These Ruthless Deeds

This has been a joy to read. The last book left Evelyn having to mourn her sister’s death, and well, there are much more twists in this book than I initially thought. 

All the while still managing to make me laugh out loud every time. Especially the interactions between the three main characters. They clearly are the funniest bunch here. 

As for the entire plot, I really didn’t seem so many things coming. Except for that last twist as for who was the head. It was a bit on the easy side, but one which gave her plenty of motives too. Since there weren’t a lot of characters from the nobility at the beginning of the story. But a lot of them, aren’t what you would expect and some come as pleasant surprises instead.  

Despite how light hearted and fun it seems on the surface, beneath it hides a lot more about the actual theme of the story. What should be done? Should someone make the decision to save just one person or a hundred? Should someone have the right to say who had the greater good? I really liked how those tragic moments within the entire story served to this theme. Even those moments have a much deeper depth when looked down. 

Since they have X-men like powers in this situation, it has a lot about how this powers should be used. Who should run them? And really who was revealed to be the head at the end, also gives her insight towards this. It really is great to see that these authors have managed to answer these questions and leave it to us. With people with extraordinary abilities, it gives a lot of questions that needs to be answered. 

As for Evelyn’s decisions here, and how it reflects in the book title. I really enjoyed that Evelyn wasn’t perfect, and well she sometimes made decisions not nearly as moral sometimes. And how she eventually realised that she isn’t all that different from them. I really enjoyed that and the ending, where it left everything as a cliffhanger yet a lot for Evelyn to reflect upon at the end. 

So overall, I really like this book for what it is, and how it balances the funny moments and really dark moments in this book. I always enjoyed a book with both comedic and dark elements, and well this does this really well. 

I recommend this to those who like young adult novels set in the Victorian Era who want to see something rather different, and one which had plenty of comedic moments and dark ones too. So, I recommend it to anyone really. And those who have enjoyed the previous book. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


The Crown’s Game 

You know what, I really couldn’t be bothered to read most of the book. The only part which intrigued me was towards the end where Nikolai died and potentially would be revived. If not, I was bored out of my mind with this book. 

To me, I had expected a more dangerous game. One where actual magic was used and thrown, not just reading love sick teenagers trying their best to kill each other, but really doing absolutely nothing to say they want to win the game.

The game itself had terms which made sense, and reasons why only one should exist was logical. And the ending does leave quite a lot more to be thought. But the middle was just so dreadfully boring, I completely forgot what was it about.

The magic system interested me, in many ways. Although at times, it felt a little ridiculous to be honest. Vika could do quite a lot, Nikolai, simply couldn’t be bothered. Since I had been bored out of my mind until the last few pages. Where something interesting had happened. 

The insta-love wasn’t as annoying as expected, just the complete lack of any tension of any sort about the game. It was like waiting for the glorious game you wanted only to find that it is mediocre and easy to break.  

But the tension and pacing was what killed me in this book. Even more than the cardboard characters which plagued the book. Though I liked the mother the most, and Vika nor Nikolai or even any characters had any depth of any sort. Even the love triangle to me was boring as hell, and quite unnecessary. It would have been better that Pasha did it out of other interests. 

And that the role of the imperial enchanter had been something which intrigued me quite a lot. I wanted to know more how it fitted in with this world, how it was part of the monarchy. I also wanted more intrigue with each other, seeing that the imperial enchanter was at court. 

I wanted more about the conflicting interests, and watching other people supporting Vika, nobility, the common. But nothing makes sense as there are no stakes involved, no threats to make them make a choice and even no conflict other than the two fell in love with each other the moment they met. 

As such, I really cannot rate this book highly as it was only interesting towards the end. The rest had flew over my head, or simply let me down in expectations. 

Rating: 2 out of 5


Revenge And The Wild

I really enjoyed this book for what it was and actually being bold. Westie is enjoyable and has her own flaws, yet had her own traits which blends well into the plot. 

I do admit that Alistair is actually a pretty decent love interest, he is kind and supports Westie no matter what she does and is there for her and is trying live despite all he has suffered, he is mute because of his injuries and is a very nice nod to disabilities with his portayal. 

As for Westie making mistakes, it was something that I had been waiting for. So many interesting moments occurred when Nigel didn’t believe her for quite reasonable reasons, because she could very much simply escalate and Westie isn’t certainly the most clear-headed when it comes to the ones who murdered her family. And I did like how she was a good person, perhaps not enjoying her revenge but nonetheless wanting justice done. Her initial character was interesting, but what made me care for her in the end had been solely her actions. 

As for the world, it did get a little messy at times. I do feel as though that it wasn’t nearly as well explored as it should have been in this case of the werewolves, the other groups apart from vampires and the Wintu. And a very nice touch of steampunk, such as Westie’s arm. 

The plot was well made with so many good twists which I never saw coming yet would have made sense. And at the same time plays on the fact that Westie isn’t perfect in her observation, but is so when it has something to do with her. And so many constant twists which I never expected about James and even the mayor himself. I really was thinking that James was another man interested in Westie but turned out completely different. 

Overall, I really recommend this to those who want something different and quite deep in the wild west. And also, if you want to read a good portrayal of disabled characters, the two main characters are disabled and active within the book itself. 

Rating: 4 out of 5


A Shadow Bright And Burning

This was rather enjoyable in a sense. Although Henrietta to me, is one of the flattest character I have read through. It was as though she was perfect from the start. And the love interests which does seem to be increasing(there are at least three which I can really say will be important.) 

But there were some points which were enjoyable, the world, the society and also on some level the plot and its twists. I really would never guess Henrietta a magician, yet pull it off so well. And the author has a knack for inserting some instances of magic into England’s history, which was rather well done. 

But Henrietta, it’s just that she had no flaws. Most of her actions are well justified, she simply has no mistakes. Even how horrible she was when it came to magic, but it didn’t feel like a flaw. She has almost no flaws in reality, and she just sounded way too kind-hearted to be able to take anything. 

And for healthy female representation, apart from Henrietta there is no one else. Show it through their wives, show another side of Eliza then. There are so many places where even Lilly would have been helpful somewhat, and she could show a deeper connection than simply a maid. I have almost no words for the lack of female representation here, and for Queen Victoria, I do want a little more in showing her aura as a monarch. She did feel like a queen on some level, but I do want to see more to how Victoria is here. There have been series which does it quite well(aka black butler)

But some twists which I didn’t see was interesting to find out, and went in unexpected directions. But the only flaw in this is that I really didn’t like how the ending was, it clearly didn’t feel like Henrietta. But she is supposedly perfect and never wrong, and as such I can’t really grasp onto her personality except that it is impulsive and intelligent. 

As for the three men who became important in her lives, I like Magnus the most. Funny, charming, and respectful of woman, all the while not being the whiny brat that he could have been. I mean, he has a healthy respect for women although he won’t inherit a dime, but who cares, he probably has almost no expectation on her behaviour and is the one person who welcomed her wholeheartedly at first, I would say that Henrietta should really consider this guy. It’s not everyday during the Victorian era would you meet such a guy. 

But the other two, Rook is slightly more likeable than the complicated Earl of Sorrow-fell, he felt more boring than anything, and Rook didn’t really capture my attention nor had my sympathy unlike Magnus who really showed an interesting personality who also has attributes which makes a healthy relationship, he won’t objectify them, not mock them. He is an example of a good man, and thus I like him in this sense. 

But I do want more development in all of them. This book failed to really create depth for any of the characters, apart from surface personalities, they were about as flat as paper. 

Overall, I would recommend this if you are new to the genre. But not if you like books with plenty of depth or will break status quo, this doesn’t cut it at all. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5