I feel like I let my guard down with this one. I blame the fact that is started off much stronger than its predecessor and so I got overly confident in it's ability. (If you have the desire to read my review on the first book in this series you can jump back to that masterpiece HERE.) And it is because of this that my ignition in finishing this book petered out fairly quickly. It's taken me far longer to finish this thing than originally anticipated, but now that I have I can finally do this...
...and share with you this horrendous experience. Buckle up.
Summer has come and gone. We are now with James, and if you remember he is supposedly Dee's best friend. We are entering this sequel through his POV now, which honestly I was down with. It was this very thing that had me intrigued from the get go. For all his flaws, which I will happily point out in this post, he was a much more enthralling character.
|Pretty much what I initially thought of James|
Anyway, you know how I was ecstatic that we were able to skip all the love triangle awkwardness from the first book, well it gets made up ten-fold in this sequel. From the very beginning we are told that James hasn't spoken with Dee much over the summer and it is heavily hinted that the reason is more that Dee never responded to James's "I love you" text versus her being in love and sucking face with a another dude. A Faerie dude, Luke, I mean Luke.
GOOD POINT: Luke is nonexistent in this entire novel. Even when Dee thinks she is with Luke, it turns out it's another faerie fucking with her, which honestly she kind of deserved. I mean it is presumed through these weird unsent text messages to James that she is making horrible decisions and she just assumes this Faerie is Luke and immediately begins to suck face with him. It's bizarre. This was like an even more uncomfortable version of Bella dealing with Edward running away.
|Okay, maybe not this bizarre, but pretty damn close!|
All James can think about is the fact that Dee might not feel the same about him as he does her and instead of him talking to her he blames her for not talking to him. He literally is using the old adage of, "Balls in your court," while not adding anything to the conversation to make this easier on her. In doing this he is also distancing himself from Dee at even just being her friend so she feels like she can't confide in him. Then in a desperate attempt to get him to be her friend again she tries to give him what he wants at great emotional pain to herself. And when she tries to come clean right away, because she feels like shit about it, he immediately turns his back on her. James is the worst representation of a nice guy who got friend-zoned. I'm out of fucks to give for him, but the story isn't over yet.
The James and Dee story line is really a side path, the main trail is that of James and Nuala. Yes lets talk about Nuala. She is a member of the Solitary Fey and is described as "part muse, part psychic vampire" - who came up with that crap?. The muse part is right, but vampire? really? I mean she drinks years, not blood. Basically she gives the gift of art; whatever art you're into, but she prefers musicians. In return she takes away years of your life and this is what sustains her for sixteen years. On Halloween of her sixteenth year she is burned and then starts all over.
|How the book wants you to see Nuala|
Nuala tries to seal the deal by giving James a taste of what she can give him, but having only just survived a freak accident caused by Faeries over the summer James, rightfully so, turns her down hard and multiple times too. However, we are given a glimpse of Nuala's tactics when she is trying to secure a protege. These include, stalking, manipulation, invasion of privacy, and ignoring someones polite request to leave them the fuck alone. I'm not a fan of hers.
|James, cool bagpiper|
As I said Halloween is approaching and there are stirrings in the Faerie community. There is an actual Thorn King who rules the dead and sings every night a list of people who are going to die. James along with Dee and his roommate Paul have heard this song each night since they started attending Thornking-Ash. You're given the impression that something bad is coming, especially since all three of those characters are on the list of the dead, but to be honest it was a bit of a let down. The only person who was even a little bit threatened was Dee and we knew that was probably going to happen.
GOOD POINT: I wasn't sure if this was going to be a good point, but I've decided to add it so deal with it. The weird unsent text messages. While yes they did irk me in the beginning I found them quite useful later on. It gave just enough insight into what Dee was going through to know that James was an awful human. Now, I think it was silly that she never sent them, but the moment that the teacher pulls out Dee's phone and shows it to James because she is missing *kisses fingertips* that was great.
Additionally, new Queen Eleanor has been hiring humans to kill Solitary Fey for some reason. It all comes back to dealing with the Thorn King, but it's not made clear or digestible from the beginning. The main crux of the story is slowly dished out and instead we have to shovel through 300+ pages of really bad teen angst to get to it.
Eventually (and I mean not until the last 10 pages or so) we are told that Eleanor wants to use Dee to create a new Thorn King. One that would rule the Dead and the Solitary Fey. As Dee is the Cloverhand she is the only logical choice. So she is kidnapped and James has to save her.
Now I know I harped on Dee in Lament, but at least when James and Luke were kidnapped she gets her shit together and figures out what she needs to do. While she forgets about James momentarily in the heat of all the crazy she does make him a priority without question. Key thing here, she sacrifices the guy she loves to save him, as in she never sees Luke again so that James can live. That is what a best friend does.
On the other hand it takes James FOREVER to decide to help his Best Friend instead of staying with Nuala whom he is only dating because he believes he was friend-zoned when in reality his Best Friend was going through a really tough time and he chose to ignore her. Like here's the thing, Nuala had no chance of dying, none. The only fear was she would forget James after she was burned. Dee on the other hand was very much going to die. Heart cut out of her chest, never coming back from that, dying. And Fuck Boi James hesitates, really?
That is not how you treat a Best Friend and that is not how you treat someone who you said you loved up until 3/4 of the way into this book. This was the moment when I cracked and gave up entirely on this book. It didn't matter that James did go back for Dee eventually. It didn't matter that he saved her and his teacher was made the new Thorn King. I was done with him.
And to make it that much worse, Nuala is returned to him, full memory and all. Because he definitely deserved the happy ending while Dee gets to be all alone and watch him be happy after all she has done for him. Ugh! James and Nuala are the absolute worst!
GOOD POINT: Apparently there is no third installment for this series. There is a hint of a novel called Requiem that was never published and honestly I don''t know if it ever will be published. I just know I'm happy because I finished this "series" and don't have to continue reading about these characters.
BAD POINT: If you weren't going to finish the series with a third book you could have ended the second one a little better.
0.5 stars out of 5
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