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All of Us Villains #1

All of Us Villains

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The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins.

Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death.

The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world―one thought long depleted.

But this year a scandalous tell-all book has exposed the tournament and thrust the seven new champions into the worldwide spotlight. The book also granted them valuable information previous champions never had―insight into the other families’ strategies, secrets, and weaknesses. And most important, it gave them a choice: accept their fate or rewrite their legacy.

Either way, this is a story that must be penned in blood.

400 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 9, 2021

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About the author

Amanda Foody

26 books2,507 followers
Amanda Foody is the New York Times and indie bestselling author of All of Us Villains, the Wilderlore series, the Shadow Game series, and more. Her work has appeared in publications including Buzzfeed, Popsugar, Culturess, and Amazon selected All of Us Villains as the Best Young Adult Book of 2021. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lives in Boston, MA with her partner and their orange tabby, Jelly Bean. When not writing, she unironically loves to cook.

All of Our Demise, the sequel to All of Us Villains, will release on August 30, 2022. The third book in the Wilderlore series, The Ever Storms, will follow on February 7, 2023.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,084 reviews
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,039 reviews47.5k followers
May 22, 2022
atmosphere? 10/10

everything else.. eh? don't get me wrong this was a really fun read but i was expecting more twists and more ~fun time~ killings. reluctant murder is not as fun when the premise of the book is a magical murder-y hunger games. and the title implies villainy.

i think this really could have popped the fuck off if it were an adult story. like give me TRUE violence and stakes and grey morality please.

more thoughts in my hyped fantasy reading vlog
Profile Image for Yun.
508 reviews19k followers
January 3, 2023
High magick fell from the stars, and when we found it, we did what humans always do. We decided it was ours to claim.
It's been so long since I've felt the magnetic pull of YA fantasy, I wondered if I'd outgrown the genre altogether. But here is definitive proof to the contrary. All this time, I'd just been waiting for a captivating tale to reel me in and All of Us Villains does just that.

In a world greedy for high magick, seven families in Ilvernath are bound to a powerful secret. During the Blood Moon, each family must offer a champion to fight to the death, with the winner gaining control over the highly sought-after resource. And so for the current seven champions, thus begins the battle of their lives. Who will emerge victorious, when victory carries such a high cost?

This story grabbed me from the very first moment. Even though it uses a trope previously done before, there's enough newness in here that it still feels fresh. The magical system is fun, the unfolding of the tournament fascinating, and the characters compelling. Even when they are forced to do morally gray things, you can't help but cheer for them. When you put it all together, it makes for a riveting read, one I couldn't look away from.

Usually with fantasies, the narrative can get bogged down with the worldbuilding, which sucks a lot of the momentum out of it. But not here. I thought the worldbuilding was seamlessly integrated into the tale. We find out little by little, as it becomes necessary, without any infodumping whatsoever. It allowed the story to really shine, just the way I prefer.

It does take a little bit to get to the core of the narrative, which is the tournament. Of the seven champions, we follow four of them, and this back and forth introduction of each takes a little while to get through. That isn't to say the beginning is slow, but rather more character-driven. Then once we get to the tournament, it's nonstop action and surprises from there on out.

This was such a fun, escapist read and it totally surpassed my expectations. I cannot wait to jump into the sequel and see what it has in store for me.

My heartfelt thanks for the copy that was provided for my honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,505 reviews30.9k followers
June 27, 2021
‘the hunger games’ with magic, you say? im sold.

this is the kind of story that has something for everyone - a really unique magic system, interesting characters who have depth and amazing development, a high-stakes plot with a gruesome history, and really easy to binge-read writing/storytelling.

for me, i found the characters to be the highlight of the novel. especially alistair and gavin. i personally have a thing for tortured souls, so i couldnt help but love them.

my only critique would be that, with a title like ‘all of us villains,’ i wanted more villainy. the synopsis makes this sound like ‘the hunger games,’ but all of the participants are careers with magic. so i was expecting really ruthless, bloodthirsty, cruel antiheroes. but they arent. theres maybe one character whos morally grey, at best. i was really disappointed to see that they were just a bunch of kids putting on a front for their families. theyre more martyrs than the true, dark villains i was hoping for.

but luckily things do change right at the end. it starts to get really good in terms of deception and mistrust, so i have a feeling the next book will be more villainous. cant wait!

thank you so much macmillan-tor/forge for the ARC!!

4 stars
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,125 reviews39.2k followers
June 20, 2022
Yes! Hell yeah! Million times yes for GOT style bloodier version of Hunger Games meets Maze Runner with merciless violence and darkness with Tarantino meets V. E. Schwab vibes and let’s put a little Inheritance Games resemblances into the equation...voila! This book is too delicious and too terrifying to absorb in one bite or consume in one sit!

World building centered on power of MagicK is amazing! Seven families send one of their selected member to a suicide mission: a vicious blood sucking competition for fighting to the death every twenty years. The victor would award their family exclusive claim over Ilvernarth’s high magick, a claim that expired upon the beginning of next cycle, when the tournament began anew. Historically Lowe family dominated: for every three tournaments, they won two.

Alistair is the one who will represent the Lowe family, who is one of the narrators of the story, a true cold blooded, calculated villain who already got fooled by his rival Isobel at the bar before the entire madness had a start!

Isobel,Gavin and Briony are other voices telling their own complex, bleak, blood thirsty adventures. Their different family histories, quiet opposite approaches to the competition, their motives, the pressure they carry to learn the best hunter for not being a miserable victim were attention worthy, picking your entire interest!

The character driven story telling and so many jaw dropping twists, too many OMG, WTH moments and screams later you find yourself nailed to your couch! No freaking way! You cannot put it down!

Overall: exciting, wild, gory, head spinning, entertaining and highly disturbing but also recommended novel for the genre fans!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan- Tor/ Forge for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,468 reviews9,345 followers
November 18, 2022
Fantastic reread. I'm so happy I refreshed my memory prior to picking up the sequel, which I will be starting this week.

There were a lot of details regarding the traits and histories of the seven families that I had forgotten. I'm super excited to continue on after this KILLER ending!!



Earlier:

It's time for my reread of All of Us Villains prior to picking up the second book, All of Our Demise, which releases later this month on August 30th.



I'm so excited to revisit this Dark Fantasy world, which I previously described as the love child of Draco Malfoy and Katniss Everdeen!!! Let's do this!

Original:

Once every generation, in the city of Ilvernath, seven families must choose a champion who will represent them in a tournament where the contestants fight to the death.



The prize is an inexhaustible supply of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world. The winner gains control over that magick for their family until the next tournament.

Obviously, this is extremely important and puts a whole load of pressure onto the teenage contestants.



With this particular tournament, thanks to a recently released tell-all book, the contestants are thrust into the spotlight like never before.

Will the contestants be able to use this difference to their advantage, or will it distract them to the point of death? Can anything ever change the cycle of the Tournament? Does their world have to be this way?



All of Us Villains is basically The Hunger Games if it were fought exclusively by members of Slytherin House.

Well, Slytherins and maybe one Gryffindor.



If you read this statement and you're thinking, why would I want to read that? I've read those stories. I want something new. I will just stress, this is something new!

Even though it channels those vibes. Cue up an image of Knockturn Alley at night in the midst of a thunderstorm, this is its own thing.



I loved how the authors formatted this, with the Reader finding out who the champion of each house would be along with the rest of the citizens of Ilvernath.

Following some of the contestants perspectives, we get to know each one of them and the challenges they face in pursuit of their goals. There's plotting, scheming, strategizing and like a good season of Survivor, a lot of alliances.



The writing in this story is just beautiful. It's exceptionally detailed, lush and dramatic.

I could definitely feel both Foody and Herman within these pages; the darkness, monsters, violence, despair, but also highly developed and likable characters, even in all their antihero-ness.



Honestly, these two authors working together is everything I have ever wanted. I feel like they have created something truly memorable here.

You may be wondering after all of my gushing, why I only gave this 4-stars, as opposed to 5. For me, I don't think I ever truly understood the magic system.

I am not sure if it is because I was so distracted by the characters themselves, that perhaps I missed out on some details, but I feel like there was something missing.



With this being said, I still really enjoyed this story and would love to read it again actually. Most likely, before the next book is released, I will do so.

Basically, this book is the love child of Draco Malfoy and Katniss Everdeen. It's amazing and feels like a dark fantasy reader's dreams come true. Yep, that's right.



Thank you so much to the publishers, Tor Teen and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review.

This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint. I cannot wait for more collaborative efforts from these authors!!!

Profile Image for Sofia.
267 reviews6,161 followers
February 1, 2022
When the Blood Veil falls in the shrouded village of Ilvernath, six champions must fall with it. Only one will be left standing at the end of the deadly tournament. The last champion’s prize is the only high magick in the world, a coveted resource worth more to the seven champions’ families than the lives of their children. From youth, these champions are groomed for their bloody future with the vision of who they will be, who they should be—not who they are.

Names are carved into cracked stone, ancient Relics are unearthed, spellstones glow with raw magick. Alliances flicker, loyalty wavers—just like the villainy that lurks behind each champion’s eyes.

“There are no friends here. Only people you kill now, and people you kill later.”



Alistair Lowe was born to be a villain. His family has dominated the tournament for as long as the residents of Ilvernath can remember. Ruthless and cunning, they favor strategy over paltry things like trust or love. They feed him with stories of monsters that destroy and wreck and ruin. Just like him. Alistair thinks he’s the villain, but he’s just a soft, scared boy. He has a very tortured past that he has to work through. The more I learn about him, the more I love him. He has a good heart, but he was corrupted as a child. He needs a hug and someone who doesn’t want to stab him.

The Lowes did not tell their children monster stories so that they could slay them.
The Lowes told them so their children would become monsters themselves.



Isobel Macaslan is not who she seems to be. Thrust into the public eye prematurely, she hides a deep secret behind a mask of confidence: she doesn’t want to be her family’s champion. She doesn’t want to choose between losing her future and killing her friends, but as the press stalks her every move and her heart hovers between two worlds, she must make a decision before someone else makes it for her. She is clever, resourceful, and willing to be manipulative. She knows what she has to do. She doesn’t like it, but she does it anyway.

It wasn’t easy to feign confidence when she still teetered on the edge of a breakdown.



Briony Thorburn is the perfect champion. Talented, strong, intelligent—she was made for this, and she is desperate to prove herself. But when something goes terribly wrong right before the Tournament, she makes an anguished decision that could unravel everything. She is also my least favorite character. She’s self-righteous and has a hero complex, but is actually ignorant and oblivious. She ends up hurting more people than she helps and excuses her actions with flimsy reasons.

“You don’t care who gets in your way, or what happens to them if they do. No one in here is a hero—least of all you.



Gavin Grieve has nothing left to lose. Everyone knows Grieves never win. So he bets on himself, on his very life force. His power is doubled, his odds of winning seem almost astronomical… But at what cost? Gavin made many foolish decisions, so I didn’t like him, but he was still fascinating. He will do anything for power.

He was capable of greatness. But only he could see it.



All of Us Villains sent chills down my spine. I loved watching the characters’ ideals crumble when they were confronted with moral dilemmas. The different POVs were intriguing. The atmosphere was perfect. My expectations were high, but I was still blown away. That was amazing.


5 stars
Profile Image for Lucie V..
997 reviews1,626 followers
September 4, 2022
I received a SAMPLER of this book via NetGalley (thank you Macmillan-Tor/Forge). All thoughts and opinions are my own.
**This is a review is for the whole book, not just the sampler**

✅ Morally grey characters
✅ Magic and curses
✅ Ruthless and cruel families
✅ Tournament to death
✅ Betrayals and shifting alliances
✅🆗 World-building
🆗 Kinda hate-to-love?
❗️❗️ Trigger warnings: murder, violence, and mentions of suicide

“Every twenty years, we send seven teenagers into a massacre and reward the one who comes out with the most blood on their hands”


In Ilvernath, seven families have been fighting to control the high magick for centuries. They are all more rotten and despicable than one another, fighting to gain power. Every twenty years or so, during the Blood Moon, each of the seven families sends a champion to compete in a tournament to the death that can last up to three months. The victor’s family wins exclusive access to Ilvernath’s high magick supply until the next tournament, meaning the champions are competing for their life, but also for the future of their family.

I would have liked to know a little more about the world-building. It seems to be an urban-fantasy setting since there are modern schools, paparazzi, and the use of technology such as cameras and phones, but the places named in the book are fictive. There is mention of a government, but we don’t know much about the way the country/land is governed, and what power the government holds over Ilvernath and the magick. It does not impact the story so far, but they’re little pieces of extra information that would have been interesting to know and would have helped me build a more complete picture of Ilvernath.

Monsters couldn’t harm you if you were a monster, too.


There is definitely a Hunger Games vibe to this book with the whole “champions having to kill each other in a tournament”, but it's between 7 champions instead of 24 tributes, and there is honor and pride associated with the title of champion, instead of just bad luck and doom. The selection process is also a little more complex in this book. Instead of being picked at random, the champions are chosen by their families, and you can see that while some of them want and need this opportunity to show off and bring power to their family, having been raised with this single goal in mind, others are just forced into the role by their family and would like nothing more than to have an escape that wouldn’t mean abandoning their family and being shunned by them.

A machine. Briony had never thought about the tournament that way before—like each family was combined in seven interlocking mechanisms, twining together to play out the same story generation after generation.


The first third of the book is all about getting a hang of the working of the tournament and magic system and getting to know the champions, but after that, it's a whole lot of magical attacks, shifting alliances, and betrayals. It just doesn’t stop. As soon as an alliance is formed, there are already plans to betray the others or to ally with someone else, and even with the 4 characters we were following more closely, we had no idea of what they would decide to do when faced with a threat or an opportunity to further advance in the tournament. Because while they are all wary of being forced to kill others, they also want to survive and everyone will die if there is not a clear victor at the end of the three months period, so just waiting until the end and doing nothing is not an option either.

The Lowe family had always been the undisputed villains of their town’s ancient, bloodstained story, and no one understood that better than the Lowe brothers.


Alistair Lowe
Isobel Macaslan
Briony Thorburn
Gavin Grieves
Elionor Payne
Carbry Darrow
Finley Blair

Each chapter is told from a different point of view, allowing us to get inside some champions’ heads, and understand a little better the dynamics between the seven families, and their goals too. The chapters follow Alistair, Isobel, Gavin, and Briony and they are different from one another, yet they all share some common traits, including being ruthless, driven, and willing to do anything to win. Their families are also obviously toxic, being willing, and even proud, to send their children into a magical fight to the death, all because it’s what they always did in the past, and it’s a matter of pride and power. The Lowe family ranks especially high in the “psycho-toxic” category.

There are no friends here. Only people you kill now, and people you kill later.


Alistair is wicked and vicious, yet he would do anything for his brother and wants his family to be proud of him and to love him. He has a very dark reputation of being cruel, vicious, and ruthless, but we can see so clearly that he only wants quiet and peace, and to be able to have someone who likes him for who he is rather than what he represents for his family. My heart broke for him on multiple occasions while reading this book, and I am happy that while we saw a softer and more vulnerable side of him, he also kept this vicious strike and we can see it clearly in the last part of the book. Even though he seemed more human than he did at the beginning of the book, he remains a very dangerous champion that could easily kill many of his opponents.

Isobel is her family’s champion because she is the strongest caster and spell maker, but she never wanted to be part of the tournament and is stuck between her loyalty to her family, and her desire to flee and forget everything about the Blood Moon. I thought I knew her, but she really surprised me as the story progressed, and I discovered a ruthless side of her near the end that I was not expecting, but I love it when characters surprise me so I am not complaining at all.

Gavin comes from the weakest family, the one everyone makes fun of, the one that never ever won a tournament, and he is determined to prove to everyone that the Grieves family is worth something and that he can be a killer too in order to stay alive and to show the world that all Grieves are not quitters with no hope of accomplishing anything. I was surprised by him, and I think that he will continue to surprise me in the next book.

This tournament wasn’t a place for heroes. It never had been. All the grand deeds her family had celebrated had been bloodshed just like this. And they could call it what they wanted, but Briony knew what they really were.
Villains. All of them.


Finally, there is Briony, born and bred to be a champion, she couldn’t wait to prove to everyone her worth and to be remembered as a strong and mighty champion. I think she has a hero complex, she always wants to be seen as a hero and a savior, and she doesn’t take the time to think about how it impacts others around her. Briony’s character annoyed me so much at first! Not because she is badly written, but because of her personality. She wants to be remembered as a champion so badly, it’s the ONE thing that defines her entire life, and she is willing to do anything to get there, even if it hurts her family. I still have mixed feelings about her honestly. She is trying to do the right thing and end the tournament, but she pretends that it’s because she is noble when all she still wants is to be celebrated as a hero and be in the spotlight, but at the same time, she is necessary for the plot to move forward because she is the one trying to break the curse and dismantle the tournament.

“If you’re not our friend, you’re an enemy,” the Blair warned.
“That’s how I know you’re full of shit. There are no friends here. Only people you kill now, and people you kill later.”


One of my favorite aspects of this book is the alliances that kept shifting. From the start, while I understand that they are stronger together, I found it weird that people would form an alliance when only one champion could win, and there were no “external challenges” to kill them like there are in Hunger Games so they would end up having to fight and kill each other sooner or later. Seeing inside some of the champions’ heads, we could see how alliances were really just a way to get closer to a win because they were ready to turn on each other as soon as it was convenient, and even try to frame others to break alliances and create conflicts between other champions.

I find it interesting also that some characters had a history together before the whole tournament was revealed to the public, and before they were kind of forced to cut ties with kids from the other families and their friends from school. Some were best friends or involved romantically, which adds a layer of complexity to the plot when comes the time to kill or be killed, and I loved that it was more than just kids trying to kill each other. They have conflicted feelings, and it shows when they are put on the spot or when they have an occasion to kill someone, but don’t do it.

There is a little bit of romance too in the book, but it’s mostly in the second part of the story. It felt forced, or maybe I should say that it was just really convenient, and because of that, I find that it also felt weak at times. It did add some extra "ouch-you-betrayed-me-even-if-we-kinda-liked-each-other" to the story and a little complexity to the champions' feelings, but it was not really necessary to the plot and was not very well developed either. The same goal of adding drama and betrayals could have been accomplished with the characters just becoming friends or caring for each other without falling for each other.

This is a very entertaining read that I recommend for any fan of Hunger Games type of books, stories full of dark magic, shifting alliances and betrayals, and characters that could be described as morally grey and vicious. The first 30% are a little bit slower, but once the tournament start, the pace is really good, and it’s easy to read this book in only a few sittings.

The only thing worse than making another champion your enemy is making them a friend.


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Profile Image for Lia Carstairs.
398 reviews2,121 followers
December 17, 2021
"Their story had never been destined for a happy ending."

Well, that was super disappointing... and here I was having such a good streak with the books I was reading💀 I definitely jinxed it.
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All of Us Villains had so much potential. Like a hunger games retelling?? With a cast of teens from villainous and bloodthirsty families??? HOW DOES THAT NOT SOUND AMAZING??

Yet unfortunately all that potential and it was wasted. I cannot believe that it took almost half of the book for the actual tournament to start??🤡 Like I get the whole setting up and everything but my god... the way I was bored to death.


The four main characters were so bland. The only one I came close to liking was Gavin -- HE actually acted like a good villain and wasn't a complete fool. Coming from a hated and loser family, he strives for success -- not for his family, but for himself. He's willing to do anything to win this tournament and is not at all afraid to resort to killing in the most brutal manner.

Alistair, Isobel, and Briony were just plain boring. I guess the authors tried going for having the bRoOdInG bAd BoY of the highest ranking family to secretly be a tortured character whom we fall in love with but it all really fell flat. Briony has a hero complex and is so annoying I couldn't stand her. Isobel's slighting better but still a fool. I rolled my eyes at the interactions between the characters because I could not for the life of me take them seriously.


I believe I had too high expectations for this but i mean who wouldn't with that blurb??. I expected more villainy and ruthlessness but didn't get that. Also, the ending was so obvious from the very beginning that I really question the intelligence of these characters. Like you just know it's super obvious when I -- of all people -- am able to predict the ending. Only one of them got it but the rest ahahaha-

I will admit though that the turn this book went at the end was pretty interesting but I don't care enough to continue the series. Who knows how bored I'd be reading that.

I warn all who go into this book to not have too high expectations and then maybe you'll enjoy this a lot more than I did.



Thank you so much Tor Teen for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!

_________

i jinxed it.

_________

two five stars in a row, i have a good feeling abt this one😌

_________

i cant believe i actually got the ARC for this omg😭😭 hunger games retelling here i come
Profile Image for Elle.
584 reviews1,289 followers
November 10, 2021
Oh god, you guys. What a travesty this doesn’t come out in time for Halloween. All of Us Villains is exactly the scheming, twisted fantasy book that I didn’t even know I needed. Think evil magic Hunger Games—smaller in scale but twice as Vicious.

description

Every generation there is a tournament. Marked by the Blood Moon over the secluded town of Ilvernath, seven families come together and offer a champion from their bloodlines to compete for a chance at immense power. High magick has long since left the world, used up recklessly thousands of years ago….or so it was thought. The only remaining source of this long-lost resource resides in Ilvernath, tied to the seven families and their generational curse. Only one family line may claim the magick, and only after defeating the other six competitors by winning the tournament in a fight to the death. And in order to protect this bloody legacy, all involved have kept the event a secret.

Up until now. Word has gotten out about this brutal practice and the world has descended on Ilvernath, ready to observe and judge the participants. With unprecedented scrutiny, will centuries of tradition finally snap under the pressure? Will champions from underestimated houses have better odds with this new wrench thrown into the chaos?


“Our families kept this secret for centuries. Seems to me that means, on some level, we all know what we’ve been doing is wrong.”


Thorburn. Payne. Grieve. Blair. Macaslan. Darrow. Lowe.

Let the games begin.



This book was all-consuming. I could not pick up another thing while I was still reading it. There’s something completely mesmerizing and addictive about the characters in All of Us Villains. They all commit some truly heinous acts, and for a wide range of reasons, but still you’re rooting for them to succeed.

Part of that is probably based in their struggle for survival. Like The Hunger Games, each competitor’s own success is dependent on the misfortune of those around them. But the comparison would probably be more apt if instead of Katniss and Peeta the champions exclusively had the personalities of tributes from Districts 1 & 2. Some are proud to be there, others are resigned to it, but they all are more than willing and capable of killing one another.

While there are seven champions, there’s only four perspectives in the book. You’ll probably be more invested in them than the other three, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be involved in everyone’s stories. Or that you’ll end up liking those four any better. In fact, getting inside their heads might be more of a turn off than observing them from a distance. I was so impressed with the way Amanda Foody and Christine Herman wrote these characters. They can be despicable one moment and endearing underdogs the next—you’re never quite sure which version you’re going to get. Expect your own loyalties to shift just as often as the characters’ do.



At this point I do have to issue a warning to potential readers: this book ends on a massive cliffhanger. Honestly it’s such a big cliffhanger that it almost feels like they just chopped the last 25% of it off and sent it out that way. I guess I won’t be able to judge whether or not the sequel is a natural continuation of the story or not until it’s out (it’s not close to coming out), but I was totally caught off guard with how this ended. Okay, even more than that, I was M A D. Like, big mad. Honestly I’m still a little mad I can’t read the rest right this second.

I know that’s probably a testament to the writing and how compelling this story was, but I’m sorry Tor Teen—you’ve created a monster. I am going to be lurking around, tapping on walls and rattling chains until you release the follow-up. As of now the page for it (Untitled) just says ”2022”, but I will be haunting you all until I have the resolution in hand. You have been warned!!


*Thank you to lovely angel-cherub Lizzie the Tor Intern who sent me a widget and whoever at Tor Teen sent me a physical arc as well! And sorry that you’re probably going to regret giving this mouse her proverbial cookie!!!!!!!!

**For more book talk & reviews, follow me on Instagram at @elle_mentbooks!



“Monsters couldn’t harm you if you were a monster too.”
Profile Image for Era ➴.
215 reviews503 followers
May 10, 2022
This book is the love child of Where Dreams Descend and The Hunger Games, which means it was dark, aesthetic and riveting.

The storyline of this book was just so cool??? The seven families of Ilvernath compete in a tournament every Blood Moon for ownership of the only remaining trove of high magick, a type of magick that to everyone else was thought to be extinct. Each family sends in a competitor of tournament age (I don’t remember if that age was specified) to battle to the death.

However, this tournament is different. Thanks to the release of A Tradition of Tragedy, a tell-all book written by someone within the families to expose the tournament, all eyes are now on the families and their champions. And the people of Ilvernath - and really the rest of the world - are not happy.

This story caught my attention so much, but I feel like there could have been more to it that would have made it that extra level of intriguing. Some parts of it felt skimmed, like some days in the tournament and some of the incidents with the townspeople, and they could have been emphasized to lend more intensity to the experience.

But still, this whole plotline in general was amazing. The intrigue was built up so much toward the beginning and I was immersed in it.

The Lowe family had always been the undisputed villains of their town’s ancient, bloodstained story, and no one understood that better than the Lowe brothers.
Grins like goblins, the children murmured, because the children in Ilvernath loved fairy tales—especially real ones. Pale as plague and silent as spirits. They’ll tear your throat and drink your soul.
All these tales were deserved.


The world-building was a bit hard for me to understand, maybe because I never put any effort into remembering terms and names at the beginning of books, but I thought the magic system was really cool. The part that threw me off was how it meshed with the modern world, as a valuable albeit normal commodity.

I cannot imagine a department store full of spells. It might be because so many books have separated magic systems from “normal” systems, and most of those books aren’t modern, but for some reason I couldn’t process the idea of Isobel having a phone and using spell rings at the same time.

The aesthetic of this book was so interesting. The Blood Moon, the Lowes’ manor and the spells in general just drew me in so much. Septagrams used to make curse jewelry? Dark forests and red moons? Relics and Landmarks that form a tournament grounds? I was so into this from the beginning. I have to admit I wasn’t sure what to expect from the whole occult concept, but I thought the atmosphere was so cool.

Briony had only ever thought of it as a fairy tale. But even the grandest stories eventually found their ending.

The characters were all very compelling, even though I had very polarized opinions on them. Out of the four POVs, I loved two and hated two.

Alistair, if you couldn’t guess, was probably my favorite (and I think he was also the authors’ favorite considering the love his writing got). This awkward and yet cunning boi whose life ambition was to become a monster had such an aesthetic and such an impressive perspective. I loved his thought process and cunning and the character angst/development.

Alistair was the ~morally grey dark-haired boy™~ and for once I had no problem with it.

Pale skin from a lifetime spent indoors, eyes the color of cigarette ashes, a widow’s peak as sharp as a blade. He wore a wool sweater in September because he was perpetually cold. He carried the Sunday crossword in his pocket because he was perpetually bored. He was one year younger than Hendry, a good deal more powerful, and a great deal more wicked.
Alistair Lowe played a perfect villain. Not because he was instinctively cruel or openly proud, but because, sometimes, he liked to. Many of the stories whispered by the children of Ilvernath came from him.


Isobel was the other one that I loved. She was somewhat impulsive but still clever, confident and stubborn but secretly troubled. She was complex and I loved that she was her own type of powerhouse. She was bold and stuck to her opinions and did her best to do what she thought was right.

Her characterization and development was so strong and I loved her narrative. She was the one who was intelligent and strong, harboring her own desires and opinions. I was most interested in her and Alistair.

Briony. Oh my fucking God. I hated this bitch with a burning passion. She was so self-righteous and always thought she was the one who was in the right, no matter how despicable her actions were. She was so convinced that she could fix everything just because she was so smart and good at things and was clearly the best of her family. Her narrative was so whiny and sanctimonious under the guise of being a ~determined female character~ and I really wanted her to fall and break her neck somehow.

I mean, I did love the way her character was written and developed, and she provided some insight into the plot, but her as a person? No.

Gavin could also have died and I probably would have gotten a slice of cake to celebrate. He was an absolutely brainless asshole, and while I think his cunning and brutishness were very compelling character traits and were written into him really well, I still hated him.

He was so entitled and stuck-up and full of himself, even though he knew how many disadvantages he had. I thought it was interesting that he had such juxtapositions of his pride vs his situation, but I hated him. He was so overconfident and arrogant and made the dumbest decisions in the book (second to Briony).

The Lowe manor resembled a home plucked out of a haunting fairy tale. Each hearth crackled with fire, making every piece of upholstery, every room, and every Lowe smell of smoke. Full of dark-stained pine wood and iron candelabras, it was where maidens pricked their fingers on spinning wheels, where every fruit tasted of poison and vice. The boys grew up acting out these stories. Hendry played both the princess and the knight; Alistair was always and only the dragon.

The writing of this book was beautiful and dark, and I literally didn’t know until I had finished the book that it had two authors. It remained constant and aesthetic through the whole thing and I really liked how it meshed perfectly with the rest of the book - the atmosphere and characters went perfectly with the wording.

I had one problem.

Alistair’s grin was constantly described as “wicked.” Right from the first page. All the way to the end. Every time he smiled, as long as it wasn’t at Isobel, his grin was wicked. Listen, I love a villainous™ boi with an evil smirk, but I also love variety.

Even if his wicked smile is a trademark Alistair thing, there are so many other ways to describe it than just “he grinned wickedly.” What about “there was a villainous tilt to his smile, a warning in the flash of his teeth” or “the edges of his smirk were as dangerous and promising as a blade”?

There are so many creative ways you can make his smile more villainous without using the same descriptor. The writing had already proved itself to be atmospheric and nuanced, so I’m a bit at a loss for why it just felt so repetitive.

Her touch was cold, but his was colder.

Alistair’s and Isobel’s romance was very interesting. Rivals-to-lovers including an only-one-bed trope??? The way they exchange crossword puzzles and believe that the other person is the only one they can turn to??? Yes.

But also, the execution just fell kind of flat to me. I’m an absolute sucker for all of those things I listed, but there just wasn’t enough emotion or intensity for the romance to come across properly. Some of their moments felt rushed or skipped over in the general atmosphere of the competition.

“But that was what this alliance led up to. Not a kiss stolen in the dark, or a priceless gift given without being asked.
A duel.”


I was so ready for the tension and emotions and their chemistry, but it didn’t feel like enough for me to really enjoy it. The romance could have been drawn out so much more than what it was, and I was just waiting and waiting for more.

She took a step closer, backing him into a nearby tree. His heart picked up even faster. “Five letters. A mathematical symbol. Think fast.”
Alistair wracked his brain for the answer. He normally did crosswords when he was bored, when he had nothing else to think about. But right now he had a thousand thoughts competing for focus in his mind. The peony smell of Isobel’s perfume. The fact that he’d never brought anyone into the woods other than his brother. How even with all his enchantments, he still felt exposed. Vulnerable. Weak.
“Power?” Alistair guessed, unsure if that even made sense.
She smirked. “What an Alistair Lowe answer. I meant ‘equal.’


I am aware that I’ve only used quotes about Alistair and Isobel, but what reason do I have to include Briony and Gavin? Sure, they were part of the book, but they don’t qualify to be included in this.

Overall, this book genuinely impressed me. I was a bit doubtful about it at first, because I wasn’t sure how interested I would be in the premise, but damn did it deliver with the atmosphere. Everything was so rich in this uniquely dramatic way and I was very into that aesthetic.

For some reason, this book is the kind that only really impacts you once it’s over. While I was reading it, it was good but not great. But when I had finished and was ranting, raving and screaming about it to Sofia, I realized that it had actually been amazing and I’d gotten very swept up into it.

I don’t understand that effect but I will tolerate it until we get the next book.
Profile Image for Gillian.
108 reviews127 followers
February 16, 2023
“Blood before all.”

This book was so good! This was an exciting and mysterious young adult fantasy about betrayal, power, sacrifice, love and family. All of Us Villains follows seven champions who must compete in a tournament until only one is left and the prize is control over the high magick in the world. This year a book detailed all of the secrets of the tournament and now the champions have a chance to end the tournament once and for all or fight till the death.

I was immersed in this magical and unique world that the authors created from the beginning. The plot was interesting and the pacing was perfect. There were so many betrayals and revelations that surprised me. This book had everything I wanted in a young adult fantasy including magic, a great plot, interesting characters, enemies-to-lovers romance, and more. This book gave me Hunger Games and Harry Potter vibes. The characters were all so complex and interesting. Each of the characters go through different challenges and face the tournament in different ways. I really liked Alistair, he is mysterious, cunning and protective, but at the same time we will do anything to protect the people he cares about. I really liked Alistair's character development, every page I learned more about him and realized that he is more vulnerable and caring than you expect. I loved Isobel, she is strong, fierce, powerful, protective, and caring. I liked Briony, she is strong, tenacious, persistent, but she also made several mistakes that effect her relationship with her friends. I didn't like Gavin, he is selfish, cunning, strong and at times mean. The character development was excellent, I really enjoyed seeing all of the sides of the characters including the darker and lighter sides. The writing and storytelling is descriptive and enchanting. I really felt that I was in the tournament with the characters and experiencing the same emotions they feel. There were some great romantic scenes between Alistair and Isobel, but I wish there was more. The ending was so exciting and shocking! I can't wait to read the next book!
Profile Image for Mareeva.
355 reviews4,602 followers
November 11, 2021
3.5 stars

Simultaneously impressed and disappointed.

💍 the "villains" in this story are not villainous enough for my tastes. Although, they do make for some morally grey characters and I liked how several got progressively more vicious.

💍 It was boring for a while there not gonna lie. But picked up when darker shit started happening.

💍 Surprisingly not much death for a plot that circles around main characters trying to kill each other off.

💍 Excellent development of each character. All of them had very distinctive personalities, some more over the top than others *cough* Alistair I'm looking at you.

💍 The writing is very straightforward, almost too much so. Not much of "reading between the lines" or studying a character's actions for a deeper meaning if you know what I mean.

💍 Lot's of label throwing of them being "Villains". I get that they are dubious characters some of whom have been painted as villains their entire life and some the complete opposite, and through the tournament, we realise they aren't as "good" or "bad" as those labels paint them to be. I get all that but it still annoyed me every time someone said the word "villain"😀

💍 Random but Alistair and Isobel's "love story" had the same energy as the Addams family and Weasley's coming together to make a love child💀💀

MY EXPECTATIONS FOR THE NEXT BOOK

💍 I genuinely hope they can't end this tournament with everyone alive because that would be HIGHLY disappointing. Whether they end it or not, I want them bodies piling up. Chop chop.

💍 I wouldn't be mad if Gavin dies. Logically I know he's least likely to die because pesky characters like him always survive🙄. He is that one guy who tries really hard to be good at something but fails no matter what he does, and it's a pitiful sight. Just end his misery.

Once again I realise none of these expectations will probably come true. AND THAT IS WHY I don't read Young Adult books about Villains. Not ruthless enough, never ruthless enough.

PS: The audiobook had a chapter missing and two others coming later than in the ebook.....what's up with that...?

PS PS: Just noticed how many quotation marks I used in this review lmaooo. The uncertainty describes my feelings about this book pretty perfectly.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,194 reviews34.9k followers
November 9, 2021
A tournament of Terror!

Calling all villains, it’s time for the Tri-Wizard contest. Oops. Not the tri-wizard contest but the tournament for all the magick.

So, when I started this, I thought is this a mash up of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games????? Well, it gave me the vibes of H.P. initially if H.P. is a Villain from a villainous family who is fighting for all the magick, but this one is dark, and check out that cover, and grab yourself a copy!

The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins.

Every generation in the remote city of Ilvernath, seven families name one of their own as a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. Nothing says I love you like sending one of your children out to fight and potentially die. The odds are not in their favor (see what I did there?) but the payoff is huge. If you win- you win BIG. You get control over a secret wellspring of magick. But is it worth your life?

This was a delightfully/wickedly magical tale, and I can’t stop fangirling over it. There are quite a few characters, but I found it was easy to tell them apart. I had a favorite - Alistair, but there are others, and you may find yourself rooting for one of them!

The authors did a good job setting the stage, giving the characters distinct personalities and backstories. By the end of the book, I was anxious and a little well, upset. That goes to show just how well the authors did with making characters you root for, feel for, and want to boo and hiss at. There is going to be another book and I am looking forward to it as this one ends with things left hanging.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It had me from the start and I was busy trying to find excuses to listen to the audio.

A great book which had me wanting more!

Dark, magical, and deadly. Monsters aren't always what or who you think they are, or are they?

Thank you to Macmillan Audio, Macmillan Young Listeners and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com
Profile Image for Katie Colson.
640 reviews5,562 followers
October 19, 2022
2022: *Reread to prepare for the second book*

Vlog/Review: https://youtu.be/F2YkloDrK4s

Okay, listen here, I don't know what happened. I can't explain how I gave this book 5 stars 6 months ago and now am questioning every opinion I've ever had.

The first half of this book is so interesting. I love the world and the simple magic system. I like how dark some of the families are about the games.

But, boy oh boy that second half is cringe city. The amount of teenage angst and immature heartbreak that happens is absurd. These kids are supposed to be killing each other. But instead their falling in love in 5 seconds and making the worst decisions of all time.

I swear, I don't know who I was at the end of 2021 but 2022 has seen the light. This book isn't horrible but I wouldn't recommend it. And Grace said that the sequel is far worse. Luckily she told me that before I started reading it. Gonna dnf this series unforunately.

2021: If you took the characters of Vicious, gave them the magic of Harry Potter and put them all in the Hunger Games that would be this book.

It such my vibe that I don't even know if I can be subjective. I honestly don't know if other people will love this or not. I sure as hell did. But that could be because this book is tailor made for me. I am well and truly obsessed.

I can't begin to think about how long I'm going to have to wait for book 2. I'll start spiraling.

Have you seen this cover. STUNNING.

I love the plot, the setting, the magic, the characters, the relationships, all of it. READ THIS.
Profile Image for theresa.
285 reviews4,283 followers
February 16, 2022
When I originally heard All of Us Villains pitched as a dark magical Hunger Games I was immediately intrigued and knew it had the potential to become a new favourite book. While it didn’t quite reach favourite territory, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with All of Us Villains and recommend it to anyone looking for some villainy, a cool modern magic system and disaster teenagers just trying to survive.

The magic system of this book has interested me since I first heard of it. This book takes place in the modern world imbued with magic. Spells are bought and sold in department stores and kept inside jewellery until they’re cast. I just think this is such a cool concept and I loved learning more about the magic system and lore of this world as the story progressed. In particular, I loved the exploration of family and tradition and the beginning of breaking the cycle through our competitors.

All of Us Villains has four POV characters and I enjoyed reading from them all, though I definitely had my favourites. Each character had a distinct voice and motivations and I loved getting to know them. The characters are all morally grey and all struggle with their own villainy which was really fun to explore. The war between duty to family and this role they’ve been raised to fulfil and their own morals and desires was really well executed and I could sympathise with all of them. There was also an enemies / rivals to lovers romance which I adored; it brought new dimension to this struggle between duty and free choice and upped the stakes for the characters.

This book kept me hooked right from the beginning and didn’t let me go. All of the characters, the competition and the intrigue were so enthralling that all I wanted to do was find out what happens next. Not knowing who the characters could trust and knowing that they each had the capacity to turn on each other at any moment had me on the edge of my seat.

I highly recommend All of Us Villains, especially if you love explorations of morally grey characters, cool magic systems and a bit of a thriller element in your fantasy. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter

*eARC received in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley*
May 5, 2022
Magick and Mayhem!



In the city of Ilvernath, there was a well of high magick which was thought to be gone from the earth. In each generation a champion was chosen from each of the seven cursed families. The tournament and the vein of high magick were a secret until last year when someone from one of the seven families wrote a tell all book about it and now the reporters and cursemongers have descended upon the town. Those chosen champions fought in a tournament to the death and the winner bestowed his family with the right to control the high magick.

Allistair Lowe - the Lowe family wins 2 out of every 3 tournaments and Allistair is the favorite to win. The Lowes are hated by all in Ilvernath, though Allistair and his brother Hendry often sneak out of their mansion and go into Ilvernath to get away, to drink and to see what goes on in town. Allistair is a villain but wants to win so that Hendry doesn’t have to mourn him.

Isobel Macaslan - when the reporters and cursemongers came to town not long after the book, “A Tradition of Tragedy” was released, they immediately named Isobel as the champion often Macaslan family and she became an unwitting media darling. Though her family hadn’t yet named her as their champion it was pretty much a done deal.

Gavin Grieve - the Grieve family were the bad name in town. They were usually the first to die in the tournament and no spellmaker has ever allied with the Grieve family. Though Gavin had made a point to study hard, lift weights and prepare himself for the tournament as best he could, he was at a severe disadvantage because he basically had to train himself.

Briony Thorburn - she knows she is the best choice in her family to be the champion. Her family has a series of trials to find out who is worthy of being the family champion but when it comes down to the last trial, she finds a corrupt government has made a deal with her family and her sister is chosen over her.

“He tilted his head up, stared into the hazy sky. In less than two weeks, those clouds would turn the crimson color of high magick, like a red-tinged shroud draped over Ilvernath, and the tournament would begin. The Blood Veil would lighten a little bit with every champion’s death, until at last, when only one remained, true day and night would return and seemingly wash all the blood away, just like that.?”


I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

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Profile Image for Toni.
515 reviews
September 2, 2022
First of all, don't be disappointed if you find that...'No one here is a hero...', but, by extension, no one is a villain. Although the book is essentially about the power of stories, legends and patterns, it is also about how we make choices, good and bad, cruel and well-intentioned and live with their consequences. All of the protagonists go through self-discovery and development in deliciously unpredictable ways.

The protagonists are seven teenagers thrown into a death tournament by their families bound by a powerful ancient curse. Every twenty years seven families must choose a champion to fight in the tournament until only one is left to bring the glory to their family and power to weild rare high magick which has almost disappeared from this world. The tournament used to be Ilvernath's best-kept shameful secret until a book called A Tradition of Tragedy (allegedly written by someone from one of the seven families) came out and exposed the history of this merciless practice.

There are seven champions (Grieve, Payne, Macaslan, Thorburn, Blaire, Lowe, Darrow) and four main points of view:
-Gavin Grieve, from the least respected, least powerful family- watch out for this one as he is desperate to fight for his dignity;
-Isobel Macaslan- another champion from an underdog family who collects their raw magick in less than savoury ways- her father calls her a princess, but she herself knows she is a survivor... once she really commits to participating in this brutal ordeal;
-Briony Thorburn (Isobel's ex-BFF and a self-proclaimed hero)- she is fast and strong, both physically and mentally, and no wonder- all her life she has been preparing for this tournament, but does she have enough self-awareness to see the impact of her actions?
-and last but not least- The Villain- Alistair Lowe- his family has won the most tournaments and all his life he's been told he doesn't have to be afraid of monsters because he is one of them. His family has their despicable secret to ensure a Lowe is more often than not the last one standing.
I loved the way the perspectives changed as the story raced forward. The length of the chapters was perfect and, to be honest, I didn't have a favourite, although you might choose who out of all of these morally gray, flawed characters you want to root for.

It is difficult to avoid tcomparison with Hunger Games- well, impossible really, since it was marketed as Hunger Games with blood, gore, and magic. But once you start reading the book, you quickly notice the differences- the tone is different (HG is all about social justice, AOUV is about the power of stories), there are fewer characters and they have been taught and trained all their life to devise strategies, make and cast curses and spells in order to survive and claim the victory fro their family- they are not tragically random tributes. There are alliances, but no romance (sorry, not really- at least not in book 1).

The world-building and storytelling here are fantastic... One of those books that totally absorbs and grips you to make sure you put everything aside and focus on it from the beginning to the end.

Like many other readers I went into the book thinking it's a standalone and realised towards the 80% mark, it can't be- there's still too much of a story to explore. Can't wait to find out who survives this wild, wild ride!

Update: 2022 re-read- still good :-) I'm off to disappear into my copy of All of Our Demise.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
682 reviews1,048 followers
July 10, 2022
“This tournament wasn’t a place for heroes. It never had been. All the grand deeds her family had celebrated had been bloodshed just like this. And they could call it what they wanted, but Briony knew what they really were. Villains. All of them.”

Well. I freaking loved this! 4.5 ⭐️

Imagine the hunger games, but with magic!!
The town of Ilvernath is cursed. Every year a member of one of the 7 cursed families must fight to the death until one remains.

That remaining member’s family then has control of all the towns high magick until the next tournament. Roughly every 20 years.

Throw in local businesses that deal in spell and curse making and everyone has their own agenda.

I love the morally grey characters, desperately wanting their families approval, but not wanting to murder each other either.

I liked all the characters, they were a good mix. Isobel was probably my least favourite, she was a tad whiny. But she got better as it went on.

So excited for book 2!!

********************

Library copy available for pick up

I’ve enjoyed books by both of these authors so I’m really looking forward to this 😊
Profile Image for cyra.
129 reviews383 followers
October 16, 2022
Storytime! Back in the day, I requested an ARC for this book via NG but I was denied. So I was set on being brutal on my review and not giving this book more than 3 stars but look at me now SIMPING over this. Petition for the authors to give me an ARC for the second book.

I was VERY close to finishing this book last night but something happened towards the end and I just HAD TO take a break... My poor fucking heart.

Back to the review. So I loved the writing style and the story in general. I picked up this book because it was described as The Hunger Games with magic but I don't think that's it. I mean yes kids go to fight in a brutal game but I'd say that's about it. I don't think they have the same vibe. The worldbuilding is good but I was sold to the magic system. I just loved it way too much for my own good. Mind your own business if you see me running around the streets with rings and red glitter.

The rest of this review will revolve around the four main characters because I just have a lot to talk about them.

Alistair Lowe
Dear Alistair, like the holy and mighty Lady Gaga said, I wanna take a ride on your disco stick. My love, my one and only. I can kill for him. I can single-handedly burn the tournament and the city to the ground in his name. I can kill every enemy of his and make spellrings with their eyeballs for him. I CAN KEEP GOING BUT I BELIEVE YOU GET THE IDEA. I just love his stupid ass so much. I want my baby to take revenge on anyone and everyone who wronged him. If he was the antagonist of this book, I'd still support him. I honestly can't explain my love for him but maybe one of the GoodReads updates I wrote while reading this book might help. Crya said: Alistair I know you can't murder people but can you murder my pu-

Briony Thorburn
I want to continue my review with the character I hated the most, this bitch. Briony is the embodiment of the hero complex. She thinks she is above everyone else. She's like those villains who say they're doing the world a favor when it's not up to them to decide. She is like a bitchy whiny Thanos who has some mommy/daddy/sister/whole fucking bloodline issues. Sending her off to therapy wouldn't be enough to solve all of her problems. The way she threw a tantrum about saving everyone and being the hero... At least she is self-aware.

Isobel Macaslan
First of all, WHO NAMES A CHILD ISOBEL? SOMEONE EXPLAIN. IT'S LIKE THEY WANTED HER TO BE A DIPSHIT. Now onto my rant about this one. I liked her in the beginning, I felt complicated about her during the middle and I hated her by the end. Her whole personality changes depending on who holds the power. She is also a backstabbing bitch but that's beside the point. She would make a great politician since she can just change her entire personality in one second and that is not a compliment. Honestly, I hate Briony a lot but I was still excited to read her chapters. I just can't stand Isobel. You know what you did Isobel, I hope it haunts you in the next book or I'll be writing a whole ass fanfiction about the ways I'd like to torture you.

Gavin Grieve
Looking at my notes I noticed I didn't hate or love Gavin, I just didn't give a fuck about his egotistical tantrums or his almost-not-heterosexual obsession with Alistair. (Upon searching it up I found out he is canon bisexual so I WAS RIGHT.) He has the potential to be a great antagonist in the next book but in this one, I just couldn't care less. WE GET IT, YOU ARE A LOSER BOO HOO! Go cry about it bitch. I have high hopes for him but till then, he needs to get his shit together.

So, in the end, I LOVED THIS BOOK. Way too much than I intended to. Go read this book and support me on my mission to get an ARC for the second one.

(Edit: I came back to read this review because I'm about to start the second book and I noticed some grammar mistakes.)

All of Our Demise 𖤐𖤐𖤐𖤐𖤐
Profile Image for Liz♡.
41 reviews121 followers
February 20, 2023
I suggest reading this if you like:
- hunger games with magic
- enemies to lovers
- unique magic system
- there’s only one bed
- morally grey characters
Profile Image for Ishika .
198 reviews516 followers
March 15, 2022
This tournament wasn’t a place for heroes. It never had been. All the grand deeds her family had celebrated had been bloodshed just like this. And they could call it what they wanted, but Briony knew what they really were.
Villains. All of them.


Imagine being told that there exists a book that's basically The Hunger Games but with magic involved. Now as a fan of THG I expected a lot of similarities and yet I'd be angry if the plot was similar to THG. My brain is stupid so don't worry. But imagine my surprise when I started reading this. Instead of imagining the teenagers being sent to the arena, I imagined them being sent to participate in the Triwizard tournament.

🚫 SPOILER ALERT 🚫

This book was written from 4 povs out of which 2 characters made me want to roll my eyes sm that if something happens to my eyes then I'm suing them. Alistair and Gavin or Gayvin as @Cyra calls him made my heart go BOOM while Isobel and Briony can go dig a hole for each other and then fall and accidentally bury themselves in it. Though ngl this book book would have ended way too soon if everyone listened to Briony instead of acting like bloodlusted teenagers.

✍️✍️Crush is a brief but intense infatuation for someone, especially someone unattainable.

Love is a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
✍️✍️

Alistair and Isobel really needed to be educated between the difference between these two things. God they annoyed me so fucking much. The fact that Alistair wanted to give up his life just so he could save Isobel made me want to punch him and I the only time I want to punch someone I love is when they start acting foolishly and annoyingly (mom, dad if you are reading this (I hope you aren't) then you know why I punch your son so much).

Alistair and Gavin are meant for each other and istg if they don't get a good enemies to lovers then I'm committing arson by burning my last 2 brain cells (I would never burn a book if it's not a school textbook). I hereby declare my life in support of the Alavin ship. Also I don't know if someone noticed the pattern but-
All of us villain = Alavin
That's it. I would hear nothing else. 😤😤😤😤

(@Elena Alavin are going to be a thing you wait and watch. Or I'm deleting this review later 🤡)

Overall the plot was really good but the pace was too slow and it took me a lot of time to understand the different magic terms mentioned. I only cared about 2 of the characters out of the 7 mentioned. I would recommend you to read this book if you are a fan of THG and HP or if you like magic and stuffs.

____________________

I came for Hunger games but found Harry Potter instead.




I mean if you say that the sword (Gryffindor's sword?), the mirror and the cloak (cloak of invisibility?) are a coincidence then idk what coincidence means 🤡
Profile Image for lisa (lh44's version).
138 reviews469 followers
November 9, 2022
All my regards to NetGalley and Tor/Forge for the digital advanced copy in exchange of my honest thoughts. All opinions posted in this review are my own

This is one of my most anticipated release of 2021 and having the ARC in my hands felt like a dream.

So what is this book about?

Described as The Hunger Games but with magic, All of Us Villains tells the story of seven descendants of the cursed families in Ilvernath to fight in the Blood Veil tournament, in order to gain the exclusive control of the high magick. This book is told in the perspectives of four different villains combatants: Alistair Lowe, Isobel Macaslan, Gavin Grieve, and Briony Thorburn.

General thoughts

This book slaps. It slaps so hard that my brain is left in shambles. The writing is incredibly captivating and the worldbuilding in quite complex and intriguing. This book is heavily characters-driven and honestly, the way Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Hermann developed their characters is quite extraordinary, given the fact that this book is only 400 pages-long and all four characters are pretty much very complex.
And that ending, THAT ENDING blew my soul away. Amanda Foody has no rights to leave the readers on the cliffhanger like that. The fact that I am left with this ending and the book is not even out yet is criminal.

Things I like

The worldbuilding:
I have seen reviews saying that the magic system of this book is not strong and explained well enough. I don't disagree. However, the world of AOUV captivated me. Of course, there are unexplained gaps in the magic system, but I am optimistic that we will know more about it in the next book of the duology. Otherwise, some lack of clearance doesn't annoy me that much

The concept:
I had read many Hunger Games knock-off, but none can compare to this. The concept of a one-survivor-tournament with the addition of curses and spells, relics, wicked families and amazing characters, this book is way more than just a simple knock-off

And finally, la crème de la crème - Alistair Lowe:
I love villains, I really do. Morally gray or just plainly bad/cruel, I love them all. The best way I can describe Alistair is that he is a mix of Victor Vale (Vicious) and Aaron Warner (Shatter Me) but at the same time it doesn't feel right to fit Alistair in a box like that. Alistair is the champion of the Lowe family - the one whose 3/4 of the tournament victors came from. Alistair is described as a violent and wicked monster, following the cruel reputation of the Lowe family. I can't say much more about him without spoiling, but later on in the story we see more of Alistair's and the Lowe's secrets, mostly after . In conclusion, I would kill without hesitation for my black hair gray eyes dumbass Alistair Lowe, who is more boy than monster.

Things I don't like

The romance and Alistair's softness:
When I saw the title and the cover, I expected something much darker, much more violent, it turned out that the named "monster" isn't even that villainous

Other characters:
As said before, this book is characters-driven. The plot is heavily driven by the characters. Maybe one of the reasons why this book is not a 5/5 for me is because of the other 3 main characters. I don't like either Briony nor Gavin. Isobel is a little bit better but I still don't like her that much (maybe that's the reason why I don't like the romance) Don't get me wrong, all their arcs are just amazing, but they are highly unlovable for me. Plus the fact that none of them are 100% bad, disappointed me a bit

Plot twists:
I predicted all the plot twists without effort. I don't even try to guess them, they are incredibly easy to guess because they are just right in front of you. Somewhat cheap,

Overall thoughts
I rated this book 3.5/5. I really like it although it's nowhere near perfect. I highly anticipate the sequel of the duology (it would probably kill me but okay) and this book might by a sign for me to read Ace of Shades

Check out my bookstagram @delilahfcirchild
Profile Image for book.olandia.
133 reviews1,527 followers
February 23, 2023
dostrzegam kilka niedociągnięć i luk fabularnych, ale nie zmienia to faktu, że bawiłam się świetnie!! zaangażowałam się w losy bohaterów i mimo, że nie czułam takiego napięcia w trakcie samego turnieju to podobało mi się, że autorki wybrały bardziej magiczną stronę i nie była to kolejna podróba „Igrzysk śmierci”🤌🏻
Profile Image for Marti .
220 reviews102 followers
September 1, 2022
In the beginning, I was ready to give this book 5 stars.
Now I feel like I've been cheated.

We are promised a tournament in which seven "villains" will kill each other until only one remains. Yeah, like a Hunger Games but with villains. I thought that was so cool. I was invested from the beginning, and I already had my favorite character to root for. I was rooting so bad that I felt tempted to go check how far along the book had chapters with my favorite character's name, just to make sure they wouldn't die. (I didn't, but the temptation was there.)
It's hard to keep rooting for someone when you KNOW FOR A FACT that they'll be okay in the end though. Once the tournament started, I was pretty sure no one major was going to die. That's not a good thing for a book like this. You want readers to be at the edge of their seats, and I wasn't.


One of the most ESSENTIAL things a book must do is keep its promise. Of course, you can break it after literally seconds, but you need to do it right, otherwise, it feels really unsatisfying.

These "villains" are supposed to be trained their entire life for this tournament, and yet they have the moral compass of a hero. Literally ALL of them shy away from ideas like murder and hurting each other and I was sitting here thinking this makes absolutely no sense. How are they villains exactly? They just talk about how wicked they are, and how wicked their families are, but somehow they managed to become these very morally correct characters who feel guilty about achieving their life's purpose. It was very disappointing. If I wanted to read about heroes, I would've picked up a book about heroes!

The plot was good enough to keep me entertained, and the ending was good enough to lead me to buy the next book once it comes out. Having said that, of all the twists and turns the story could've had, we go through the most predictable ones. I also could've done without the cringey romance.

I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it as much as I hoped I would. Stick to your promises and themes people!
Profile Image for booksnpenguins (wingspan matters).
724 reviews1,935 followers
August 8, 2021
Hendry looked like he was fantasizing about meeting a cute girl, judging from how he kept fiddling with his curls and smoothing the wrinkles in his sleeves.
Alistair was thinking about death.
More specifically, about causing it.



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ACTUAL RATINGS 3,5/5

There goes one of my most anticipated and desired ARCs so far.
As of right now I don't feel like rounding up the ratings of this book because it left me a little unsatisfied and it was definitely not the story I'd expected from a book that has the word 'villains' in the title.
To be honest, I went into this hoping the vibe would be similar to VE Schwab's Vicious, and that was perhaps a bad idea because I love that book and it probably only fueled my expectations. If anything, it reminded me more of The Night Circus, and if you've been following me for a couple years, now, you'd know I have mixed feelings about that book, as well.
I mean, imagine starting a book advertised as a The Hunger Games retelling with magic, purposely hoping it'll be full of mean people who do mean things to one another, only to find out the characters have decided they've had enough and are ready to pull an Everlark any minute.
The magic system is pretty original, but I had some trouble with the world building and the setting. To be honest, for the first 50 pages I couldn't tell where or when this story took place.
Foody's writing, on the other hand, is exquisite as I remember it, and while I found the book a bit lacking on the plot front, I'm happy to say it was the exact opposite when it comes to the characters. They were created to be unforgettable and it's a pity they were thrown into a story that ironically outshined them with its dullness.



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ARC APPROVED!
You can't see it, but I'm conspiratorialy twirling my evil mustache.
Profile Image for ❦ jazmin.
511 reviews712 followers
February 14, 2022
“Theoretically, at least, this curse can be broken. But sacrifice makes any curse grow stronger, and few curses in history have been given this much blood.”


✧・゚: *✧・゚:* *:・゚✧*:・゚✧


⇢The Plot

A hunger games-esque fantasy book with a large cast of characters? SOLD. This book had such an incredible premise, and it honestly lived up to the expectations I had set. There is just so much potential for the next book… I NEED IT NOW.

⇢The Characters

Since this book features a killing competition, there obviously needed to be a lot of characters. And when you have a large cast of characters, you really need to make the main few protagonists distinct, while still ensuring that the other relevant characters are somewhat memorable. This book? It completely achieved that. I was skeptical at first, but I’m fully able to distinguish between the different families and their representatives, and I care about a lot of them, which I hope demonstrates how well this book was written.

“You want to know something funny?' he asked. "In a choice between staying here or going home, I'd still choose here. With you.”


And the dynamics between those characters? SO GOOD. There were romances and friendships and failed friendships and familial bonds and looming over it all is the fact that ultimately, these characters are supposed to kill each other. Which of course, made everything that much more complicated.

“But that was what this alliance led up to. Not a kiss stolen in the dark, or a priceless gift given without being asked. A duel.”


In The Hunger Games, a lot of the deaths/relationships that the characters had ended up resolving themselves quite nicely, probably more nicely than should be possible. Allies were killed off before they became a problem and obviously, Katniss and Peeta both made it out. But with this book, everything was so much more uncertain, and there was a lot more suspense and betrayal, which really makes things interesting for the next book, since we don’t know where so many of the alliances currently stand. Will they kill each other? Are they in love? We'll have to find out.

⇢Conclusion

GIMME THE NEXT BOOK NOW. IT IS TOO FAR AWAY.

*4.5

✧・゚: *✧・゚:* *:・゚✧*:・゚✧


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