Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publishing Date: May 13
Genre: young adult, fantasy, gothic
Ingrid and Gabby survived the Underneath. They saved their brother, Grayson, from a future of dark servitude and exposed a plot to undermine the Alliance. But danger still lurks in the streets of Paris, and the Dispossessed, perched on the city’s bridges and rooftops, might not be able to save their human wards this time.
Two months after surviving the Underneath, Ingrid and Gabby are training hard in their newfound abilities and passions and Grayson attempts to control his shifting. Ingrid works closely with Monsieur Constantine to control her lightning, and Gabby fights demons alongside reluctant Chelle. But disorder erupts upon their father’s arrival and the return of the Alliance. Fallen angel Axia is still plotting to destroy Ingrid, but the Dispossessed, the Alliance, and another secret order have plans for each of the Waverly siblings. There is only so much Luc can manage before things truly begin to tip over the edge.
Do not continue reading this review if you haven’t read The Beautiful and the Cursed.
The action, adventure, and fantasy elements are even stronger; stakes even higher; plot even more complicated. What began as a unique spin in paranormal romance (think Mortal Instruments but darker, more dangerous, and with gargoyles) has turned into a lush story for every character involved — so rich in detail, in risk, that I cannot comprehend what the outcome will be in the final book. Side characters like Vander and Nolan are fleshed out further, to the point where the sisters and the reader notice their flaws. In the first book, they made the perfect romantic conquests. The obvious hero of Ingrid and Gabby’s stories. But with this next installment, we learn more about their past, their opinions and values, their future plans. It was a joy to read, because it created a sense of reality in the fantasy.
The primary narrators — Ingrid, Gabby, Grayson, and Luc — are showcased once again, with their tumultuous emotions and thoughts, their interwoven adventures and separate plots. Gabby struggles with her scars but is strengthened by her drive to become an Alliance member. Ingrid struggles between Vander and Luc in a way that doesn’t come across as a love triangle — it’s complicated to describe, but it’s so very clear which one she loves as a brother and as a lover that it doesn’t feel like a triangle. Her power is more controllable, but with its growth comes extreme danger for everyone involved. Grayson, on the other hand, lacks control in his shifting, but attempts to harness his demon-side and work with the Alliance instead of against them. And poor, poor Luc…he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place, and his turmoil just made me want to curl up and cry. So much responsibility weighs him down, and he is forever at odds with his love for Ingrid. It’s heartbreaking.
Like Morgan’s first book, the final 50-odd pages are just pure action from each point of view. It was like a movie with different camera angles, each new narrator coming into the picture just as another leaves. It’s amazing how she appears to easily weave these sequences together. Well done.
This is more than a second book in a trilogy. This book could stand on its own. It has its own plot, rather than a link between the first and last books. New secret societies with cruel intentions crop up, new influential characters are introduced, new stakes and struggles and topics. A beautiful and thrilling read. I cannot wait till it hits shelves — and I’m really looking forward to the final book!
Thank you, Edelweiss, for providing this book from Delacorte Press for review!