Giulia Rita Herondale's Reviews > The Damned

The Damned by Renée Ahdieh
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bookshelves: arc-e-arc, netgalley


The EARC of this book was provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Damned is the second book of the Beautiful saga by Renée Ahdieh. This is little-known news, unknown even to me until I finished reading, because the other two books have not yet been announced, but only spoiled in some articles. Anyway already from the first chapters, it is possible to understand that the story is far from its conclusion.

The Beautiful proved to be the tip of the iceberg of a much more complex world. The Damned opens immediately after the events that conclude the first volume but pushes us in an unexpected direction. The various characters have to work out what happened and Celine is perhaps the one who paid the most, but her journey takes time. Therefore the writer initially focuses on Bastien and La Cour de Lion.

In the first book, my major criticism was the lack of La cour de Lion, which leaves us fascinated but in some way hungry. Here, describing the story from their point of view, these characters, starting from the queen of my heart, Odette, up to Jae, manage to appear complete, and true. But in my opinion, Bastien also has an extra spark here. He has always been drawn to the darkness and has somehow always considered it his business card, but now that he is forced to deal with the real darkness, he starts chasing the light. His path will be to find out who he wants to be and to understand that he is light and dark and that he can control both.

"He is nothing. No one. Nobody."

The found family is the main topic, together with Bastien. I have already said that the various characters of the cour de lion finally manage to emerge from the background, but their bonds are the real protagonists. Their family was born of loyalty, a loyalty sometimes dictated by fear, sometimes by necessity, sometimes by time. But from this quality love was born. However, doubts torment everyone from the first to the last and wonder if their bonds are true if they can trust if they are the only ones who love their family unconditionally.
But above all, they wondered if loyalty and love are the same things.

Their sadness and terror are accentuated by the almost spasmodic way in which they continue to use words like brothers and sisters (which I think are the most repeated words).
This is truly one of the saddest and somehow sweet found family I have ever read.

Loyalty and darkness are therefore the two main themes of the first part of the book. The book is not made up of two parts, it is more my division that separates a slower and more reflective part from a richer action and twists. I liked the first part very much, I found it perfect. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the second half because it happens too much too quickly. The author does not give herself the right time to explore the various discoveries and characters' reactions. Celine finally takes the reins of the book, but there is no real evolution, and she looks almost too perfect to be true.

" "You won't like my dreams."
He paused, glancing at her over one shoulder. "Why is that?" "

Not even Michael, one of the most important characters, has the space he deserves. His relationship with Celine ended up in the background.

One of the characters who instead showed how much she is worth, but who still has a lot to show us, is Pippa. I can't wait to find out what Renée has in store for her.

The Beautiful's worldbuilding is undoubtedly the richest and most complex of Ahdieh. In the first book, it is only presented to us, but here we have the opportunity to get to know it much more deeply.

I can say that this book is bittersweet, it surprises you at times and disappoints you in others. I hope that with the next volume the author will be able to erase the bitterness and create perfect work from start to finish.

Recensione Italiana completa sul blog
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Quotes Giulia Rita Liked

Renée Ahdieh
“But never is a long time, when you have eternity to consider.”
Renée Ahdieh, The Damned

Reading Progress

April 13, 2020 –
99.0% "Devo riflettere su alcune cose" (Other Hardcover Edition)
April 20, 2020 – Started Reading
April 20, 2020 – Shelved
April 20, 2020 – Finished Reading
April 12, 2021 – Shelved as: arc-e-arc
April 12, 2021 – Shelved as: netgalley

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Ritasbookshelves Cooosa non è una dilogia?

Giulia Rita Herondale Ritasbookshelves wrote: "Cooosa non è una dilogia?"

No! Sono 4! Sono sorpresa anche io, poiché ufficialmente è una duologia.

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