Alexa is a complete badass.
Profile Image for Eliza.
594 reviews1,374 followers
August 15, 2017
3.25/5

In many ways this was better than the preceding novel, Defy. In many ways, too, it was not. So therefore, I'm rating it in between 3 and 4 stars, as I did with Defy. That doesn't mean I'm disappointed (well, maybe a little), rather, I thought this book would be significantly better. Instead, it felt the same? I'm not quite sure yet.

In this novel everyone now knows that "Alex" is actually "Alexa." And while I figured that would make people act differently towards her (they did), I didn't expect Alexa to start acting all of a sudden more feminine. Literally, as soon as everyone knew she was a girl she started acting more girlish and blushing all the time - c'mon. That did not seem realistic. You don't change your entire personality within a matter of days.

Otherwise, a character I really enjoyed (as cliche as he was) was Damian. Even though there were some moments where he got annoying with how he kept saying, "I love you" to Alexa and always wanting to be around her - even when his own brother was captured. Simply said, it seemed a little self-absorbed. But, whatever. It wasn't a big deal.

Overall, this book read just as quickly as the last one. And this one was actually shorter than the last - which I thought was weird. Normally, the second novel is longer, isn't it? Either way, this was a really easy novel to get through. You pretty much figure everything out as you go along, which to some might be annoying (I'm rather surprised it didn't annoy me as much) and to others, it might come off as a simple read. Like it did for me.
Profile Image for Meg (LadyKnightMeg).
112 reviews32 followers
January 16, 2015
What a TERRIBLE book. I'm not sure why I put myself through this when I found no enjoyment in Defy. The one star that it earned from me was for having a plot line that could have had potential. While it was somewhat action packed, the main character is terrible and not likeable and too absorbed in her feelings for the King to actually be believable as a strong female character. HOW can she be thinking about romance when so many terrible things are happening in Antion? (Side note, just realized that if you flip the n and the a in Antion, it spells nation). I can't stand Alexa, the writing is poor, and this series is seriously lacking some deeper aspects, and plot development.
Profile Image for Grüffeline.
1,074 reviews102 followers
June 11, 2018
3,75 Sterne
Gefiel mir ein wenig besser als der erste Teil. Man ist schnell in der Geschichte drin, auch wenn ich teilweise einige Seiten brauchte, bis ich einige Personen wieder zuordnen konnte. Die Geschichte an sich war spannend und auch flüssig genug erzählt, aber ich kam nicht wirklich an die Figuren heran und lustigerweise konnte ich mit Rylan mehr anfangen als mit Damian, da ersterer für mich als Charakter einfach greifbarer war.
Das Ende jedoch macht Lust auf mehr, denn jede Menge möglicher Probleme werfen ihre Schatten voraus und ich bin sehr gespannt wie das gelöst werden wird ().
Profile Image for Rachel.
Author 3 books716 followers
December 30, 2014
Sara B. Larson’s IGNITE is an absolutely riveting second installment in the series. Hidden agendas, unknown enemies, unidentifiable threats, and a tension-filled love story make for an incredibly suspenseful and unputdownable read. It’s a story that will keep readers guessing, make them race through the pages in search for answers, and will have them wishing for the third book in the series to discover what happens next.

Putting the best interests of her country and her King before her own, Alexa must fight to hide her feelings and her broken heart so that she can remain the King’s most trusted guard. But it isn’t easy. Not when just being near him makes her heart leap into her throat.

So when a beautiful woman is sent to deliver a message to King Damian, Alexa can’t be sure if her distrust for this woman is based on instinct or because she might be someone who could replace Alexa in his heart. And if she can no longer trust herself, maybe she isn’t the best person to protect her King from the growing dangers to him and to Antion. And maybe, had she known the true cost of her decision, she might have made a different one.

IGNITE continues the story only a short time following the events in DEFY. And while things may have settled down for the kingdom of Antion and its new ruler, the calm is short-lived. With an ally ostensibly now an enemy, the hope to rebuild will have to be set aside as their attention must turn to this new menace.

Action-filled, gripping and nerve-wracking, the story, the pace, the excitement do not let up. Tension continues to mount as Alexa tries to uncover who is behind the attacks on Antion, learn what their motives really are, guard Damian, defend Antion, and protect her own heart.

The threats are deadlier, the enemies more powerful, the betrayals more devastating, and the choices made will have even greater repercussions in IGNITE. No one is safe. No one can be trusted. Not even those most loyal.

Expect to be transfixed, expect to be shocked and surprised, expect to fall in love with this utterly thrilling and highly addictive must read sequel in a series that is positively epic.

Original GR comments:

I finished reading this over a week ago and only now just realized I never adding my "immediately after reading" thoughts. Fortunately with everything that happened and with the way things ended I still feel connected to the story and haven't forgotten what a twisty-turny, emotional rollercoaster ride that was. That ending, though, is seriously killer. I do not know how I'm going to last until the next book's release. The wait will be torturous. I am already feeling tormented and it's only been 11 days. Epic book. Totally freaking epic. Review TK.
Profile Image for Beth  (YA Books Central).
415 reviews115 followers
December 7, 2014

"Without letting myself think or question what I was doing, I lifted my face to his. This was what I wanted--he was what I wanted. Who I needed. I'd been a fool to reject him. He'd been a fool to believe me. Did he truly think I could stop loving him so easily? When he looked at me as he was now, with a hunger and need to match mine so evident on his beautiful face and in his eyes. I knew he didn't see my scars--inside or out. He only saw me. Alexa."

Defy was one of my favorite books of 2014. I loved everything about it from the high fantasy to the breath-taking romance...so when I saw the sequel was about to come out then I KNEW I had to have it....and I was not disappointed!!

And how about the COVER?? I mean seriously??? What an incredible cover that is full of color and depth that can attract readers from a mile away. I love the use of the arrow in this book since Defy had a sword. It portrays that there will be fighting and adventure within this incredible book. ....I wonder what will be used in the final book?

Ignite is the perfect name for this phenomenal novel. Let me explain why I say this....This phenomenal novel will "ignite" your desire to read and to NOT PUT DOWN THIS BOOK!! Ignite is a high-fantasy novel full of intense action scenes, mystery, murder, and a beautiful forbidden romance. I am just completely obsessed with this fantastic trilogy. Each book is so full of intrigue and intense emotion. I absolutely loved each and every chapter.

The main character, Alexa, is now openly known as a female. During the first book, Defy, she had to pretend to be a young boy in order to join the King's guard. Now everyone accepts her as a female and they also respect her because of her fighting abilities and her dedication to protect her King and country. Alexa and King Damien fell in love at the end of Defy and Ignite picks up right where Defy ended. Alexa loves Damien but she is determined to not let her feelings get in the way of protecting her King and the Kingdom. She feels as though she does not deserve King Damien and that their love might come between King Damien and his ability to rule his Kingdom.

"I was--I am -- afraid, Damien. I'm not fit to be your queen. You need to think of what's best for your kingdom-- and that would be someone of noble birth. Someone who could help solidify one of our alliances, The people of Antion deserve a queen who is equal to their king. Not your scarred guard. If they saw me on the throne beside you..." I trailed off, remembering the girls' mocking giggles at that dinner, Miss Truhoft's look of disbelief just a few moments ago when she saw us doing nothing more than holding hands." "It would diminish your power to ave me at your side, It was never about you not being good enough. It's about me. I don't deserve you. All I know how to do is fight--I don't know how to rule a kingdom at your side. I am the the one who isn't good enough for YOU."


Alexa is such an phenomenal, strong, kick-ass heroine. She has such strong emotions and yet she knows that through everything her sole job is to protect the kingdom and its King. She puts all her feelings aside to protect others. All through Ignite there are many secrets revealed that should have been enough to cause the kingdom to crumble but because of Alexa and her leadership she is able to hold the kingdom together and prepare to fight the evil that is attempting to take over.

Everything about Ignite was just phenomenal. I literally could not put the book down. At the turn of each page there was a new adventure awaiting Alexa and a new enemy to conquer. Ignite was full of adventure and excitement but my favorite part about the entire book was the love story between Damien and Alexa. The two of them together proves that love can conquer all even through all the trials and tribulations that Damien and Alexa face....their love for each other never wavers.

"Manu's warning that my love for him would be my downfall prickled at the back of my mind, but I refused to listen to it. He was wrong. Our love made us stronger--not weak."

This series is one of my all-time favorite series and I literally cannot wait to get my hands on the conclusion to this series. As much as I don't want it to end....I cant wait to see what happens next. After all they have been through....what can possibly be next?? What evil is coming to try to break them apart and break up the kingdom?? Will Damien and Alexa end up together? Will their love bring the kingdom together and help its people flourish??

Sara B Larson....you are a PHENOMENAL writer and the depth and emotion that you place in your books is exactly why each books grabs readers and never lets go. The stories you write are ones that stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.....I cannot wait to see what future books you have in store...I know they are going to be amazing.....
Profile Image for Tricia Mingerink.
Author 11 books340 followers
August 3, 2017
Overall, I enjoyed this one nearly as much as the first one.

Things I liked:
- the audiobook was done by the same narrator, who is perfect for the role.
- Alexa doesn't go all soft and girlie just because everyone knows she's a girl now. She's still a competent guard (even if she REALLY needs her brothers to help her with problem solving skills and thinking through stuff.)
- the love triangle isn't NEARLY as suffocating in this book as the last book! Yay!!!! Alexa has made her choice about which boy she likes, so there isn't any drama about that. It takes much more of a back seat to the pressing plot problems in a book.
- the beginning of this book jumps right into the action!

Things I struggled with:
- the ending. It felt a little...anti-climatic. Especially compared to the first book. While I flew through the beginning of this book, I struggled to want to listen to the ending for some reason.

Still, I enjoyed it, and I'll probably pick up the third book sooner rather than later.
Profile Image for Kathy.
2,051 reviews588 followers
January 8, 2016
I flew through this one! I guess you can tell you're enjoying a book when you have a hard time putting it down. I admit, it's been awhile since I've read the first book, but once I started reading it all started coming back to me. I do recommend reading them close together though. I've started a new rule of only reading series when they are complete, but Sara's books are an exception.

I'm a big fan of High Fantasy and I enjoy the world Sara has created. Alexa is a strong female lead and I liked that while she was tough, we get to see her softer side as well. This one picks up a little after the first book, Damian has settled in as King and Alexa continues to be his guard. I thought Damian and Alexa had great chemistry, Alexa made her feelings clear in the last book and they're both trying to come to terms with it. There is a bit of a love-triangle, which I'm never a fan of. It was handled pretty well, but still its not a favorite plot for me. I thought this was a good middle book and I look forward to seeing how everything wraps up in the next book. I'm glad I don't have to wait too long for it to come out.

Overall, a fun and entertaining series.

Content
Romance: Squeaky clean
Language: None
Violence: Mild-Moderate, fighting/killing nothing overly graphic
Religious: None
Profile Image for Dark Faerie Tales.
2,274 reviews546 followers
January 4, 2015
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Amazing sequel that lived up to all my expectations. Brimming with magic, romance, action, and betrayal this is one of my favorite high fantasy series of all time.

Opening Sentence: The heat in the hallway was stifling, even though it was well past midnight.

The Review:

In the land of Antion, there has been much unrest for many years. They had a tyrant of a king who led people by fear and was in no way a good man. But hope has finally come to the people in the form of a new leader, King Damian. In every way possible he has tried to make amends for all the crimes his father committed. Things aren’t perfect, but their country is finally on the mends until a new threat surfaces. A threat that can destroy all of Antion, and there is only person that can save the day — Alexa Holden.

Until very recently everyone thought that Alexa was a boy. To avoid the awful breeding houses she hid her identity and joined the army with her twin brother. But with Damian as the new king she no longer has to hide who she really is. There is no one that can match her skill with a blade and there is no one that is better fit to protect Antion’s new king. She is devoted to rebuilding her kingdom and will let nothing get in the way, including her feeling for Damian. She knows that for the kingdom to truly flourish Damian will need to marry someone fit to be a queen, and Alexa doesn’t fit that mold. But when their new allies attack their boarders, Alexa knows that something isn’t quite right. Alexa must uncover the truth and face a more deadly enemy then ever before.

From the first moment I met Alexa, I instantly loved her. She is a strong independent woman that is easy to look up to. But she also has a lot of girly insecurities that make her a believable character. She is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to battle and sword fighting, but when it comes to acting like a lady she doesn’t really have a clue what to do. While she wears the scars on her face proudly, she can’t help but be self conscious about how it makes her look, which is something I think most people can relate to. No matter how amazing you are at certain things you are never 100% comfortable in your own skin. You are your own worst enemy when it comes to criticizing yourself and Alexa struggles with this like most people do. With her amazing strengths and relatable flaws she is a very well rounded character that I completely adore and respect. I can’t wait to see where her story goes next.

Damian is such a dreamy guy. I fell madly in love with him in Defy and my fondness for him just grew in Ignite. Physically, he is a total hottie with a chiseled face, amazing body and piercing blue eyes, it’s hard not to find him attractive. But what I loved best about him was his overwhelming sense of goodness. He was raised in a terrible environment where he had to constantly fear for his own safety from his crazy father, but that in no way made him bitter. His sad past actually made him a more compassionate person and a wonderful leader. He has a great love for his nation and all those that reside in it. His relationship with Alexa has had a lot of bumps along the way, but I don’t think there are two people that are more perfect for each other. They have amazing chemistry and they complement each other perfectly. From the very beginning I have been team Damian and after reading Ignite my feelings haven’t changed.

Rylan is such a great guy. He is loyal to a fault and an amazing fighter. With his sweet personality and good looks he doesn’t have a hard time attracting the ladies. As another guard of the king he has been close with Alexa for years. They have always been really good friends and Rylan would do anything to protect Alexa. Rylan obviously has feelings for Alexa and has for a long time, but she just looks at him as a friend. I adore Rylan but personally I just don’t think he is for Alexa. I felt that in Defy the love triangle was a lot bigger part of the story then it was in Ignite. For all of those that read the first book and were disappointed by the love triangle, I think that you will be much happier with the second book.

Ignite was a fast paced story full of adventure, betrayal, romance, and action. I personally loved Defy and couldn’t wait to get my hands on of copy of Ignite and suffice to say I was not disappointed. I was eager to see where Larson took the story since the end of Defy wrapped a lot of things up nicely, but I knew there was more to come. I loved how she added new villains and expanded the world even more. The romance developed nicely and was done perfectly. Pretty much from the first page I was hooked and I couldn’t seem to put the book down. There were great plot twists and an ending that left me dying to see what happens next. This series is one of my all time favorite high fantasy series and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a beautifully written story full of imagination and romance.

Notable Scene:

“You have brought peace between our two nations at great cost,” the man said in that same voice, chillingly empty of emotion.

“The cost, though great, was worth the result, I hope” Damian said, sounding a bit more cautious.

I hazarded a glance at Eljin again to find him staring directly at me. He shook his head infinitesimally and widened his eyes. A warning.

“If you believe the result was peace, you are mistaken,” the man responded and my head snapped forward again. The expressionless void was still in his eyes as he stared up at Damian, but he adjusted his stance, tensing slightly, and my blood ran cold. I began to pull out my sword but I was too late.

“There will never be peace for you or your kingdom.” He whipped out his sword and lunged so fast that Deron, who had reached for his own sword a second to slow, was unable to deflect him. The blade sliced through his bicep as Deron threw himself backward to avoid being run through. “The blood of your people will water the jungle floor!”

FTC Advisory: Scholastic provided me with a copy of Ignite. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
Profile Image for blackplume.
201 reviews31 followers
January 14, 2015
Full review posted on my blog, Blackplume

IGNITE is definitely an action and tension-filled fantasy story. Sara B. Larson didn’t waste time putting her characters to another whirlwind of challenges, both personal and professional.

Damian is the new King of Antion trying his best to rebuild the Kingdom after the devastating war. He is trying to make amends to his people after what the former King, his father done for the sake of power. His best guard, Alex/a still continue to hold a position as one of his guard, protecting him with her best of ability without hiding her true sexuality anymore. As the only female in the King’s guard, Alexa earned both respect and judgment from people around her. Some love her guts and other hate or envy her. But still she continue to serve the new-King and the whole Kingdom of Antion even being closer to the Damian means more heartache for her. She may not be pretending to be a boy anymore but she is still hiding something. She has to hide her true feelings for the King because she think that she isn’t good enough for him, and that Antion deserves a much better Queen than a scarred soldier like her.

Then new threats are coming, the peace that Antion held for awhile is in danger once more. There are attacks in their Kingdom and the blame leads to their new found ally, Blevon. But Alexa and Damian cannot believe it, not with Eljin saying differently and not after they made peace to the neighboring Kingdom. They have their theories but they need proofs before everything else goes wrong.

Continue reading here
Profile Image for Tina ♥ Bookaholic.
792 reviews111 followers
August 26, 2016
3,5 Punkte.

Meine Gedanken zum Buch:
Der erste Teil war für mich damals richtig cool mit einem Mädchen, dass sich als Kerl verkleidet zu einer der besten Kampferinnen der Palastwache entwickelt hat. Dann die Sache mit ihrem Bruder, dem bösen König, den süßen Prinzen und der besonnene beste Freund. Einzig das Liebestriangel hat mich im ersten Band genervt. Dementsprechend waren auch meine Erwartungen an den zweiten hoch, doch leider – wie so oft, entpuppt sich dieser als typischer Mittelteil, der mehr oder weniger nur auf den dritten Teil vorbereitet, wenn man schließlich auf den Hauptfeind trifft.

Generell mochte ich Alexa, nur ihr Anhimmeln von Damian war mir ein bisschen zu viel und ich fand auch ihre Ausreden am Ende sehr kindisch und fadenscheinig, als sie längst den König/ aka früherer süßer Prinz, alles erzählen hätte sollen, denn wer weiß es besser als Alexa, dass einem oft nicht mehr die Zeit bleibt, wichtige Dinge auszusprechen? Das gleiche kann man auch von Prinz/ König Damian sagen, dem von der ersten Seite anzuerkennen war, welche Gefühle er für Alexa hegt, doch warum es einfach machen, wenn es auch kompliziert geht? ;)
Nebenbei gibt es auch noch einen zweiten Mann, der um Alexa buhlt, obwohl....

(Mehr dazu auf meinem Blog):
https://martinabookaholic.wordpress.c...
Profile Image for L.R.W. Lee.
Author 30 books734 followers
January 20, 2016


Action. Vulnerability. Suspense. This is how I summarize Ignite (Book 2 in the Defy series) by Sara B. Larson, the sequel to Defy. Read my review of Defy at http://blog.lrwlee.com/2016/02/15/rev...

Larson expands what she began in book one in this engaging tale. Prince Damian is as charming and beautiful as ever and the love triangle with Rylan gets no easier for Alexa. She vascilates between the two men she loves, knowing Rylan is the “sensible” choice for her husband for she is “just” a member of the king’s guard without privilege or honor as befitting the queen of a nation. Yet her heart knows better…Read more at http://blog.lrwlee.com/2016/01/20/rev...
Profile Image for L R W Lee Author Second Acct.
5 reviews51 followers
January 20, 2016


Action. Vulnerability. Suspense. This is how I summarize Ignite (Book 2 in the Defy series) by Sara B. Larson, the sequel to Defy. Read my review of Defy at http://blog.lrwlee.com/2016/02/15/rev...

Larson expands what she began in book one in this engaging tale. Prince Damian is as charming and beautiful as ever and the love triangle with Rylan gets no easier for Alexa. She vascilates between the two men she loves, knowing Rylan is the “sensible” choice for her husband for she is “just” a member of the king’s guard without privilege or honor as befitting the queen of a nation. Yet her heart knows better…Read more at http://blog.lrwlee.com/2016/01/20/rev...
Profile Image for Fabi.
1,009 reviews143 followers
March 6, 2017
This five-star took me by surprise. Middle books in a trilogy aren't always as good as the 1st and 3rd. But I absolutely loved this one. It was the romance theme that sealed the deal for me. It was beautiful. Our heroine didn't come across quite as strong as she did in the first book, but that's to be expected given the "girl in love" trope. She still kicks butt throughout the book. I'm lining up book 3 in my tbr as I finish writing this.

Thank you for the loan Tessa!
Profile Image for Kimberly (Book Swoon)  .
440 reviews31 followers
January 21, 2015
Defy was one of my favorite reads last year. One that gave me a heroine that captivated me. Alexa the sword-fighting girl who took on the persona of a boy in order to join the king's army, and ended-up on a heroines journey, saving the kingdom, and falling in love!

Dark Magic, Intrigue and New Villain

After a major battle and the defeat of a dark wizard at the end of Defy, the kingdom of Antion is carefully rebuilding its alliances and the trust of their people with Damian now crowned their new king. Now with Ignite, Alexa is just as dedicated to Damian and determined to protect him, even if that means sacrificing her feelings for the "good" of the kingdom. Torn between duty and love, Alexa struggles to find her place as warrior to the king and his love as well. Now a new threat arrives and endangers Antion, Damian and all those close to him. Magic, intrigue and a dangerous new villain threatens, and Alexa is all that stands in the way.

Alexa the Fierce Warrior and Heroine

Alexa continues to struggle in the beginning of Ignite with her place as guard and warrior for Damian, and the feelings they share. I'm glad to say the romance deepens and the focus changes on Alexa and her abilities as a kick-butt warrior. She takes charge more and grows stronger as a heroine. Often facing dark battles on her own, rather than jeopardize others.

More Derriere-Kicking action, Magic and Fantasy.

There's a ton of action, danger and more magic that fills in the plot and puts the focus on a new, dangerous enemy and threatens the kingdom. This was a fantastic push into avoiding the dreaded book two syndrome. The reader is treated to some great kick-butt skills from Alexa and fellow warriors. I enjoyed the battle scenes and loved the fierce-warrior Alexa is becoming.

A New Villain to Hiss and Boo Over.

I love a good villain to hate, and Ignite has given me someone to boo and hiss at! There's a new bully in town, and he wields some bad magic. Alexa is in for a battle ...

A romance that is Destined ... When the Hero *sees* the Heroine for who she is on the inside and not just the one reflecting Back on the Outside.

One of my favorite aspects about this series is the theme that beauty comes in many forms, and that what is on the inside is what's important. Damian, and the romance, represents a sweet and beautiful aspect of this as we witness his love for Alexa. Damian "sees" and loves what is on the inside of Alexa, and not just the fierce, beautiful warrior she is on the outside- battle scars and all. I love this message that the author Sara B. Larson incorporates cleverly into the story.

A Killer Ending that has Me Clamoring for the Next Installment.

The ending was action-packed, gave me a mini-HEA in the sense some things become resolved. Yet, Sara B. Larson once again gives us a killer ending that has us eager to continue, our breath held once more in sweet, (agonizing) anticipation.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars. I really liked it!

PLEASE NOTE: A copy of this book was provided by Scholastic Press in exchange for my fair and honest review. Thank you Scholastic Press for the review opportunity!

Profile Image for Thirty37Seven.
248 reviews12 followers
May 19, 2017
I'm one chapter in and Alex has tightened her fingers around the hilt of her sword 3 or 4 times now. We've already got a weird tic, better than blushing all the time or being clumsy at least.

I knew the second showed up that this was going to turn into a Little Mermaid scenario. It was instantly obvious.

Oh, fuck off Rylan. He's acting like a little bitch and I'm getting sick of his shit.



... Well fuck ...
Profile Image for Jessica.
138 reviews45 followers
May 21, 2022
Nachdem mir der erste Band doch besser gefallen hatte, als erwartet und dieser eigentlich auch ein abgeschlossenes Ende hatte, war ich natürlich gespannt, um was es sich in der Fortsetzung handeln wird. Diesen neuen Konflikt fand ich an sich auch ganz interessant. Nur leider war der komplette Plot, inkl. der "Plot Twists", total vorhersehbar, was einem natürlich total den Spaß nimmt. Auch die Längen, in dem schon kurzen Buch, haben meine Begeisterung geschmälert. Aufgrund des leichten Schreibstils und der kurzen Kapitel kam man aber wieder sehr schnell voran. In diesem Buch ist zwar handlungstechnisch mehr passiert, nur konnte es mich im Gesamten weniger packen als der Reihenauftakt. Die Dreiecksbeziehung, die ich bereits im ersten Band kritisiert habe, wurde in diesem Buch weiterhin nicht aufgelöst und das, obwohl sich die Protagonistin bereits schon für einen der beiden Typen entschieden hatte🤦🏻‍♀️ Den finalen Band werde ich, um die Reihe abzuschließen, auch noch lesen. Ich werde wohl hoffen müssen, dass dieser etwas besser sein wird.
Profile Image for Sandra (LadyGrey Reads).
591 reviews91 followers
December 27, 2015
I was very, very close to giving this a two star rating because of predictability and also because of that I definitely do not enjoy listening to the reader of the audio book version. Honestly, those two combined almost made me give up on the book. But the last 2½ hours - which equals about 1/4 of the book - were actually really intense and good and they did build up a lot of tension for the final installment. So yes; 3 stars thanks to that sudden unpredictability and the cliffhanger ending!
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