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Nemesis #1

Nemesis

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Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But Mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora's gift may be able to save Tarik’s kingdom. But should she risk exposing herself and her growing feelings for her nemesis?

359 pages, Hardcover

First published October 4, 2016

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About the author

Anna Banks

30 books3,668 followers
New York Times Bestselling author of The Syrena Legacy series.

Grew up in a town called Niceville. No, seriously. And yes, everyone from Niceville is generally nice.

Let's see, things about me....My writer's cat is a mini wiener dog named Puckdoo. I can't walk in high heels, but I'm amazing at standing still in them. I'm the only person in Florida without a tan. I stole a car when I was 12 years old and drove across three state lines with it. Yeah. That's about it.

My books:
Of Poseidon
Of Triton
Of Neptune

Joyride

How To Lose A Bachelor

Degrees of Wrong (Pen name Anna Scarlett)

Nemesis (Coming soon!)

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5 stars
1,250 (31%)
4 stars
1,462 (37%)
3 stars
801 (20%)
2 stars
269 (6%)
1 star
134 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 616 reviews
October 5, 2016


I really, really wish the main character's name was not Sepora, because all I could think about in my head is heaven on earth, that wondrous emporium of vanity that is the Sephora chain. But "wondrous emporium of vanity" isn't too far off from the contents of this book, since it seems to be obsessed with the beauty of its main character, and the reputation (completely unfounded) of said character's intelligence.
“You’ve quite the reputation here at the Lyceum. Master Saen chatters on about how clever you are and Majai Sethos about your beauty.”
All joking aside, this book was boring. I require a book to have interesting characters, an interesting plot, and beautiful writing. This book had neither (threeither?).
“They were right,” she says. “No one has eyes like you.”

“Where am I?”

“You are privileged with being the newest concubine of the Falcon King’s harem.
This book is about a beautiful girl with SUPER UNIQUE SILVERY EYES. She's a princess and she's a trained fighter (who got caught almost as soon as the book began) and she's also the only one in the whole wide world with the ability to generate a special valuable metal.

Beautiful...special...strong (but can't fight). Is this starting to sound familiar to anyone?

So the Princess Sephora...sorry, Sepora, is running away from her mean mean dad who wants to wield her as a weapon. Due to her own incompetence, she gets caught, and due to her beauty, she is sold into slavery and becomes a concubine in Prince Tarik's harem. And almost instantly, she becomes...
"... the prize of the harem"
Good lord.

Furthermore, Sepora attracts the ire of the old, used concubine, who is jealous of her youthful beauty.
Wrinkles tug at the woman’s eyes, which are made more noticeable by the thick black paint encircling them, drawing out the deep emerald color around her pupils. She wears no red on her lips, and she should, for if there were any mouth in need of beautifying, it would be this woman’s...She used to be a beautiful woman, and in some ways, she still could be, if she did not allow bitterness to strain all her more attractive features.

“Sepora,” Gonya says, her voice slightly shaky, “this is Tuka. She’s the eldest of His Majesty’s harem, and Favorite One of the Warrior King.”

So, Tuka is jealous of my age. To her, I am a threat.
Dude, really?

And as for the romance, this isn't insta-love, but it's pretty nauseating.
Her eyes shine astonishingly silver, and her hair, though woven into an intricate braid around her head and splaying freely down her back, is a striking white blond. Her eyes are lined with a metallic pewter paint, enhancing their color tenfold. He knew she was beautiful as she slept; he wouldn’t expect anything less of one of his concubines and, indeed, of such a gift from his brother. Yet, as lovely as she is while sleeping, she’s nothing less than stunning when she opens her eyes.
If you want a lot of mental fluff, then give this book a try. If you're expecting depth, I wouldn't bother.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,370 reviews9,439 followers
November 5, 2016
First off I have to say the cover of this book is beautiful! It's what pulled me in right away. Although, Sepora and others in the book paint their skin whenever something special is going on, she does have beautiful silver eyes. And the reason for this is because she is a Forger of Spectorium.

 :

Spectorium is a beautiful, silvery substance that can be used to make many things and in reading the book, to help with plagues. But, there is also evilness that can be used with it and since Sepora's father, the King of Serubel wants to do evil, she runs away to try to hide in one of their nemesis city of Theoria.

 :

The new king of Theoria, Tarik, ends up getting Sepora in his harem. He doesn't have anything to do with them but he takes an interest in Sepora. She doesn't tell him who she is until the bitter end and I was so happy that it finally came out.

There are a lot of things going on in this book that I haven't mentioned and I'm not going to mention, you can read them for yourself. Like the fish like people in the river called, Parani, they are really cool. Well, they eat people but it's all good, you will see =)

The outcome of the book seems like it may bring peace once and for all to the two kingdoms, BUT, you know that is never the case. I look forward to what is going to happen in the next book!

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 20 books13.1k followers
November 30, 2016
wow wow wow.
Such a well paced, interestingly written fantasy. Based around a fantastical version of Egypt with Parna people and snake dragons. I loved it. Such an interesting story and REALLY excited for book two.

I almost wish the cover was different. I don't feel like it well reflects the epic story.
Profile Image for Brittney.
72 reviews2 followers
Want to read
March 12, 2016
Wow, there is an awful lot of hate for a book that isn't even out yet from people that haven't even read it. I will never understand why people feel the need to hate on something without trying it.

1. My first problem with all these "reviewers" right now, is the ones stating they don't like the cover. That isn't Anna Banks's fault. The author, most the time, has no say in the cover. So don't say something horrible about the book based on the cover.

2. The trope. Yes, it is a trope. But there is a reason author's keep writing these tropes. It sells! And Anna Banks could have a new spin on it, we don't know yet. If you don't want to read another girl falls for nemesis "trope", then don't. But don't comment on the book or give it a low star rating when you haven't even read it yet.

Bottom line, it is easy to sit behind a screen and criticize someone's work, that is what we do as reviews. But at least give the author the courtesy of reading the work before you do that.

I personally am looking forward to this book. I love Anna Banks. Yes, I may not normally like this trope, but I look forward to seeing what Banks has done with it.
Profile Image for Sajda.
308 reviews230 followers
Want to read
February 4, 2016
I first read the main character's name as Sephora and now her name will forever remind me of makeup.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews837 followers
October 4, 2016
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Nemesis by Anna Banks
Book One of the Nemesis series
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Rating: 3 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

The princess didn't expect to fall in love--with her nemesis.

Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king's servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora's gift could save Tarik's kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?

What I Liked:

Anna Banks' books have been rather hit-or-miss for me. I liked Of Poseidon a lot, but felt a bit meh about the series in general. I didn't love Joyride. I DID really love Degrees of Wrong, but that's an adult book of hers, written under Anna Scarlett. I think Nemesis might be my favorite of her Young Adult novels!

This book starts with Princess Sepora's flight (literally - on her dragon-like creature's back) from her home of Serubel. She refuses to be used as a weapon by her greedy father, so she escapes to Theoria, the rival kingdom. But she is captured and sold to the Theorian prince, who gives her to his brother, the Theorian king, as a concubine. But Tarik, the Falcon King (king of Theoria) doesn't care for his father's harem, and never goes. Sepora needs to get out of the harem, and she does. Tarik reassigns her to be an assistant to his most trusted adviser. But Sepora's wit and intelligence makes an impression on Tarik, and he includes her on more decisions for Theoria. Sepora reveals much about Serubel, but she find that she doesn't want to lie to the Falcon King. Sepora wants to help him protect Theoria, and help the Theorian people (who are dying of the Quiet Plague), but she doesn't want to be used by yet another kingdom. And what will happen when Tarik finds out that she is the princess of the rival kingdom?

I did not realize that this book was part of a series, before starting the book! I was convinced that the book was a standalone, so I went into the book thinking that I was getting a story that would be resolved after approximately four hundred pages. Unfortunately I was disappointed, because the ending was totally unresolved and this book was clearly not a standalone. BUT. I liked the book and even though the ending surprised me, it is not a bad ending for book one of a duology (I think this is a duology).

This book is written in alternating POVs - Sepora's first-person POV, and Tarik's third-person POV. This was a bit weird - I would have preferred both to be in first-person, or both to be in third-person. But I really appreciated having both POVs, even if they were told in first- and third-person. I loved reading from Tarik's POV.

Of the two, I like Tarik more. He is eighteen, and a brand-new king. His father died at the beginning of the book, leaving Tarik to rule the most powerful of the five kingdoms. Tarik is not a rough warrior like his father or his fifteen-year-old brother. He is kind and intelligent, a little soft-spoken, but with a spine of steel. I liked seeing him grow and develop, especially with his new role. Banks does not shy away from throwing all the difficult decisions at Tarik. As a king, he can't think about right and wrong as black and white - he needs to think of the good of his people. Tarik is kind and empathetic, but he is also not a soft man. He is a good king, and a good person.

I thought Sepora was okay overall, but I didn't love her or warm up to her entirely. She had her moments, but I found her a little annoying. However, Sepora proves her intelligent and rational thinking even when I think she's a complete idiot at other times. I'm still trying to decide if I like her; I both like and dislike her, and I'm okay with that.

The world that Banks has created is pretty cool. This is fantasy, with rich history and lots of wars. The five kingdoms are intriguing, especially the two we know very little about. Obviously this book is very much centered around Theoria and Serubel, and Hemut enters the picture in an important way, but the other two kingdoms are a mystery. Perhaps we'll see more about them in book two - I hope so! Part of the fantasy world is Sepora's ability to create a magical element with her hands. She is the last Forger - or so she thinks. The element she makes could have Theoria from the Quiet Plague, but it is why she ran from Serubel.

There is romance in this book (of course), though not as much as I expected. The way the synopsis made it sound, I thought there would be so much kissing and breathlessness and such. Naaahhh, there is only one kiss in this book. I love Sepora and Tarik together, but I wish they were together more in this book. I'm glad Tarik's brother isn't a factor. I don't see a love triangle happening on any front, so that's good!

Like I said above, I thought this book was a standalone, so I thought the ending was going to be nice and resolved. Nope, the ending is somewhat cliffhanger-y! But not as bad as some books that have a conclusion novel to follow. I am definitely going to be reading book two!

What I Did Not Like:

I don't think I loved Sepora. Did I like her? I'm still trying to decide. Sepora is high-tempered and fiery, with no regard to rules or decorum. She is constantly interrupting the king, defying the king, lying to the king, etc. Honestly her behavior was borderline obnoxious, especially since she's a servant (everyone thinks she is, including Tarik), and totally rude. Any other king would have had her executed. I know YA lit these days are really pushing the "I am feminist hear me roar" types of heroines (which is cool!), but you can't build a world like this (i.e. with kingdoms and kings and servants), and not have your servants showing at least a little respect for the king. OR not having your king take appropriate action to reprimand or punish said servant, no matter how much she amuses you or "is refreshing". It's not authentic.

Also, part of Sepora's personality is her ability to go from one extreme of the emotional spectrum to the next. I noticed this towards the end of the book, and I was giving this girl some serious side-eye. She jumped to conclusions and got mad and fled the scene verrrrrrry quickly. Irrationally so. See why I'm not sure I like her? She's okay sometimes, but dumb at other times.

I don't think there is a love triangle manifesting in this series, but the fact that Sethos (Tarik's younger brother) exists really bothered me. You could see the author thinking about making him a love interest, but then pulling back. I really wish the author could just leave siblings out of romances. NOT that Sethos is "in" the romance - no. He thinks Sepora is gorgeous and flirts with her, and that's the extent of it. Can we not though? Like, at all? Can Sethos be an uninteresting scholar type of prince, or something? Ugh.

This goes without saying - more romance. More chemistry between Sepora and Tarik. I expected so much more swoon, especially given the first line of the synopsis.

Would I Recommend It:

I hope this series turns out nicely, especially if it's a duology, but I'd recommend waiting for the books to publish. Binge-reading is a beautiful thing, especially when you have someone else telling you that a series might or might not be worth binge-reading (rather than reading staggered).

Rating:

3.5 stars -> rounded down to 3 stars. I liked this book. I really did. But I wish I liked Banks' YA heroines more. All of her heroines feel the same, and I have yet to really like a single one of them. But perhaps the author will change my mind in book two of this series! Which I look forward to reading.
Profile Image for Ronda.
850 reviews118 followers
February 5, 2017
That Cover!

When I first seen the cover of this book, I knew (without even reading the synopsis) that I had to read this.... It was definitely love at first sight for me.

Anna Banks is a new author for me and I have to say I love her style of writing, I love the way this book flowed from start to finish and I adored the chapter swapping between Sepora and Tarik. For me, this enticed the emotional roller-coaster, some of these chapters had me torn knowing I had to wait for the next round before reading on!

Spora and Tarik's journey, both singularly and then together was amazing, I loved where the story took me, I loved how I was looking ahead and trying to second guess... but mostly, I simply loved these two characters.

As I read towards the end, I found myself anticipating what was going to happen.... and then suddenly, without warning, the story finished! Just finished! And now I have to wait for answers, what with CY and his endless quest, wondering if Sepora will do what I hope she will do, and what is Serubel's king thinking? I can't believe that I have to wait for the second book!

An unexpected and wonderful read!

Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
2,976 reviews363 followers
September 27, 2016
I fell in love with Anna's debut fantasy series a few years ago and was so excited to see her coming out with a new series and after reading the enticing synopsis and seeing the gorgeous cover, it didn't take much convincing to immediately grab it and read it.

This was a good story. Engaging, entertaining, just the right amount of romance, action, mystery, and an interesting plot line. It wasn't anything unheard of or even unique but that was okay because what it lacked in complete originality it made up for with lovable characters and a fast paced plot that left me turning the pages.

I can already tell this will be a series to watch out for and I can't wait for book two.

*ARC copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
510 reviews297 followers
October 17, 2016
Mini review:

DNF

I received this E-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I was quite surprised when Netgalley granted my wish for this book. Unfortunately when I started reading it I found it odd. I can't quite put my finger on it.

Still recommend.
Profile Image for Katrin D.
283 reviews463 followers
October 14, 2016
Full review available at: my blog
__________________________________

This was one mediocre book.

It follows an incredibly beautiful princess and an equally incredibly handsome prince/king, who are coming from enemy kingdoms. The princess runs away because she's a special snowflake and is extremely valuable, so her father uses her as a weapon. She wants to avoid that, bla, bla. She runs away and is stupid enough to get caught within 5 minutes of being alone. She's so f*cking pretty, she gets sent to the King's harem. Ensue Romeo and Juliet type of ridiculous teenage pseudo-angsty romance no one cares about.

We have never seen that. Ever.



My reaction:



The beginning was deserving of a yawn-fest, but at least after the initial 30% of random slowness, the story picked up: there was a lot going on in terms of … um, teen romance angst and well, "discoveries". Still, amidst cliches and YA tropes, Nemesis just failed to impress with anything original.

True, there were certain aspects that deserve recognition, such as using Egyptian history as inspiration for the Theorian setting. As a history freak I really appreciate the effort the author took in researching Ancient Egypt and including it in her novel. In fantasy we often see Medieval-style kingdoms or Ancient Greek/Roman settings, but personally I have never encountered an Egyptian one, so this was definitely a bonus for me. On the other hand, there were little things, which irritated me a bit, such as the fact that the author used Pharaoh and King as synonyms…which they are not. And merely using the word pharaoh, signifies that the action takes place in Ancient Egypt, since the definition of that word is "ruler of Egypt". I don't want to dig too deep since it is not a very important observation, but it just didn't sound right.

Another aspect of the novel I enjoyed was definitely the use of different/made-up elements and their properties because it showed potential for building an original story. Unfortunately, we were left with the mere idea of potential, which was never expanded. Which really bothered me because when you have 1.) as inspirational and intriguing setting such as Ancient Egyptian and 2.) good writing skills, it doesn't take much to build a good story. All you have to do is steer clear of the following:

1. GENERIC HEROES

Sepora and Tarik were a pair of really generic heroes. Their struggles are well-known to any person, who's read an average of 2 YA fantasy books and their personalities don't shine with anything remotely original and worth remembering.

First of all, they are both incredibly handsome and attractive. Excuse me, it would be a sin to have a hero, who hasn't got the potential to be ranked in People's Sexiest Man Alive.

Sepora is so stunning that:

“He knew she was beautiful as she slept; he wouldn’t expect anything less of one of his concubines and, indeed, of such a gift from his brother. Yet, as lovely as she is while sleeping, she’s nothing less than stunning when she opens her eyes.”


“Storms, he decides. Her eyes remind him of the rare handful of storms he’s seen in Theoria.”


I tell you, if I see one more comparison between eyes and storms in any literary text, I'm throwing my Kindle out the window.

And Tarik is not left much behind in the looks department:

“The Falcon King is entirely too collected for my liking. And far too handsome for my comfort. The black paint circling his eyes does make him look fierce and intimidating, but under his scrutiny—when I dare to meet his eyes—he has a kindness that reflects back at me. A kindness that one does not expect of a Falcon King.”


Because God forbid we have characters that are not EXPLICITLY said to be super handsome. Who would want to read about that?

Second of all...yeah, I was gonna talk about their personalities, but there's no point. Both of them are good people and devoid of any interesting characteristics whatsoever.

2. FLATLINE PLOT DEVELOPMENT

There was no climax. Nothing remotely exciting happens towards the end in order to justify the conclusion of a first book in a series. The only parallel I can think of in YA fantasy, where the end was just so bland, so devoid of any remotely interesting action is "Defiance" by C. J. Redwyne. Yes, it was just as boring and anti-climatic. I honestly cannot believe how anyone would decide to end a book on such a note. It's as if I'm writing an essay for a class and stop at the middle of a supporting paragraph.

3. STEREOTYPICAL VILLAIN

Sepora's father is your average villain, who is just evil for the sake of being evil and wants to rule the world. That's it. This way you gain two things at once: 1.) you make young King Tarik more agreeable because the constants comparisons Sepora makes between him and her father always work in his favour; 2.) you make your conflict pretty black and white. I think I stopped being interested in such type of conflicts when I was 15. Grey characters are the way to go, especially for villains.

4. BORROWED CONFLICTS

Most of the conflicts in the book are based on the stories of the Hebrews in Egypt - the Serubelan slaves - and the Plagues of Egypt - an illness that only affects the Theorians, just like the plague where all the firstborn Egyptian children died, whereas the Hebrew children stayed safe.

Now, there's nothing bad in retellings. However when you simply borrow a story and do very little to make it your own, then there is really no point in me wasting my time reading about something I already know.

5. POINTLESS EPISODES

Just a simple example:

Sepora’s journey at the beginning served absolutely no purpose save for convincing the reader she is extremely clueless when it comes to survival and also, not the sharpest tool in the shack. Normally, when characters in a book start a journey, it’s purpose is either to educate the reader about the world or to present the characters in a difficult situation. Now, Sepora’s journey was short word-count-wise, yet it was so boring that I was seriously thinking about skimming. Also, the role of her “captors” and the randomness of her abduction was only there because as Sepora herself notes, she wouldn’t have s
survived the desert if she was on her own. I don’t count this as a good plot device.

I honestly don't want to go into too much detail because this book just doesn't deserve it. Like so many other stories, there was potential here, but it failed to deliver. Sad, but I probably won't read the next book in this series.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,670 reviews701 followers
October 19, 2016
4.5 stars

I have loved all things Anna Banks, so even though I wasn't overly intrigued at the premise of this, I was counting on Anna's words to pull me in. And she didn't disappoint.

I loved Sepora and Tarik. They're both good people in difficult positions and it was enjoyable reading how they worked separately {and then together} to overcome obstacles. As always, Anna's banter is some of the best and I lived for the scenes of the two of them together.

I'll admit that the first third of the story really lagged. I wasn't throughly invested until about 120 pages. There is a good amount of world building and backgrounds explained. However, it is all important for the overall arc.

There were a few developments I didn't see coming and the last 50 or so pages had me going crazy. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. When I got to the ending, I almost screamed, until I realized that this isn't a stand alone like I previously believed.

Overall, it was a bit of a slow burn, but by the end of the story I was in love. I'll eagerly be awaiting book 2 and be readily prepared to offer bribery in order to get it in my greedy hands.

**Huge thanks to Feiwel and Friends for sending me the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Elle Maruska.
232 reviews89 followers
March 28, 2017
Just a note to white writers: the thin veneer of a fantasy world isn't enough to obscure the fact that you modeled your society on an extant non-white society and yet somehow everyone in your world is white.

Telling stories that aren't yours is bad. Telling these stories using only white characters is a thousand times worse.

White writers: please. Take a moment. Ask yourself if your book could possibly be harmful in any way to marginalized communities. Be honest with yourself. Listen to marginalized voices. Please. It saves everyone a lot of hurt and trauma.
Profile Image for Meli.
997 reviews181 followers
July 11, 2017
Inhalt
Prinzessin Sepora ist geflohen, denn ihr Vater will ihre Gabe, das kostbare Spektorium zu erschaffen, benutzen, um die anderen Königreiche zu unterwerfen. Das kann Sepora nicht zulassen und flieht deswegen in das feindliche Theoria, wo sie bald im Harem des jungen Königs landet.
Tariks Vater ist erst kürzlich verstorben und eine Seuche befällt sein Land. Er muss sich als König beweisen und eine Lösung finden, um Theoria zu retten. Denn es gibt nicht nur diese Krankheit, für das noch kein richtiges Gegenmittel gefunden wurde - schwere Zeiten stehen bevor und das wertvolle Spektorium wird immer knapper. Aber immerhin steht die faszinierende Sepora ihm zur Seite ...

Cover und Titel

Das Cover gefällt mir eigentlich ganz gut. Das Mädchen sieht schon so aus, wie ich mir Sepora auch vorgestellt hätte, und die goldenen Verzierungen passen zu den Bemalungen in Theoria. Der Untertitel "Geliebter Feind" passt schon, aber ich sehe ihn im cbt Verlag schon das zweite Mal (aber beim anderen Buch passte der Untertitel eigentlich auch zum Inhalt) ;)

Protagonisten
Sepora
sind viele Dinge wichtig. Ihr Land bedeutet ihr viel und sie will es nicht verraten, aber wenn sie geblieben wäre, wäre alles nur schlimmer geworden. Außerdem sind ihr Menschenleben noch viel wichtiger; sie riskiert vieles und begibt sich selbst in Gefahr, um andere zu beschützen. Gleichzeitig ist sie auch schlau, geschickt und vernünftig in ihren Vorgehensweisen, sie redet also nicht unbedacht. Sie ist entschlossen, wenn es darum geht, ihre Ziele zu erreichen und auch recht dickköpfig. Natürlich habe ich sie direkt ins Herz geschlossen!

Tarik
ist ein Lingot, das bedeutet, dass er alle Sprachen spricht und Lügen erkennen kann. Diese Gabe beherrscht er sehr gut und kann damit auch Leute gut analysieren, aber die smarte Sepora durchschaut er nicht ganz. Er ist sofort fasziniert von ihr, denn sie ist ganz anders als die anderen Frauen, die er kennt, so rebellisch und stolz, dazu schlau und gebildet. Und sehr hübsch noch dazu. Eigentlich hat er ganz andere Sorgen als hübsche Frauen, schließlich ist sein Land in Gefahr. Er hatte mein Mitgefühl, weil er direkt zu Beginn seiner Herrschaft mit so vielen Problemen konfrontiert wird. Er hat plötzlich so viele Pflichten, denen er nachzugehen hat, und einer seiner wenigen Lichtblicke ist Sepora, ihre Art amüsiert ihn nicht nur, sie bringt mehr Freude in sein Leben. Tarik ist einfach ein wenig einsam, weil er als König von allen ein wenig distanziert ist, aber Sepora ist das egal - sie behandelt ihn einfach anders. Ich kann verstehen, warum er sie mag, und all diese Dinge haben ihn mir sehr sympathisch gemacht.

Handlung und Schreibstil
Die Königreiche
sind alle sehr unterschiedlich. Ich weiß jetzt nicht, welchem Ort Serubel (Seporas Heimat) nachempfunden ist, aber Theoria ist ziemlich ägyptisch mit seinen Pyramiden, dem trockenen Land und den goldenen Körperbemalungen. Auf jeden Fall waren beide Königreiche sehr faszinierend und interessant beschrieben. Beide hatten ihre Traditionen und Eigenheiten, wobei man Theorias mit Sepora neu entdeckt, Serubels aber nur naherzählt bekommt. Ich bin auf jeden Fall schon gespannt, ob man in den nächsten Büchern mehr zu sehen bekommt!

Das Tempo war manchmal etwas langsam, es gab immer wieder politische Gespräche, neue Erkenntnisse und Verhandlungen, die nicht so spannend waren. Sie waren aber auch nicht langweilig, weil sie meist wichtig waren und zum Glück nicht in die Länge gezogen wurden. Es gab allerdings einige Wiederholungen, unter anderem durch den Perspektivenwechsel. Mir hat Tariks Perspektive aber trotzdem sehr gut gefallen - ohne sie hätte mir auch die Verbindung zu ihm gefehlt.

Fazit

"Nemesis - Geliebter Feind" hat mir gut gefallen. Ich mochte das Setting und habe auch die Protagonisten schnell ins Herz geschlossen, die Handlung war eigentlich recht spannend, nur die Magie kam mir ein bisschen zu kurz, denn es gab nur einzelne magische Elemente.
Profile Image for Lonna | FLYLēF.
156 reviews186 followers
September 30, 2016
FLYLēF Reviews

Original Post: Nemesis (Nemesis 1) at FLYLēF (www.flylef.com)

❝ IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to make you stay, yet impossible to let you go. Why is that Sepora? ❞ ~Tarik

Who would have thought? Waiting to be discovered just behind this strikingly visceral cover is a futuristic fantasy involving warring kingdoms, the Quiet Plague, and a slow-burn love story. Nemesis, by Anna Banks, is a surprisingly pleasant experience I never saw coming.

I don't generally discuss covers. This one strikes a chord with me because I’ve seen a lot of negative responses to it. This cover illustrates something very critical to the story—a story that breaks antiquated traditions to establish new rules in favor of change for an egalitarian world—making this series debut quite powerful, actually.

Set in a futuristic world with inspirations from the Egyptian culture, it felt simultaneous advanced and yet beautiful preserved. With fine-tuned prose and alternating first- and third-person perspectives, Anna Banks delivers a story that is easy to follow. The plot thickens quite naturally. However, I did feel that each new dilemma was resolved with ease. The twist in the story lies largely in the emotional turmoil between Princess Sepora of Serubel and King Tarik of Theoria—two rival kingdoms on the verge of war. Their struggles to remain steadfast in their duties to their kingdom are complicated by their unexpected feelings of love and trust.

Sepora is feisty and endearing, and Tarik is astute and charismatic. They are very likeable, with fresh dialogues that had me hanging on to their every word. As a Lingot, Tarik has the gift to discern truths from lies. The witty bantering as Sepora dances around Tarik’s questions with half-truths is quite entertaining and creates a humor that permeates the pages. Yet at the same time, their dialogue also portrays an attraction so searing their words practically burn up the pages with sexual tension. Anna Banks creates an exquisitely slow-burn romance that had my heart fluttering in all the right ways. If their chemistry is this tangible in a booked titled Nemesis, I can only imagine what it would be like in Ally (Nemesis 2). I can’t wait to find out!

{ I received this title from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you, especially to the author and publisher, for kindly giving me an opportunity to review this title. }
Profile Image for Tiffany.
722 reviews46 followers
April 25, 2016
I received an ARC @ RT in Vegas! :)

A - although the cover doesn't particularly look good in digital form, it is beautiful in person. More importantly it is relevant to the story. This is a YA fantasy book. It is not a dark gritty book about slavery of any form so put your feelings to the side.

B - The title & trope is a little misleading. I see a lot of people listing this will be the reason they don't read this. Just give it a chance.....

C - Anna Banks did an amazing job creating an intricate world with 5 unique kingdoms. My favorite part was Princess Sepora herself. She was unbelievably strong in every action, thought, and feeling. It was so refreshing to read a YA novel where the main character didn't waffle over everything.

Think: How To Train Your Dragon+Egyptian Mythology+The Croods+Scifi special on Mermaids existence+Lord of the Rings+The Marriage Bargain.

Not what you were expecting? Well stop putting this poor woman on blast when you don't know what you are talking about.
Profile Image for Jasmina.
237 reviews93 followers
October 6, 2016
To be fair, Nemesis isn't as great as the Syrena trilogy or Joyride, but it is very enjoyable despite the plot being basic (you've most certainly read the same thing 4727 times before). The world building was good, characters were good, and although it was written nicely, the beginning was very tiring to read and there was a lot of telling and not much actually happening.
--
15/7-16
Can't believe I'm almost done waiting. It's been two years.


1/9-14
So the book is about a Serubelan Princess named Sepora and Tarik, a Theorian prince. I LOVE the name Tarik!

18/8-14
I can't wait that long
Profile Image for Iris.
543 reviews252 followers
August 31, 2020
This was for the most part a really good book.

The world was amazing! And it was super well developed, and the descriptions were amazing! Seriously, I LOVED this world! The political side of things was fascinating, the cultural side was so interesting, the magic was wonderful, the serpens (cool dragonlike things) were awesome, and the landscape was so vividly described. This was one of the rare books in which I felt I could see the world it took place in.

The plot was super interesting too, and I loved it. The political tension was amazing, and I really enjoyed that aspect of it. Plus the whole thing about the plague, and the Spectorium was fascinating too!

The characters were great too... most of the time. Sepora took some warming up to, but she grew on me. She was naive. She was a bit of an idiot. She was sort of spoiled. But she also had this strength to her. She was super feisty (which was great, even if it DID lead to some idiotic actions). She was kind and caring (which also lead to some idiotic actions, but still made me like her a lot).

Tarik was... I really liked Tarik... in all but one scene. For the most part, Tarik was a really great character. I really liked him, especially in scenes like when he was playing with the kids in town. He was SO nice. Except for ONE scene, which was super problematic, and also completely disregarded everything we knew about his character. But in this one scene, he said to Sepora how he was never letting her go. Which is like, super creepy and possessive, and problematic. It was really not cool, and certainly not romantic. I also really felt like it wasn't in character... ...Like, he's NOT actually possessive of her, but that one scene really bothered me, and is the reason this doesn't get a full four stars.

Still though, I loved so many aspects of this book, and I'll definitely be continuing with the series.
Profile Image for Ezgi Tülü.
420 reviews1,114 followers
August 7, 2017
Bu yorum aynı zamanda Athena'nın Güncesi'nde de paylaşılmıştır.

Nemesis hakkında ne düşüneceğimi bir türlü bilemiyorum. Bir yanda kitabın sevmediğim yanları, diğer yanda sevdiğim... İşin komik yanı, biri diğerinden baskın çıkmıyor, çıkamıyor. Biraz kafamı toplamak ve kitabı, onun hakkını vererek puanlamak için de en iyi yol olarak bir yorum yazmayı gördüm. Sonuçta sevdiğim ve sevmediğim yanları hakkında konuşursam, belki hangisinin daha önde olduğunu anlayabilirim ya da biri öne çıkabilir. (?)

Şöyle ki, Nemesis dünyanın en sıkıcı kitaplarından biri olarak başlıyor: Hiç bilmediğimiz bir dünyaya, hakkında hiçbir şey bilmediğimiz bir karakterin gözünden bakıyoruz ve aslında, bu karakter bize bilmediğimiz şeyleri anlatmak konusunda bayağı hevesli duruyor. Tek sorun, anlattığı şeyler ilgimizi çekmiyor. A konusundan bahsediyor sayfalarca ama biz A’dan değil, B’den değil, C’den detaylar duymak istiyoruz.

Bunun İngilizce karşılığı “info dump” ama Türkçe karşılığı var mı, varsa ne, bilmiyorum. “Info dump” durumu, yazar okuyucuya birçok bilgiyi arka arkaya aktarmaya kalktığında oluyor. Satırlarca, paragraflarca bilgi, ama bunlar kurguya ve olay örgüsüne genelde işlenmemiş oluyor. Bunun bir örneği (her ne kadar arkadaşımı zan altında bırakmak istemesem de) Özge’nin Hırsız kitabının ilk birkaç bölümünde var.

Nemesis ne yazık ki bu hastalıktan muzdarip. İlk 7-8 bölüm boyunca kafamı nerelere vursam bilemedim çünkü hem Sepora’nın hem de Tarik’in bölümlerinde, içinde yaşadıkları dünyayla ve “beş krallıkla” ilgili, o sıralarda HİÇ merak etmediğim bir sürü bilgiye maruz kaldım. Hayır işin kötü yanı, tam bir “info dump” durumuydu.

Örnek vermek gerekirse (Türkçe’ye çevirmediğim için kusura bakmayın):
“Theoria. I’ve been wanderin through the Tenantless thinking of my new home, trying to imagin all the things Aldon, my tutor, tried to instill in me during our history lessons. It goes something like this, I think:

Untold ages ago, the Serubelan king at the time and his highest councillor had a falling out. The councillor (whose name survived generation after generation of being written in the copyist’s scrolls, only to elude my own limited memory at the moment) broke away from his king and led nearly one third of the Serubelan people beyond ...”

Bu durum öyle paragraflarca sürüp gidiyor. İtiraf edeyim, bazı kısımları atladım ve bu bilgileri okumamış olmam bana kitabın geri kalanında hiç sorun çıkartmadı. Hani bunları bilelim, bunlar güzel şeyler, dünya yaratımı (worldbuilding) dediğimiz şeyin kilit bir parçası, ama daha kızı tanımıyoruz; kız nedir necidir, derdi nedir bilmiyoruz, bana gelmiş beş krallığın tarihini anlatıyor. İlgilenmiyorum ki ben onunla. Sonra anlat, okurum. Dakika bir gol bir, daha ilk sayfadan bi dur yani.

Ha benzer bir durum da mesela başka bir olayda var. Şimdi kitapta Sepora’nın özel bir yeteneği var, o da çok değerli bir maden olan ve adı “s” ile başlayan (devamını hatırlayamadığım) bir metali, “Forge” edebilmesi. Bu en başta “Forging” olarak geçiyor ve okuyucu bunun ne olduğunu 3 ya da 4. bölümlere kadar öğrenemiyor. Okurken içten içe “Ben mi kıtım yoksa kitap mı açıklamıyor?” diye düşündüm birçok yerde, o ilk bölümlerde özellikle.

Neyse. Kızımız ne zaman Tarik’la tanışıyor, o zaman işler ilginçleşiyor. (Bu arada karakterin adının Tarık’a bu kadar yakın olması ikidir komiğime gidiyor. Ya da Sepora’nın adının makyaj markası Sephora’ya bu kadar benzemesi. Dünyada isim mi kalmadı?) Neyse ki o noktada yazar bu bilgi patlamalarına ara veriyor. Kitabında “olaylar” olması gerektiğini hatırlamış olacak ki kitapta en azından bir şeyler olmaya başlıyor.

Bu noktadan sonrası kesinlikle daha çekilebilir. Hatta büyük bir kısmını çok keyifle ve merakla okuduğumu söyleyebilirim. Yazarın yarattığı bazı şeyler cidden hoşuma gitti: Serpen isimli canlılar (şu ana kadar iki türünü gördük, Seer ve Defender), canlı metaller (eminim başka kitaplarda da vardır ama olsun), aklımda bir türlü canlandıramadığım ama ismi ve tavırları nedeniyle bana pirhanaları anımsatan Parani’ler, vs. vs.

Sepora ve Tarik’in konuşmalarını ve genel olarak iletişimlerini okumak gerçekten çok keyifliydi. Kitabın keyif aldığım büyük bir bölümü genel olarak Tarik ve Sepora sahnelerinden oluşuyordu zaten, orası ayrı.

Bir karakter olarak Sepora’yı bir türlü çözemedim. Gerçekten çözemedim. Yani bir yanda “insanlar ölmesin” “ben gidersem savaş olmaz” “savaşı engelleyelim” modunda ama öteki yanda Tarik’in insanları iyileştirmek için ihtiyacı olan bir şeyi ona vermiyor. Kaldı ki Tarik’in sarayında geçirdiği zamanda kendi “sırlarının” o kadar büyük bir bölümünü ifşaladı ki, bu bir tane sırrı neden sakladı, insan merak ediyor.

(Ben size söyleyeyim: Sepora o sırrı saklamasaydı bu kitapta hiçbir aksiyon olmazdı da ondan. Ki bence bu hiç doğru değil, ama neyse.)

Anlayacağınız Sepora’nın yaşadığı içsel “çatışma”yı pek samimi bulmadım. Yazarın aksiyon ve heyecan yaratmak için kullandığı bir araçmış gibi geldi çoğu zaman. Özellikle de Sepora’nın Tarik’in sarayındaki yeri düşünülürse, aralarındaki “statü” farkı tamamen bundan ibaretti. Gerçi çoğu zaman aralarında statü farkı olduğunu anlayamazdınız çünkü Sepora hiç babasının sarayını terk etmemiş gibiydi, Tarik için de hava hoş zaten. (Sinirlendim yine.)

Tarik da biraz salak. Ama o konuya girmek istemiyorum. Girersem çıkamam. Gerek yok.

Kitabın sonlarına doğru bir bölüm vardı, aklım hala almıyor nasıl bir bölüm. Büyük bir spoiler olacağı için hangi bölüm olduğunu söylemeyeceğim ama bir sahneden ötekine bu kadar keskin bir dönüş görmedim ben hayatımda. Bir an elimizde bir A durumu var, sonra bakmışız durum tepetaklak olmuş resmen. Ama arası yok. Yazar o sahneleri/günleri/durumları kitaba koymanın gerekli olduğunu düşünmemiş herhalde. Oraları yazmamış çünkü. Resmen kültür şoku yaşadım.

Kültür şoku demişken, kitabın sonu da neydi öyle?! Abartmıyorum. Kitabın son cümlesini okudum, devamını okumak için sayfayı çevirdim, sayfanın başında kocaman Acknowledgements yazıyordu. “Acaba sayfa mı atladım?” diye geri döndüm, okuduğum son birkaç paragrafı iyice anlamak için yeniden okudum, sayfayı tekrardan çevirdim, yine karşımda Acknowledgements yazısını buldum.

BİR KİTAP BÖYLE Mİ BİTİRİLİR BE KADIN. Bölüm sonu gibi kitap sonu yazmışsınız, tebrikler cidden.

İşin en üzücü kısmı da ben Anna Banks’in “The Syrena Legacy” serisini çok sevmiştim, üç kitabı da birkaç gün içerisinde resmen yemek yer ya da su içer gibi okuyup btirmiştim. Nemesis’in tanıtımını ilk okuduğumda içimde kötü bir his vardı, kitabı sevmeyeceğime dair. O hisi dinlemeliymişim. Bu arada yorumun en başında “İşin komik yanı, biri diğerinden baskın çıkmıyor, çıkamıyor,” demiştim ya. Şu an yorumun son satırlarını yazarken bu sözü geri alıyorum ve kitaba verdiğim puanı da düşürüyorum. En başta 3 yıldız vermiştim ama bütün bunları sıraladıktan sonra, puanımı 2’ye düşürmeye karar verdim.

Not: Kitaptaki hiçbir şey ve hiç kimsenin adını yazamıyor oluşum da harika bence. Tarik, Sepora ve Cy hariç karakterlerin isimlerini hatırlamıyorum bile. #OhWell

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Profile Image for Minni Mouse.
595 reviews949 followers
March 5, 2017
I read wavering critiques for this book...but I highly enjoyed it and devoured it in one sitting! It had both the patient pacing and constantly-switching-chapter-points-of-view like The Wrath & the Dawn as well as the detached narrative feel of The Winner's Curse, both of which were among my favorite books. Combine that with an enemies-turned-lovers-hide-your-royal-identity storyline, it's easy to see why Nemesis clicked so well with me.

THE GOOD
1) The pacing of the story was refreshingly patient. The first quarter of the book alternated between Sepora's and Tarik's points of view, which meant we had plenty of time to learn their purposes and who they are independent of each other. (Doesn't it seem sometimes that the love interests only operate together? How freeing to read the main characters first as standalones!)

2) The characters might be teenagers but they're written to think and act more maturely than their age. For me, this worked well to the credibility of the fantasy ancient Egyptian world building since many of the ancient rulers were, indeed, younger than modern world rulers.

The secondary character of Cy in particular being thirteen and yet a Master of his temple worried me with the pipsqueaking voice I feared he'd be given, but he's written to have wisdom and patience far beyond his years.

Sepora wraps her arms around herself, staring down at the child half-alive in the cot.

At this, Cy offers her a kind smile, one full of more wisdom than should be possible at thirteen years old. “Bravery comes in all forms, mistress. You are very brave in your own right, jumping from the Half Bridge as you did. But sometimes facing the death of a child makes us all cowards. And perhaps it should.”

With that, Cy excuses himself.


3) Imaginative world-building. While Nemesis does borrow familiar tropes from the young adult realm -- e.g., runaway princess with uniquely special powers, hiding her identity from the enemy kingdom and its royals, harems, forbidden love, arranged marriage -- I thought the author tried hard to build a complex story with distinct and unique plot elements. While the execution fell short, there was still clear effort to build credible secondary/third characters (e.g., Chut, Rolan, Anku and Cara, Rashidi), new creatures (e.g., different types of Serpens, Parani), weaponry (e.g., spectorium, cratorium, nefarite), and the specials powers of Forgers and Lingots.

4) The slow burn romance was sweet.

5) Book chemistry.

THE BAD
1) ...until the slow-burn romance became insta-love, haha. I swear, one chapter we were giving off delicious attraction and jealousy vibes and the next we were acknowledging that the two characters were in love with one another.

2) The world-building tries hard but is not perfect. Oftentimes there are random characters or plotlines that seem to be given extra care and development...only for it to end up not being pivotal to the story. Examples include introducing Sed of the Parani and the problem of the shortage of nefarite; the group of women in the harem and the two characters we briefly meet there; Chut and Rolan; Rashidi and his journey to secure a marriage alliance.

There are also multiple potential main storylines that grapple together: the poverty of the freed-slaves in the Base Quarter; the political unrest in Theoria, particularly among the wealthy; hints of war between Serubel and Theoria; the people dying of the Quiet Plague and Cy finding a cure; Sepora escaping Serubel and hiding her royal identity while in enemy lands; Sepora needing to somehow hide her Forger ability in a land that is wasting from lack of sectorium; Sepora and Tarik falling for one another.

3) The ending was disappointing. It felt like the characters were too agreeable with how things played out whereas their thought processes and actions up to that point indicated they would have behaved much differently.

4) The cover.

THE VERDICT
Some people accused this book of white-washing and perpetuating socioeconomic/racial stereotypes. While I respect if you arrived at that same interpretation, I disagree and hope to raise an alternative.

Serubel and Theoria are two of the Five Kingdoms with Theoria being a fantasy, fictionalized allude to ancient Egypt; each kingdoms have distinct cultural and topographical differences. Differences. In language, climate, culture, and creatures. Different does not always equate to superior, and this is something I feel so passionately about that I'm compelled to offer a defense of this book.

Things We Know About Serubel:
• The original kingdom before the split into five kingdoms
• Topography: aesthetic gardens, greenery, water; temperate climate
• Creatures: varying species of Serpen
• Attire: modest and conservative
• People: fair skin
• Magical ability: Forgers can create spectorium
• Known for: original and sole producers of spectorium; wealthy
• Military strength: advantage of spectorium and nefarite
• Position on harems: against
• Position on slavery and servitude: against

Things We Know About Theoria:
• The first kingdom to form after the split from Serubel
• Topography: dry, arid climate with expansive desert land
• Creatures: the Parani
• Attire: skimpier clothing due to the hot weather
• People: dark hair, dark skinned; proud (borderline arrogant?)
• Magical ability: Lingots can distinguish between a truth and a lie
• Known for: theologians; advanced industrial and medical technology; pyramids; religious practices
• Military strength: surprisingly capable; defeated Serubel's attempt to reclaim them
• Position on harems: pro
• Position on slavery and servitude: pro

Race and slavery simply aren't the main themes being explored in this book, and it pulls at me when we decree controversy that might not truly be there to the same extent we cry it...especially in today's world where cultural, racial, and political sensitivity is hyper-charged to the point of explosive controversy at the drop of a hat.

Anyway. That was my lengthy opinion. And now I'm done. And off to start Carve the Mark ...since why not throw more controversial books at me?
Profile Image for Ashley Owens.
399 reviews68 followers
December 13, 2016
3 / 5 stars. I was provided with an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say firstly that this cover is fugly.

Honestly all in all this had a predictable plot, and wasn’t memorable. I read it a month ago and I have already forgotten parts of the plot and some characters’ names. It was hard to get into it because it started out very slow, and while it did eventually pick up, it never really picked up enough for me to truly 100% feel like reading it. I think it took me like 3 weeks total to read this guy. That’s too long. I just kept putting it down and didn’t have a vested interest in the story or characters. But the idea of the story was intriguing for sure - it’s why I wanted to read it in the first place. Such a cool story concept! While there while was no love triangle (yay) the romance in the story just was not necessary… like why couldn’t the main two characters just have been best friends? They still could have wanted to go to extremes for one another and respected each other and made each other happy without the love! There scenes were pleasant enough though.

Speaking of characters… Sepora + Tarik (is that even his name? I seriously can’t remember, guys!) = YAWN. BIG YAWN. The main characters aren’t that interesting… and I feel bad saying that because I’m pretty sure the author wrote them in a way that was supposed to make them seem in depth and make you care about them… but I just didn’t. It’s probably something wrong with me. And for me there wasn’t even a side character who was like the saving grace character-wise, the one who was interesting and I wish I saw more of in the book. Nope… notta one. Of the 2 MCs, I guess I would say that I liked Tarik more. He was a sweetheart, a charmer, and a good ruler with a good head on his shoulders. They all were good people (well except Sepora’s father), I just wish they were deeper so I could be more interested in them. I will say that I did like that Sepora was honestly and truly an unconventional beauty - none of this “oh she was so different from other girls and this was edgy so I liked it” crap found so freaking often in ya contemporaries. She truly was different - she was a slightly bigger girl and had incredibly out of the ordinary colored eyes and skin tone.

The world building was verrrrry intricate. I am really impressed with the imagination of Anna Banks. I really enjoyed the way each of the 5 kingdoms was different from one another, and that individuals could have abilities. And the fact that the author had named all of her own creatures and the elements found in this universe was super cool. While the writing didn’t take me away, the setting definitely did sweep me out of the real world temporarily.

And okay yes I did earlier say that the plot was predictable… but HOLY NON-ENDING ENDING, BATMAN! I was like “that’s not it… that can’t be it… did this book seriously just end?? Now?? Like that??” It made me absolutely HAVE to read the next book when it comes out, actually.

Blah… despite all of the negative things I just now realized a slightly rambled about before, I didn’t dislike this book. It was a fine book, I just think it takes a lot to wow my or capture me in YA fantasy now. But I honestly would recommend it - in particular if you like The Remnant Chronicles, The Defiance trilogy, and Jodi Meadows.
Profile Image for San.
12 reviews
May 23, 2016
Let's get some things straight. One, don't judge a book by its cover, all these people giving Nemesis a low rating or refusing to read it because they don't like the cover. Get over it. It's not blackface. Sepora looks like this, it's part of her identity, a metallic skin tone. Two, there is no love triangle, so don't let the mere fear of there being one dissuade you from reading. Three, maybe the tagline is cheesy (she didn't expect to fall in love with her nemesis) but the story itself is far from cheesy. Four, in a long line of DNFs and okay books, this was a splendid breath of fresh air.

With that being said, Banks had me entangled in the world of Nemesis from the first sentence. Literally. I never say that. I'm saying it now. Her writing in this book is far different from what I read in the Syrena series and in Joyride. This is a whole other level. It's sweeping, romantic, epic, cinematic, and I was instantly absorbed in the world. The world-building, the terms, the names, it's amazing. Not too complex but enough to make you focus and think.

This is a book that I would push everything aside to read asap. I don't feel that way about 99% of books. Nemesis blew me away, and I can't wait to get the hard cover copy in my hands.
Profile Image for Aslee.
185 reviews12 followers
February 15, 2017
I didn't see this for what it was until it got to the plague part:

It's a blatant whitewashing of Jewish slavery at the hands of Egypt. You've probably heard about it in history class or, even more likely if you're Christian, in Sunday School. If you're Jewish, it's a very important aspect of your religion and heritage-- So, you know, it's not exactly a lesser known historical fact.

There was musical cartoon, for fucks' sake.

....

Is Sepora supposed to be Moses?

Anyway, this is trash. It's racist trash, actually, and I hate it. Even if you ignore the entire "ripped straight from a truly horrific historical event" thing, it does that weird thing that YA books always do, where it's like "how dare these oppressed people commit violence to free themselves?!" which is... it's just so tiring and ignores the real world implications of what they're saying.

This book is everything I hate in the YA genre.
Profile Image for Alessandra Crivelli.
221 reviews67 followers
December 12, 2016
**YOU CAN READ THE ENTIRE REVIEW ON THE BLOG HERE**

Nemesis is a fantasy that I’ve been forced to read because it went on my Fairyloot box. Thank you, Anissa for doing this.
In the last years, I’m not really into fantasy. I’m more a contemporary reader and honestly, I wasn’t thrilled after reading the plot of this book. It was pretty confusing to me and I remain in that states while I was reading the first chapters but I’m so glad I didn’t put it down.
Profile Image for Jaime (Two Chicks on Books).
825 reviews401 followers
May 29, 2016
I quite enjoyed this one! It's not full of the humor I expect from Anna's books but it's rife with steamy romantic tension. I also loved the world building and the magic! A pretty damned good fantasy if I say so myself. I can't wait for book 2!
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