This audiobook sat in my library for nearly a year. Why did I suddenly listen to it? The third book was available and I figured I would finally listen to the books I have. Sadly, this was very predictable and not overly exciting.
This was me during and after this story:
(Very) short recap: Echo is now the Firebird, Caius is the former Drakharin Prince who has lost everything, and the Avicen & Drakharin are officially at war.
There! You are all caught up now. This book suffered the dreaded Middle Book Syndrome in the worst way possible. A good portion of this really long story is spent to building relationships and very slowly giving information about what is coming in Book 3… but honestly it doesn’t reveal much of anything. At all. Nada. Basically I’m trying to say this book was boring. I kept waiting for something to happen but it never did. Sure, there were some “fight scenes” (and I did mean to use quotes) but they were weaksauce at best. It felt like Grey was told to include some battles to remind the readers that the two races were actually at war. With that being said, the tone of the book somewhat shifted from serious (like Book 1) into trying to be funny and snarky. It missed the mark. Big time. It read more like forced humor than anything. It all left me confused because I felt I was missing the actual tone of the story. Sounds weird, right? Let me try to explain better: Echo is now the proclaimed Firebird but she would rather walk around being the snarky teen who verbally picks on people every chance she gets. I didn’t jive with that so much.
The cast of characters in Book 2 also felt like they were trying too hard. The chapters were told from alternating POVs but you didn’t know whose chapter was who’s until they started talking. Sometimes it would switch in the middle of the chapter. Talk about confusing! It did not take long to realize that this book is heavy-Jasper. If you are looking for more Jasper in your life, here you go! There is a long and I’m sure confusing way I could describe what was going on but I’ll spare you all of those details. The short version is that Jasper is drawn emotionally to Dorian and hopes he loves him in return, all while Jasper hopes his ex (Quinn) is in the picture. This storyline itself felt like it didn’t belong in the story. I thought this was supposed to be about Echo and her destiny, not Jasper and his personal battles. I get that it helps with character development but I’m not sure he needed to develop that much. I started skimming… and almost skipping over… his sections. They were just too much. The same goes for Ivy. I don’t know why I didn’t like her so much but I didn’t. Her sub-story went on way too long. Her voice sounded like that of a jealous teen whose friend is more popular than she is. I didn’t care for it either. Echo is still herself… but more juvenile, if that’s possible. I don’t feel she grew much, other than she was the Firebird.
Are you ready for the last big grip of this book? LOVE TRIANGLE. That’s right! There is a completely forced yet pointless love triangle! Echo is the main person who has feelings for two guys. Big whoop. She was dating Rowan, never broke up with him, but felt as if it was okay to fool around with Caius? What in the actual… So pointless.
Here is what bothered me most of all with this story: It did not feel original. That’s harsh, I know but it’s true. It felt like a mashup of other fantasy YA books rolled into one. I felt parts of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Red Queen, and The Orphan Queen to start with, and a sprinkle of Harry Potter thrown in. NO JOKE. I picked up huge similarities to HP. DoSaB stood out the most to me. I know Book 1 was heavily compared to that series but it still holds true with this story. People with feathers battling dragons, good vs. evil, light vs. dark. Sure, it has been done before but it felt rehashed here.
I won’t say this entire story was bad, I will say that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted. I kept waiting for something to happen but it never did. It was a long waiting yet predictable game. The ending came as zero surprise. I saw it early on and just shrugged my shoulders when I got to that part of the story. I will still continue to book 3 but believe me when I say the expectation is low.