The Damned is a fantastic sequel; expanding on the world and characters, building on the plot, and answering so many of my questions from the first book.
I absolutely adore Renee Ahdieh’s writing style. I just need to make that clear. It’s beautiful, with so much depth and description. Her dialogue flows perfectly, with great banter and some fun humor. Her writing seems to get better and better with every book.
The setting of this book is another standout aspect. The Beautiful was dark and atmospheric, vague and mysterious, and The Damned is definitely atmospheric, but much less vague. The world-building is much clearer, with the supernatural creatures and their histories explained in depth.
This book answers a lot of questions and leaves you with even more questions. This series is still more character-focused than plot-focused, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a plot. The Damned seemed a lot more action-packed than The Beautiful, but the pacing is still a little on the slower side. It definitely picks up in the second act, and by the end, there is quite a lot happening at once. Speaking of that ending- yeah I’m still in shock.
Where the focus of The Beautiful was predominately on Celine, The Damned pays much closer attention to Bastien. We barely see Celine until the second act. But, honestly, I didn’t mind- Bastien has such amazing character growth over this book, and so much to deal with, that it never bothered me that Celine was sidelined for a little while. However, she gets some amazing moments as well.
Every character in this book is extremely well developed. This cast of characters is so fun to read about. I would read an entire spin-off series about Odette, Jae, or Arjun, I love them so much.