Top critical review
With a spoon
Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2021
I still feel, at most, tepid about this series. It’s hard to put my finger on precisely what is bothering me about these books compared to Gemini, TBGTN, or POA, which I loved.
In part, I feel like I am missing something, as though there was a previous series that provided the bulk of the world-building for the AU. From the Black Hat organisation and it’s history, Black witches, Daemons, Fae, and Rue herself, I simply don’t have enough information to care about any of the characters or situations. The whole Salem witch trail call back made me roll my eyes so hard that I saw double for a moment. I am currently reading yet another para-mystery book that also features the same McGuffin.
My feelings of apathy and return to teenage eye-rolling was not helped by the hyperbolic descriptions of Asia’s hair as being “miles long” nor the laundry list of homeopathic ingredients in Rue’s various products. Every reference felt like filler cribbed from thrown away notes regarding Midas’s hair or Grier’s sweet treats. Too much emphasis is on the unimportant details instead of the developing the characters or story in a way that makes me want to know more about this series.
As it is, I keep trying to force myself to re-read the Black Dog series that I generally disliked (an all-powerful teenager/new adult hooks up with an immortal incubus who is also her trainer/boss? 🤮) because none of Ms. Edwards’s books bother to develop the fae AU despite having fae characters. I can only assume that the expectation of the author is that readers will have read (and recall) the series that did do the world building.