April 6, 2021 : Though it would be easy enough to just quietly delete this review or rating in light of everything, I won’t (nor would I ever). I’m holding myself accountable for this ignorance instead of burying it. However, I want to now preface this review to say that I apologize if anyone picked this book/series up because of my more or less favourable review and was then harmed or disappointed by the antisemitic content and my “approval”/enjoyment of it. I’m sorry to say I did not see it and no one is to blame for that but me.
I’m not going to link to everything, because there’s so much (and more with each passing day!), but the twitter or instagram threads that go into more detail — not only about the content of this series but the author themselves and the additional harm they have done — are easy to find. I don’t say all this to prevent anyone from choosing to read anything by this author but more for the chance to go in fully aware of what you might encounter.
Darkness never works alone…
Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.
As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.
Title : Ruthless Gods
Author : Emily A Duncan
Series : Something Dark and Holy (book two)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 544
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Wednesday Books
Release Date : April 7, 2020
Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★
Hollis’ 3 star review
I feel like I’m in exactly the same place with RUTHLESS GODS as I was with WICKED SAINTS. This series, the content in these books, the twisty story of betrayal and blood and more betrayal, is both worthy of love and full of frustration for me. The worldbuilding, the pantheon of gods, of monsters, of heretics and holy people, it’s all very complex and fascinating, but equally confusing and repetitive.
I feel this one did hold together better than book one, where we know so little and even less is made clear (which is apparently how the author wanted it), whereas things took a turn here that revealed both more and, in some ways, well.. not less but definitely not everything.
Another aspect that I both loved and didn’t was the romantic element(s). One couple I was hugely there for (yes, please, more), and the other? I felt smitten by it at times and over it for others. It’s a very push, pull, and then throw the other off a cliff kind of dynamic and it makes it fascinating and fun and also agonizing (not in a good way) as you struggle to keep up and, also, parse it all. Also like in book one, I’m pretty sure I would die for Serefin, and, I mean, I would at least call 911 for the others. If they asked me to.
So, yes, hardly a glowing review, but I think book three has the potential to knock this out of the park. We’re on stronger footing at the end of this installment — it definitely didn’t feel like book two syndrome — and if this trend continues it’ll be bigger and bloodier and probably even more betrayalier (it’s a word). I’ll read on. I’m two books in, after all; can’t stop me now.
** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **