Friends, we are seventeen books into this series, there is barely anything I can possibly say that isn’t
“Grief is a cold stream you acclimate to.”
Friends, we are seventeen books into this series, there is barely anything I can possibly say that isn’t spoilery! But I will say that I have been reading this series since I was very young, and I look forward to a new BDB book every single year, and the Savior was no exception!
The basic premise of this series is that in the Black Dagger Brotherhood we follow a bunch of powerful vampires, that are in an elite group that protects humans, vampires, angels, and a bunch of other paranormal entities, and they all live in this big mansion, and they all are one big family that’s just saving the world. And, because we are seventeen books in, each book focuses on a new member (or soon to be or maybe one day possibly becoming a member), while an older member (who has already had their own book) has a side storyline going on as well!
This book focuses primarily on Murhder, who has been talked about and hinted at for so very many books leading up to this one. He was kicked out of the BDB back in the day, and in this book we get to see why and what happened after he left. Sadly, it was very much based on miscommunication, and I didn’t love it very much.
The other star of this book is Sarah, who I actually really did like. I won’t lie, the instalove was real in this romance, but I still just really enjoyed it for some reason. Plus, Sarah, who is a scientist, trying to get to the bottom of a mysterious coverup that happened many years ago, was fascinating, and I loved the mystery and watching it unfold.
And the side storyline going on is about John Matthew, who is (sadly) my least favorite brother. And Xhex, who is Jon Matthews partner, is also one of my least favorite characters, and I hated how she didn’t speak up in this book and let someone else take the blame for something. Like, it felt really bad, and it really ensured their place as my least favorite couple in this world. Also, the bandage that was placed on the situation for the easiest fix ever? Felt horrible.
Overall, I just feel like this wasn’t as strong of a book. Like, almost to the point that you could completely take out this book and it wouldn’t impact the storyline whatsoever, which is never a good feeling. I am very excited for book eighteen, but this one wasn’t even close to being one of my favorite books. Also, that romantic haircut? Lord, please, no, never. I know this review is really vague, and I’m sorry for that, but if you’re looking for a PNR romance, filled with alpha vampires, a lot of romance, and a lot of sex, I totally think you should give this series a try! Also, I am hoping we get more of my favorite fallen angel in the next one, because the world deserves more Lassiter, and I also hope to see more of my favorite literary cat.
Content and Trigger Warnings for medical experimentation on humans/vampires, torture, captivity, abuse, talk of loss of a loved one, talk of cancer, talk of thoughts of suicide, use of language like “females” and “males” being the norm, and war themes.
I read the entire A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy, and I ended up giving them all three stars. I am absolutely obsessed with Victoria’s mind and worlds, and her characters are truly some of the best I’ve read, but the plot and events always held me back from completely loving them. But when I found out we were going to get to learn more about Rhy’s father (adoptive father of Kell) and the events that lead him to being King, I knew I couldn’t resist. But here I am, still surprised that I ended up giving the prequel graphic novel series start three stars.
Maxim Maresh is only a prince in this brand-new graphic novel series, but he is the sole heir and the king in waiting in Red London. Yet, he wants to be so much more than that, and he wants to prove that he will be capable and earn his rightful place as king one day. Maxim and his family are also people of color, with obvious dark brown skin, but it is never stated what ethnicity in this made up alternate historical London. And he has earned himself the title of The Steel Prince because of his magical affinity with steel.
But in this bind-up, Maxim gets involved with pirates, and magical tournaments, and figuring out who he wants to be. Yet, this first volume barely mentions the parallel Londons, which (to me) is the coolest part of this world, completely. And then with this elaborate magic system finally being visualized, it just felt clunky, and like it missed the mark completely on something that could have been groundbreaking.
“You fight like a royal. Like the weapons are made of wood. Like no one means to hurt you. But this is not London, your highness.”
But my biggest problem with this graphic novel was honestly the art. Trust me, it kills me to say this, but I just never grew to like the style of this book. And especially with something as cool as the world of ADSOM, I feel like an artist really could have turned this into one of the most aesthetically pleasing series of all time, especially with red, grey, black, and white having such a pivotal role in this world. But I don’t have an art degree, so don’t listen to me. I’m just stating what I would have liked more for this story! The artist is still very talented. And if this is your favorite art style of all time? You are valid.
I still really enjoyed this bind-up and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next. I hope we get to see more cameos of characters we love, too! And if you are already a fan of VE Schwab and this breathtaking world, I bet you will absolutely love this addition! Content and trigger warnings violence, blood, and torture.
Okay, so like with every graphic novel that I review, I always do a breakdown on what happens briefly in each individual issue. So, the next portion of this review will have SPOILERS! Obviously, I won’t give away anything too pivotal, but I will talk about some of the themes that each issue had inside.
➽ ISSUE ONE: We get to meet Maxim, the prince and sole heir to the throne. We also get to meet the king, and his dad, Nokil. And we also get our first glimpse at Maxim wanting to be more than the prince in waiting, and he wants to prove himself and his fighting abilities.
➽ ISSUE TWO: We are introduced to Arisa, the pirate queen, and we get to learn about a tournament where the winner will fight her to prove themselves worthy. Also, we get to see the Black Torch, and you know my pub loving heart was so dang happy.
➽ ISSUE THREE: Isra, the pirate queen’s niece, and Maxim are both battling in the tournament where we see so many different magic abilities, and we learn there are no rules and anything goes.
➽ ISSUE FOUR: Things do not go Maxim’s way, but he is rescued. Then, after, he receives a letter from his father, asking him to come. But he declines because he still has so much more to learn.
Okay, I’m not going to write up a big review for this because honestly? I was a little bored while reading this and I kept forcing myself to pick it up! I did think the illustrations were absolutely beautiful! And I loved the addition of the scribbles and doodles in the margins, so we can see what some of our beloved characters thought while reading this book that is supposed to be an actual book in the Shadowhunter world. But, sadly, it reads like a textbook. But I am happy I read it, because I do think it not only expanded my knowledge of the world, but a few parts were actually interesting. But I for sure think you do not *need* to read this by any means whatsoever.
This is for sure the most emotionally driven volume of Saga yet, which is really saying something considering everything that has happened over the course of all of these issues. I can’t help being invested with each and every character, but this volume just hurts. Especially not knowing when Volume 10 will be released because the creators are taking a break. But this addition to the story was a masterpiece, a painful masterpiece, but a masterpiece nonetheless.
I’ve always said that it is completely genius to have this story be told with Hazel as the narrator, and Volume 9 really showcases that. Just seeing this baby, this toddler, this little girl, be forced to grow up in a world where hatred is bred. While also always being forced to live on the run, while being forced to grow up faster than anyone in the galaxy, while realizing that no one you love is ever safe. My heart breaks for Hazel and heals for Hazel every single page. And I truly think she is one of the best protagonists, of any story, of all time.
As always, Saga is a dark story that has very adult, NSFW content! So, please use caution! Content and trigger warnings for slavery, fatphobic comments, death, murder, talk of past child abuse, and sexual content.
As always, I'm now going to break down each chapter (single issue) in this bind-up. I mostly do this so I can go back and refresh what has happened in which specific issue. There will be SPOILERS, so please do not continue if you have not read this graphic-novel or the ones leading up to this volume!
“It takes someone you love to break your heart.”
➽ CHAPTER 49 Ianthe has The Will and has forced him into slavery, while looking for Hazel. Petrichor and Prince Robot are officially a thing, and it’s the best. We get to see Upsher and Doff again, and they are still working on news stories, even off the grid with the gang. They are all on Jetsam, which what appears to be a planet with an abandoned amusement park. And Ghüs is the new babysitter.
➽ CHAPTER 50 Oh boy, sexy times! Ianthe makes “The Help” kill. Squire, Prince Robot’s son, doesn’t want a new body or to leave with Petri and Prince Robot, after they tell their story.
➽ CHAPTER 51 Marko is writing a secret book, that I’m sure is going to have a profound impact in the next volume. Doff is killed, but The Will is finally free, even if all he can see is rage and vengeance for The Stalk.
➽ CHAPTER 52 Squire runs away, but soon runs into Ianthe. Meanwhile, Prince Robot and The Will meet up.
➽ CHAPTER 53 Everyone is dying, The Will appears to have killed Prince Robot. Ianthe is hurt, but Alana is shot. Everything is falling apart.
➽ CHAPTER 54 Marko and the Will have a fight scene to top all other fight scenes. And at the end, it appears that Marko dies. Friends, I don’t even have words. Only tears.
“At least I get to grow old.”
I truly believe that Saga is truly a once in a lifetime series, and this last installment has really left me speechless. This is just such a profound staple in not only graphic novels, but in the entire reading community. There is a reason so many people love this series, and it really proves over and over that no one is safe, nothing is safe, but the story always gets better and better. Okay, I’m off to go cry some more.