” “This needs to stop” […] I’m talking about war – about being a woman raised on a diet of pain and punishment. Where evil is avenged with more evil. It will never be enough to remedy the world.”
For the last decade Serenity Freeman has lived in a world torn apart by war. War caused by the evil and bloodthirsty King Lazuli. Now, after being appointed as emissary of the Western United Nations, she has to face her biggest fear and meet the Immortal King.
I really enjoy Laura Thalassa’s prose – it’s very easy to read. It’s devoid of overly grandiose lines that would simply not feel very natural in a book like this one.
Serenity Freeman is just another cliché YA girl. The only thing different about her is that she actually sees herself as the villain. She often says that she is a cold-hearted monster and it’s actually backed up by her brutal actions. I actually enjoyed that.
What was annoying about her was her changing her mind instantly for no apparent reason, on really important things. I am actually not sure if it was planned for her to be this fickle or if it’s just simply sloppy characterization.
King Lazuli was supposed to be the actual villain of this story. And he is. He is an awful, awful person… though it’s not as important as the fact that he’s really hot and he has abs. He’s clearly too pretty to be truly evil.
Montes Lazuli fell in love with Serenity the moment he saw her. He felt a connection. Which is… sooo overused and overdone. I mean come on. I was really hoping that there will be some kind of clever curse involved, something that he needs her for. I hoped that he was planning on using her and then he would actually fall in love. But no. It’s just insta-love. One-sided, gross, obsessive and dysfunctional insta-love.
This book is actually very fast paced. A lot of things are happening even though the book is 50% romance. But I expected that. I knew what I was doing, picking up Laura Thalassa’s book.
There isn’t much to say about plot. It’s angsty and fun, sometimes almost ridiculous, but it’s okay. What I have to talk about is the romance. Which is a little problematic. And I am not even talking about the age difference.
The thing is, in this book there are some cases of very questionable consent. No, not even questionable consent. It was rape. The main character was raped and it was portrayed as a romantic scene. Let me use a quote from the book:
A stray tear streaks down my cheek. “I hate you,” I say to him.
“You won’t always feel that way,” he says, thrusting into me.
“I will. I swear it.”
“Give it up,” he growls, pushing into me harder.
There is nothing romantic about this scene. It’s rape.
It doesn’t matter that he is hot and rich – it’s still rape.
It doesn’t matter if he loves her – it’s still rape.
It doesn’t matter if he made her come – it’s still rape.
If she was pressured into having sex with him – it’s still rape.
If she agreed to do this, but it was not of her own free will – it’s still rape.
I love Laura Thalassa. I really do. But what the fuck? This is a YA book, it’s clearly marketed towards young girls. It should teach them what consent is, not showing this twisted and sick image. That’s not how a healthy relationship works and that’s not how a healthy sex looks.
So… why 2 stars? It’s because despite everything, I enjoyed this book. A little. It’s fun, but it’s also why it’s dangerous. I am just really glad that I didn’t read this book when I was younger.