Review: The Black Key (The Lone City #3)

The Black Key (The Lone City, #3)


I have been a fan of this series and was so excited to see how it would finish. It pains me to say the end was a huge disappointment. This felt like another example of how authors try to fit too much into just a few pages and expect it to work.

Violet and the members of The Black Key are finally ready to wage war against the members of The Jewel and take their freedom back. Violet’s sister has been taken by her former master and this only fuels the rage building within Violet. With the help of the other surrogates, Violet leads a rebellion nobody is expecting.

The third and final book in the series has a pretty simple premise, but the delivery of the actual story felt much more complicated. The biggest issue I had with this story was how wordy the first 60% felt. Violet and the others spent a good majority of the entire story trying to convince the other surrogates to help The Black Key. That’s great and all, but how about you add a few more details to help pull the reader into this experience? The only thing we, the readers, were given was the line, “connect to the elements”. That’s great and all but HOW did you connect to the elements?! What did it feel like? We were never told. What we were told was that when these surrogates “came back from the cliff” they suddenly felt “connected to the elements”. That’s fabulous and all, but that doesn’t help me understand what is going on. If I don’t understand what is going on I’m not going to cheer for you to beat the bad guys in the end.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Violet in this story. It felt almost like she was just far too big for her britches. She felt since she could connect with all of the elements and it was her sister, Hazel, that was kidnapped, nobody else but her could save her. Well, that’s rather selfish. She went so far as to use her powers to change her physical appearance, but as soon as she talked everyone knew exactly who she was. AND NOBODY STOPPED HER. What kind of security is in this house?! It all felt too…. convenient. The rest of the characters felt as if they had not grown or developed any more from book 2 so there isn’t much I can say about them.

As I mentioned, the first 60% of the book felt super wordy. Everything was over-described but not in a way that was useful to the story. The action didn’t start until the last third of the book. When it did, it went by quickly. The end of the book was so rushed it upset me. Ewing tried to tie everything up with nice bows at the end but tried to do it in just a few pages. That doesn’t work for me. I felt cheated because I wanted… no, NEEDED a great ending but didn’t get it. I also don’t feel the world building was there. Too much time and too many words were spent describing the dresses everyone wore and not enough time/words spent describing the necessary things – like the special gifts.

I was not the biggest fan of this book, but overall I really liked the series. I think the ending could have been done better but that wasn’t my call. I gave the entire series 4 stars but this book alone was barely 3. If you have not read this series, please give it a chance. Maybe you’ll enjoy the ending far more than I did.




2 thoughts on “Review: The Black Key (The Lone City #3)

  1. Having a weak ending is the worst — it sounds like the author didn’t plan for it very well so had to set some stuff up to get to where she needed it to be in order to have her ending. I prefer it when everything is set up in previous books and the last book is just one huge climax followed by a decent resolution. Sorry this disappointed you! I haven’t read this series yet, but it does look somewhat interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The first two books were so well done that it gave me very high hopes for this one. Oh what a fool I was. The climax didn’t take place until almost the very end. I spent most of the book waiting for something to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

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