AUTHOR: Alexandra Christo
AGE: Young Adult
Atia is a monster who feeds on fear. As the last of her kind, she hides in the shadows of the world to escape the wrath of the unpredictable Gods. Silas is a Herald, carrying messages and ferrying the dead as punishment for a past he can’t remember. Stripped of his true name, he yearns to recover his identity.
Atia would never dream of allying with someone like him, but when she breaks a sacred law and the Gods send monsters to hunt her, Silas offers an irresistible deal: he’ll help avenge her family and take on the Gods who now hunt her, if she helps him break his curse and restore his humanity. All they need to do is kill three powerful creatures: a vampire, a banshee, and one of the very Gods who destroyed both their lives. Only together can they finally rewrite their destinies.
Thank you to NetGalley and Fierce Reads for an e-arc of this book!
Christo does villainous female main characters so well, or dark ones, however you want to phrase it. They’re some of my favorites written, because I’d call them the “stabby heroine” type, which I adore.
In this book Atia is a monster who feeds on fear, but she is more than that. Her story parallels with Silas, a Herald who deals with death. Silas and Atia have a common goal: kill a god. Each have their own reasons for wanting to kill a god, and the backstory of both characters was excellently strung out. I like how throughout the book the plot has different pieces that tie in, I felt that it was a well developed book.
I thought the world building (especially for a standalone!) was great, because you were drawn into this intoxicating mythological world, which you can tell is based on real mythology. I think that makes it easier for world building in such a limited space. I enjoyed how the “monsters” functioned in this book, as well as the gods.
I also really loved the writing in this book. It was a dark, atmospheric read, it made me think of a dark fall day or winter’s night as I was reading. There were also some amazing, stunning quotes that I highlighted throughout this book.
I was invested in Atia as a character. The side characters in this book as well were strong, I loved Tristan and Cillian as well as Thia — they all made excellent bell ends for Silas and Atia. Honestly, all the main characters arcs were fascinating, and I loved the emphasis behind the story of what makes a monster a monster.
This is very much a quest storyline, and it has its typical ups and downs. There were a few parts I felt that the pacing was a little off (a lot of travelling, and there were just some parts that I didn’t love) but most of it was well done. I enjoyed the slow blooming romantic relationship in this book, Atia was especially my favorite.
This is an excellent YA dark fantasy/romance that is both sweet and dark at the same time.