“Anti-Hero” picks up shortly after where “Alter Ego” leaves off, with Mary’s secret identity in shambles and on the run, hunting down those responsible for taking her parents away, and dismantling the lies she held as truth for most of her life. So, don’t read this review if you haven’t read Alter Ego yet (and you should read that, by the way) because there will be mild spoilers for the first book in the series in this review. But in this middle book of the trilogy, Swed does a wonderful job of both answering lingering questions, giving more background on the vigilantes now that the world building is done, while still surprising the reader with new characters, new revelations, and one hell of a twist at the end.
When the synopsis of “The Hungry Ones” says that the city is alive, that is 100% not hyperbole. Gomel has crafted a semi-cyberpunk dystopian where the city itself is a sentient being where the poor, the outcasts, all live on the lowest levels, and the elite high above the labyrinth in glittering towers of flesh and bone. Where the humans of the city have ‘arms that are sentient whip-like weapons embedded in their palms, and the living brain of the city births’ its own odd looking residents. Some of whom are inanimate objects brought to life, like yarn balls or traffic cones. It sounds vaguely funny, but this book is anything but—in a good way. “The Hungry Ones” is a literary fiction, fantasy horror ride that follows a woman who can’t remember who she is, but has a devastating power that can both stop the zombie-like Hungry Ones plaguing the city, and potentially save the city from a looming war with the country. This book was full of disturbing imagery, unexpected twists, and also beautifully written.
This is the third and final book in the Roxanne Fosch Files series, so just a heads up that this review may contain mild spoilers for those previous books. But really, this is an excellent urban fantasy, new adult supernatural and paranormal series so you should definitely check out the first two books. “Heir of Fury” picks up about three years where the last book left off, though only about three weeks have passed back in the “real world”. In that time, Roxanne has become Remo’s most valuable asset, and as his familiar, Roxanne is powerless to go against his orders, bringing him person after person to become a vessel for his evil schemes toward world domination and destruction of the Seelie lands. Roxanne has to figure out what Remo’s plans to achieve his goals are, and how to thwart them, without telling anyone because the second Remo even suspects that she is going against him, he’ll force her to turn against her friends and the few people she holds dear. Roxanne has always been a tragic hero, and this final book really punishes poor Roxanne, a unique shifter even amongst her people, all the way to the bitter sweet end.
Well, that’s it, I finally finished this trilogy. I’ve loved this trilogy from the start. I loved the idea of the angels fabricating an apocalypse just because one of them wants to be the Messenger and was tired of waiting around. I loved the constant struggle Raffe has with wanting to be with Penryn, but also yearning to be back with his brothers, his kind. I love that Penryn is so aware of his struggle, that she doesn’t hold these desires against Raffe and takes the time to stop and think, if our positions were switched, wouldn’t I do the same? This final book had a lot of loose ends to tie up, between Raffe still needing his wings back, Paige starving because she refuses to eat her new food source due to the barbaric experiments done on her, and you know, saving mankind along the way. But for all the new, creepy and action filled areas and new locations Ee takes us to in this book, it took a while to get going, and then ended all too quickly.
So, apparently, “Rhapsodic” is a fan fiction based on “A Court of Thorns and Roses” but, admittedly, I haven’t read that yet so I can’t speak to anything around the similarities of these two books, other than based on what I know of Sarah J. Maas’ series, I can see it. “Rhapsodic” is about a young siren named Callypso (Callie) who first makes a deal with The Bargainer (also the King of the Night in the fae realm) to help her out of a tragic event when she is fifteen, just shy of her sixteenth birthday. The Bargainer agrees to help, but Callie keeps calling him back, making deal after deal because she wants a friend. But the Bargainer is hot. And dangerous. And he “saved” her so of course she has a crush on this much older man (I’m not sure how much older, fae ages are odd, but needless to say, he is a MAN and nowhere near being a teen). Most of the book is about their evolving relationship, but the synopsis wants you to believe it’s also a mystery over who is terrorizing the Bargainer’s people, returning his female warriors in catatonic states with prophetic children clutched in their arms. But this is 80% a romance with some plot sprinkled in. And honestly? The thing that most people seem to like about this book, I could not stand.
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