Book Review: All of Us Villains (All of Us Villains #1)
Happy Holidays Bookworms!
I hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday weekend with family and friends and got some rest and relaxation too.
There was a bit less tradition for me this time around. I got to see my mother and a couple siblings at a local casino. It’s something of a thing my family does from time to time, and I loved every minute. Besides that it’s been a lot of blissful alone time with my cat Ajax. I must be turning into a hermit or something!
Anywho, today I’m doing another book review. This time it’s the popular recent release All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman (who looks a lot like a close friend of mine I might add).
This book was originally on my radar closer to its release in early November, but with grad school and an overpacked TBR it took me a hot minute to get to this one.
Obviously this book has a stunning darker cover going for it, and the mention of magic really intrigued me. It’s been a while since I did a fantasy read, so I dove right in.
Was this book as good as everyone’s been saying it is? Keep on reading to find out!
The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins.
Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death.
The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world–one thought long depleted.
This year, thanks to a salacious tell-all book, the seven champions are thrust into worldwide spotlight, granting each of them new information, new means to win, and most importantly: a choice – accept their fate or rewrite their story.
But this is a story that must be penned in blood.
I am an Amazon affiliate and earn a tiny commission for purchases made through the Amazon links in this post at no cost to you. It’s a great way to help me keep things running on my blog if you’re already intrigued enough to make a purchase.
I was excited to read this newer release, but while this book has some things going for it, it wasn’t the right read for me in the end.
This book centers on a cluster of magically-blessed families in a small town called Ilvernath. Every generation a member from each of the seven families must fight to the death. But some of the champions, desperate to end the bloodshed, try to find a way to end this cursed game. Will they succeed, or are they just prolonging their inevitable demise?
First and foremost, I have to point out that I’m a lover of darker fiction. My preferences are geared in a certain direction that some more frequent YA readers may not agree with.
Okay, so a couple things really stood out that I very much liked. First off, the cover. It looks very dark and chilling. It really draws you in. The concept was really cool too. A magic-imbued version of Hunger Games? Um, sign me up! I really enjoyed the magic system and how it worked, as well as the arena of sorts that the champions competed in. That was definitely a fresh take on fantasy.
Unfortunately, that’s about where the pros end for me.
I think my core issue with this novel is the characters. There’s something really irks me about teens being portrayed as overly emotional and reckless in media. Actually, they are quite capable of handling a situation, even a horrible one like this. The characters brooded way too much for my taste and that quickly became a focus.
To be fair, everyone had beef with each other at some point, but in a magic death tournament like this one, you really wouldn’t have time to just be brooding day in and day out about your problems with someone. Also, I didn’t really care for the romance that was included. It just really didn’t go anywhere for me.
The characters’ flaws also brought the plot down with it. Certain character/s are trying to end this curse so they don’t have to kill each other, right? Well, they don’t truly start doing anything about trying to undo things until the last 100 pages. It was pretty maddening for me given how long I spent in their narrative hearing about their issues. I just wanted them to do something, anything to better their situation without constantly talking about it.
Also, this awesome magically-caged arena of sorts that the champions are fighting in has special landmarks and relics that give some pretty cool perks. However, a lot of time is wasted by characters just sitting tight in their defensive landmarks. There were a couple chapters that started explaining that a few days or a week had gone by, which completely blew my mind. A week went by? What did you do for the entire week? I just didn’t understand why there wasn’t a sense of urgency.
This book did deliver some darker moments (two or three that really caught my eye) and there were some fun magic battles in small spots, but given my other issues with the book it wasn’t enough to keep me satisfied. I won’t be continuing this series, but I can definitely see the appeal for more seasoned readers of character-focused YA books.
That’s A Wrap!
Well that’s it for this book review. I hope you enjoyed it!
Have you read this book? Are there other similar books you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!
Have a great day!
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A fresh take on a magic system is a big plus, I think. Too bad overall the book didn’t work for you. Interesting review nonetheless, Jonny!
Totally. I want to try out some of those magic relics! Thanks for stopping by, friend!