G. Bianco, 2019
Fans of Renée Ahdieh’s The Beautiful don’t have to wait any longer! The second installment in the series, entitled The Damned, is out today and takes fans back into the supernatural world that hides beneath the surface of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien. Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn. Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.
This sequel provided a more varied look at the story and, while it picked up where The Beautiful left off, diverted in terms of where I thought the plotline was going to go. The multiple POVs allowed for more secrets to be revealed and really helps the reader get enveloped in the story a bit more. However, I was hoping for a bit more in the forbidden romance side of this book, but instead got more fantasy in the form of a lot more mythology and politics.
The first half of the novel really focuses on Bastien and how he grapples with his new lease on life however the second half suddenly shifts into more of an attempt to build a fantasy world beyond New Orleans. And whatever turn you think this story is going to take: think again. Plot twist after plot twist occurs and Celine, Bastien, and The Court of Lions find themselves involved in more trouble than initially seems possible.
Fair warning: there is a LOT that happens in this novel, so beware of an information overload as the supernatural world gets explored a bit more. Readers learn more about the Sylvan Vale, Sylvan Wyld, The Brotherhood, and other creatures that stay hidden from the eyes of mortals. Hopefully, a third book will be planned and released soon, because Ahdieh leaves us with even more questions than answers at the end of this book!
While I enjoyed the second installment in the series, it seems like Ahdieh wanted to use this book as a jumping point for a possible third book and introduce new plotlines instead of developing the ones already put in place. I look forward to seeing what will happen next to Celine, Bastien, and everyone else as things start to shift in their world.
*I received an ARC from PenguinTeen in exchange for my honest opinion.
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