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This is just one of those books that is super difficult to review.
Overall, it was good.
I think my downfall was reading The Darkest Part of the Forest before this one. I absolutely loved that book. It was amazing. I loved everything about it. When I figured out this series was set in the same universe, I was ecstatic. After reading The Darkest Part of the Forest, I was disappointed that it was a standalone. I thought this would be a perfect fit for me. I cannot get enough Hazel.
However, what I got instead was Jude, a cheap Hazel knockoff who is whiny, self-centered, clueless, and thinks way too much. Like way, way too much. Someone needs to get this kid out of her own head.
There was a lot of interesting stuff going on in this book, but I think it was a little too political and murderous for me. It was like Game of Thrones but with fey characters. For the most part, I found it kind of dull. And Jude's narration drove me crazy. She felt the need to overexplain everything, but was completely clueless as to what was going on around her (Come on now, we all know why Cardan hates you the moment we met him. And Taryn's secret lover is not so secret if you pay any attention at all.) Once she figures something out, she rehashes every encounter with the person as if the reader didn't know the person's intentions after reading one page about them. Jude, just stop talking. Go fight someone. For someone who has so much battle strategy, you know nothing about interpersonal realtionships.
I realize this sounds like an overly negative review, but I promise there were good parts. I really liked a lot of the characters (The Ghost, The Bomb, and The Roach are all fantastic in their own ways. And Oak is just so cute.) There were tons of twists and turns, which keep the reader on their toes. It definitely wasn't all predictable.
Plus, Hazel makes a cameo in the book. Squeeee! (Yes, that's the first and last time I will probably ever make that noise. But so worth it.)
So overall, it was a good book. It just wasn't as good as The Darkest Part of the Forest. I will probably continue the series, but I am in no hurry (plus the library doesn't have the next book in audiobook format yet, so the wait is on anyway). Starting Holly Black's Magisterium series next week and hoping for something a little more entertaining.