In the year 2049, Paige is employed to use her powers break into people’s minds for the crime lord she works for. People with her powers are sought out, so after being captured, she is forced to live in a secret society that harnesses her powers.
Spoiler Free Review:
Content Warnings: murder, violence, slavery, sexual assault (attempted), torture
After reading (and loving) The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon last year, I knew I wanted to check out her series. I had started reading the ebook a while ago, but I got confused. When I picked up the physical book, the beginning once again confused me. I finally turned to the audiobook and made it through the first 30 or so pages. My biggest complaint about this book is that beginning bit, and I saw recently that the author said she wishes she could rewrite that. It was just so confusing and there was just so much information, so it definitely turned me off of the book several times.
I think in general, the magic could have been explained better. I kind of went along with it, but I never really had a deep understanding of it, possibly because I was so confused by the beginning. The magic is pretty much all based in the mind, so there was no tangible elements to go along with it. I’m hoping I’ll understand it better through the next books.
Other than the confusing magic and worldbuilding, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I absolutely loved the atmosphere of the secret society Paige is taken to. It is so dark and there were some elements of it that were quite messed up and dark, but it was just so cool and interesting. Paige keeps rebelling against her position, and after seeing and experiencing the new world she is supposed to just accept, it is totally understandable.
One thing that I saw a ton of backlash for in negative reviews was the romance, which I disagree with. All humans in this society are chosen by a master, and Paige is no exception. Her master does restrict her at times, but it is more out of the need to protect her by fitting in with societal norms. I don’t think I would describe their relationship as a romance, especially because Paige spends a good portion of the book hating him. I would say it is more of curiosity and tension that evolves into attraction and understanding. Either way, I really enjoyed this portion of the book and I am very excited to see what happens in regards to their relationship in the rest of the series.
I think overall the plot was a little hard to find at times. A lot of the book is Paige just kind of trying to escape the terrible circumstances that she’s in.
This book definitely had it’s issues for me, but I think it created such a cool world and really was fun to read after I got past the confusion. I am very excited to read more books in this series!