***Warning! This book contains spoilers from the previous book in the series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***
To see my review of book #1 – Flock – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 4.5 Stars
Until we meet again. Until we can feel the rain on both our faces. There has to be a time for us in the next life. I don’t want any part of a heaven where I don’t see you.”– Kate Stewart, “Exodus”
What It’s About:
The official synopsis:
Can you live a lie?
It’s a ghost town, this place that haunts me, the one that made me.
It’s clear to me that I’ll never outgrow Triple Falls or outlive the time I spent here.
I can still feel them all, my boys of summer.
Even when I’d sensed the danger, I gave in.
I didn’t heed a single warning. I let my sickness, my love, both rule and ruin me. I played my part, eyes wide open, tempting fate until it delivered.
There was never going to be an escape.
All of us are to blame for what happened. All of us serving our own sentences. We were careless and reckless, thinking our youth made us indestructible, exempt from our sins, and it cost us all.
I’m done pretending I didn’t leave the largest part of me between these hills and valleys, between the sea of trees that hold my secrets.
It’s the reason I’m back. To make peace with my fate.
And if I can’t grieve enough to cure myself in my time here, I’ll remain sick. That will be my curse.
But it’s time to confess, to myself more so than any other, that I’d hindered my chances because of the way I was built, and because of the men who built me.
At this point, I just want to make peace with who I am, no matter what ending I get.
Because I can no longer live a lie.
That’s my review of this book.
No I’m totally kidding!
…But in all honesty, I have NEVER needed a cigarette more than after I read this book…or therapy. And lets be clear: I DON’T SMOKE CANCER STICKS, but after this book…… I get it now!
I couldn’t wrap my head around all that happens in this book and the emotions it all brought with it. I started reading these books to hopefully get over this reading slump I’m in, but little did I know I was going to put myself in an even WORSE book hangover after this book! Holy Moly….
The last time I remember feeling this whack after taking in some sort of media (movie, tv show, book, etc) was when I watched the infamous Tiger King documentary series on Netflix and couldn’t help but crazy laugh to myself at how crazy the story got and wonder what could possibly happen next and how things could possibly get worse, but they somehow do!
This book immediately picks up where “Flock” left off where Cecilia and us meet the big head honcho in charge of the operation: The Frenchman. Everything we thought we had figured out from the first book is completely out the window and everything has changed. Like you literally have no idea what to expect if you’re going off just the previous book. It’s so chaotic and mindboggling!
At this point it’s almost needless to say Cecilia’s (and YOUR) lives are flipped upside down.
Kate Stewart really surprised me with this one; the tone was a lot darker and instead of a seemingly normal new adult summer romance, this all of sudden turned into a dark mafia story…that’s all I’m going to say about that. Actually, I’m going to say just a little bit more because honestly, it’s hard to talk about this book without getting spoilery, so really I say go check out what I liked and disliked but beware of spoilers….
We love rainy days don’t we baby?”– Kate Stewart, “Exodus”
What I Liked:
- The Tone Got More Urgent & Dark! The tone in this sequel got a lot darker and things are moving at a much faster speed and overall just so much more is happening…so much so that it’s actually a lot to take in. More than I was honestly expecting. All of a sudden I’m reading a dark mafia romance and there’s worry of people getting shot! It was chaotic, but I liked it! I was definitely hooked!
- More Spice! Awwwwwww yeahhhhhh just what the dick-tor ordered! (I’ll see myself out for that one)
- The Story Goes So Deep and EVERYTHING is Connected! I was majorly impressed with how well Kate Stewart connected everything within the story and how literally ALL the characters had a specific role in how things played out. I love it when you discover that every character served a purpose like that, even if it doesn’t happen in present time within the book.
What I Didn’t Like:
- Weird How Dominic and Sean get Shafted…I liked Sean, and I was a sucker for Dom, but wow did I feel like they got the biggest brush-off in this book! The Frenchman, Tobias, swoops in and shakes things up even bigger than Rhysand did in A Court of Thorns and Roses, but luckily the two guys didn’t get reduced to being two Tamlins…still, I was hoping they’d play a bigger part in this book than what we actually got.
- That Death…It was definitely one of those scenes where I had to triple check I’d just read what I actually read…this reminded me of when I first read Finnick Odair’s death in Mockingjay and part of me was inwardly panicking as to what just happened and if it was somehow not true….but it was, and wow did it hurt right in the chest.
- I’m VERY Torn on Tobias…I’m just gonna start this one off and say that Tobias isn’t a good guy. And his relationship that develops with Cecilia is definitely toxic. I’m not sure if they’re actually meant to be, but damn does Kate Stewart write them to convince me that they are! Honestly, both of them are complete messes, but they certainly did have a unique kind of dynamic that I don’t see a whole lot of in books, so that was really refreshing! I loved the whole “hating you-to-loving you” dynamic with lots of spice. It was dark, but I was here for it. Tobias just was also a very unlikable character which is also interesting, and I was torn on whether I liked him or not. I both liked it and didn’t like it, but again, I did like how it kept me guessing on his motives and what his true feelings were. The romance genre is unfortunately a fairly predictable genre to read, so the fact that this book and this character were anything but did make me appreciate it more!
Overall, I was not prepared for how much this book was going to sweep the rug out from underneath me! I was warned by my #bookstagram friends that it will tear me apart, to which I was cynical about, but I will say this book really took more out of me than I was expecting. I wasn’t a weeping ball of emotions on the floor, but I started these books to try and cure a reading slump I feel like I’ve been in this whole year, and little did I know that this one was going to put me into a whole other book hangover…But I can say I did really enjoy these and absolutely plowed through them like they were a fresh meal placed right in front of me and I hadn’t eaten in about a week!
It’s really hard to say “If you liked _________, then you’ll like these books too!” I can’t say I’ve ever read romance books quite like these before. I guess I should say if you’re not afraid of darker themes and the relationships somewhat–putting that mildly–toxic, and the characters VERY morally grey and not entirely likable, then this will be right up your alley! Good luck with therapy….
Thanks for Reading!
— Nick Goodsell