Kindle Edition ✓ Ruthless Gods Epub Ö


Ruthless Gods Darkness never works aloneNadya doesn t trust her magic any Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn t belong to him Malachiasz is at war with who and what he s become As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined They re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone or something The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer I have been sitting on this review for weeks and am finally ready to tweak the final version Here goes.Thank you so much to Wednesday Books via NetGalley for the e ARC in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.I read Wicked Saints as an ARC too and enjoyed the basis of the story, although found Duncan s writing style to be repetitive to the nauseatingly I need to skim point of being terrible I thought she would take that round of criticism from Wicked Saints and build a bette I have been sitting on this review for weeks and am finally ready to tweak the final version Here goes.Thank you so much to Wednesday Books via NetGalley for the e ARC in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.I read Wicked Saints as an ARC too and enjoyed the basis of the story, although found Duncan s writing style to be repetitive to the nauseatingly I need to skim point of being terrible I thought she would take that round of criticism from Wicked Saints and build a better novel with editorial assistance in Ruthless Gods.and OH god was I wrong.If I had to read one of 5 adjectivesboy onetime I would have died She has the continent s ENTIRE future political leadership trekking across the country and all they do is continue to chase each other s tails Maybe the hunter couldn t have done much politically but can we treat Serefin like the actual king of Tranavia This entire trek could have been EPIC and all we got wasof blah blah I was betrayed blah and now I m afraid but let s kiss again and Nadya s broken record just played, and played, and played Oh yeah, Nadya thinks that she did but she really learned nothing from book 1 and she s still terrible She is changing but doesn t seem to be internalizing any of her lessons, although Kostya comes back long enough to force some true self reflection That particular dynamic was surprising and one of theinteresting ones.Duncan did do a bit of a better job showing monstrosities versus just talking about them, but again it was so repetitive I did like her take on the gods and monsters and older beings, but she could have used Nadya s broken record headspace to talkabout some of the Slavic lore she was throwing out in names and titles only That is something I d like to have read about.Serefin was my favorite character again because he is amazing, even though Duncan turned him into the token other character I really think Ostyia would have been enough in that department Serefin and his moths and his bad vision and his nonexistent brutality talk talk talk, never shown just make me happy, and I think he had the most interesting arc in this book If nothing else Duncan did use his and Malachiasz s time together to explain all of the Tranavian political hierarchy that was missing from Wicked Saints Last but not least the OneReadingNurse infamous medical rant Have you ever actually seen a pupil blow I have Someone having a stroke A blown pupil is TERRIFYING, and having someone s pupils blow open is TERRIBLE choice of phrase for someone surprised or experiencing adrenaline Not only that but I think it was used at least 3 times throughout the book and I just don t understand why an editor didn t clam this up.The ending other than the last sentence which again was a terrible word choice, but sounded cool was almost enough of a cliffhanger to make me want book 3, but I don t think the plot is enough to cancel out Duncan s writing I will be waiting for the cliffnotes version.In summary if you liked Wicked Saints, read this, if not or if you were on the fence, stay away Ruthless Gods IS marginally better but I personally can t do it for a third novel it s weird it s cerebral everyone is sad it nearly killed me it s a good 100 pages longer than WICKED SAINTS if you like cosmic horror, forests that want to eat you, and very sad very pretty boys and very tired very done with everything girls then i have a book for you that s all, see ya in 2020.edit 6.19.19 we have a cover and i m just going to come out ahead of arcs and put the necessary content warnings here because we re dealing with about the same level of blood self harm as Wicke it s weird it s cerebral everyone is sad it nearly killed me it s a good 100 pages longer than WICKED SAINTS if you like cosmic horror, forests that want to eat you, and very sad very pretty boys and very tired very done with everything girls then i have a book for you that s all, see ya in 2020.edit 6.19.19 we have a cover and i m just going to come out ahead of arcs and put the necessary content warnings here because we re dealing with about the same level of blood self harm as Wicked Saints, about the same level of alcoholism Serefin is Having A Time , i guess the same level of gore That one is rough because each person s understanding of what gore is in a book is different, I didn t think WS was particularly gory but some readers did So Keep that in mind I think RG is about the same level in regards to that, some minor drug use as a magic avenue it s mushrooms, but still , thebigone in this book is body horror eye horror Mainly eye horror There is so much eye horror in this book I don t know what happened So if eye stuff gets to you it gets to me idk how i wrote this I d be careful with this one edit 8.1.19 i have the Actual Page Numbers now and while there s weird eye stuff throughout the book but there smassiveeye trauma on pages 513 514 So, those are the pages to avoid if it s something that squicks you out, and they absolutely can be skipped, you can figure out what happens in them in the next chapter.edit 4.9.20 it s OUT have FUN drink WATER I just listened to the sixteen hour audiobook in two days and it s a DELIGHT 4.75 5This book s mood song match Gods and Monsters by Jessica Lange Full review on my Blog The Dacian She Wolf Oh, m dudes.I hope you brought some torches with you for this one because it s about to get dark.Correction darker.I stated in my previous review, Wicked Saints, that while reading this book I got the exact same uncomfortable sensation I had as a child while entering my old childhood Orthodox church The incense was strong, the saints were looking down at you from the walls a 4.75 5This book s mood song match Gods and Monsters by Jessica Lange Full review on my Blog The Dacian She Wolf Oh, m dudes.I hope you brought some torches with you for this one because it s about to get dark.Correction darker.I stated in my previous review, Wicked Saints, that while reading this book I got the exact same uncomfortable sensation I had as a child while entering my old childhood Orthodox church The incense was strong, the saints were looking down at you from the walls and the ceiling and countless old ladies were gawking at you because you forgot to do some ritualistic stuff before other ritualistic stuff like the miscreant you are.There is something poking you in the ribs while reading this book, something that feels unsettling But this aspect just adds to the great deal thatRuthless Godsis No mistake here.It s goth and cold and me likes it veryYou danced at the edge of darkness and light and you fell The atmosphere is the most incredible thing of this sequel No matter that you happen to sit on top of your comfy bed with a cup of herbal tea in your hand while reading this, if there is a scene in a dark forest in the middle of the night where mythical creatures lurk in the shadow and look at you with hunger, you ll be right there with them and you re going to freeze your heart off because of the fright.For me it s been this way Or like I m being trapped in a heavy metal music video Either work equally fine.SCARY SHIT.Ruthless Gods is a total chaos But in a good way.It s full of darkness, gore, betrayal and lies Oh, and moths And lots and lots of bleeding eyes And nightmarish creatures from the deepest and darkest wells of Slavic folkloric minds.The leitmotif of the book or at least one of them seems to be the eye There are eyes everywhere They appear everywhere and on everything And in any circumstances Their presence symbolises the unsettling feeling of being watched Constantly Disturbingly You are not alone You are never alone.Big Brother style, but creepier.The existence of older, darker fallen gods shows how much deeper the digging site of the Slavic mythology goes These ancient creatures are so old that they are a bitthan completely forgottenWhat if the gods you worship aren t gods at all Nadya and Malachiasz s relationship is definitely still odd and a bit unhealthy by the beginning of the book but towards the end it just becomes less odd and somehow starts to function mainly because they start to admit certain feelingsCan you love someone and ask them to shatter themselves for you Even though Malachiasz is a total walking and talking antithesis, he has certain moments when he s so sweet and gentle and loving you ll just melt with affection I loved that Malachiasz and I was constantly looking forward to encountering his cute momentsBut the exhausted boy with the devastating grin who only wanted the girl he cared about close so he could sleep through the night One last thing I want to highlight is that there are new characters entering scene and also some old characters gain importance And this seems somehow to change a bit the game.What the hell, man This book is good And it shows you things if you really open your mind to see them.So just go, go, go for itCan you love a god No, such things were impossibleBook inspired It is difficult to know how to begin a Goodreads review of a book when its author so regularly takes to Twitter to decry her Goodreads reviewers One gains the impression that one s review of this book, and of its predecessor Wicked Saints, is less an honest opinion provided for an audience of potential readers than some sort of opening argument directed to an audience of one I find myself selecting my phrases not based on how helpful or informational they might be to you, the Goodreads user, b It is difficult to know how to begin a Goodreads review of a book when its author so regularly takes to Twitter to decry her Goodreads reviewers One gains the impression that one s review of this book, and of its predecessor Wicked Saints, is less an honest opinion provided for an audience of potential readers than some sort of opening argument directed to an audience of one I find myself selecting my phrases not based on how helpful or informational they might be to you, the Goodreads user, but on how likely the author is to take them as a personal attack, or to seize upon them as the reason this review and any other negative ones she happens to come across can and must be dismissed out of hand.I will admit that I find this sensation unpleasant For obvious reasons, it feels as if this behavior by the author creates a sort of chilling effect towards any attempt to review her books at all I wouldn t like to speculate that this is the author s intent intent is, of course, not magic, and often entirely unrelated to its effects When I was learning to write, my workshops had a rule consistent across institutions and skill levels the writer would be forbidden from giving counter feedback, personal opinions, or further information until the critique session was done I am skeptical that, were I in writing lessons with this author, she would remain capable of adhering to this rule Then again I find myself suspecting that this is not the only reason being in writing lessons with this author might prove a disagreeable experience.This said, I promise that this is not a review of the author s Twitter behavior I am not interested in recounting the author s attitude and behavior towards her reviewers, her fellow YA authors, or her own writing, except insofar that that attitude and behavior reflects upon the quality of this book.I read the previous book in this series twice the first time out of casual interest, and the second time because I had retained nothing of the plot and characters and assumed a second read through would make the bookmemorable for me It did not Reading Wicked Saints gave me the strange sensation of eating plain cotton candy it dissolved instantly, and left an unpleasant graininess behind Armed and prepared for my ARC of Ruthless Gods with a large stack of Post Its, color coded specifically so I could note how many times the author used the phrase onyx eyes , I embarked on the sequel Prose The answer, for the record, is ten.I d like to take the opportunity to quote a few of these, and then to quote a fewsentences I marked with Awk or It s difficult to fully describe how jolting, ungraceful, and unappealing Ruthless Gods is to read on a purely textual level I ll attempt to show you, with spoiler cuts for length view spoiler His onyx eyes skimmed over her as she desperately avoided meeting them His onyx eyes flicked over the symbols on the beads, a slight frown tugging at his mouth Blood leaked out of the corner of his eye and when he opened them they were onyx black He took one step closer to her Blinked onyx eyes so many of them, sliding across his features in a way that made her stomach turn hide spoiler And some of the non onyx related sentences view spoiler If Kacper or Ostyia were here, they would sooner put a blade to his throat than let him deal in uncertain magic Except, his voices of reason weren t here Serefin frowned What if I can t he mused quietly The room was dark and she killed the instinct to reach for her prayer beads for a light spell She had a candle in her pocket from some midnight wanderings Serefin need never know about so she lit that His voice was low and soft and so very Malachiasz, yet threaded with chaos as it slipped quietly through the back of her head The beautiful, infuriating nightmare of a girl he couldn t keep away from even as each twist of her string around his finger drove a dagger deeper into his heart Post It annotation This metaphor is a Rube Goldberg machine The snow had turned to sleet and it struck her skin in thousands of cold slaps Nadya fainted Nadya let ywia drag her through the halls, too dark for Nadya to ever escape The drumbeat growing quieter was all too loud hide spoiler It is so off putting to read these sentences that it became difficult to finish the book What s , the prose was not merely ugly and overfond of onyx but flawed in clich d, obvious ways that nearly every up and coming author has heard routinely mocked by her peers For example, the author uses the word suddenly forty one times in this book, and the word somehow twenty one It s certainly okay to use the word suddenly to describe that something has happened suddenly What is famously less okay is using the words suddenly and somehow to avoid description, or to avoid explaining how or why something occurred Unfortunately, nearly every one of the occurrences of these words falls into the second usage again, below the cut view spoiler She backed away from the power that suddenly was too strong, too much, too evil Why did the power increase so quickly The author does not provide an answer She was suddenly too close, her fingers clutching at his chin Did she walk or run towards him, or appear inexplicably next to him The author does not provide an answer Nadya sighed She sat down on the bed, suddenly exhausted What exhausted her so quickly, aside from the author s need for her to be tired The shadows were slowly chased away as he lit hundreds of candles throughout the room Somehow Nadya knew what she was going to see when the darkness finally receded How did she gain that information, aside from the author placing it in her brain This was a very bad idea, she suddenly decided Why did she make that decision Maybe Malachiasz was lying Except somehow she knew he wasn t How did she gain that information Magic churned around her in a storm until suddenly she broke through whatever had caught her in its loop suddenly allowed and her fingers grasped Malachiasz s arm How did she manage to break through What were the causes and effects of this event Maybe it was just him and his eyesight, now somehow better and worse than before, but he knew that wasn t it In what ways was it better and in what ways was it worse What could he see and not see differently What was it like to experience this hide spoiler Please don t misunderstand me I understand that information is often implied by prose, instead of explicitly stated In this case, however, I do not believe information is implied by these sentences, because I do not believe such information exists There is nothing in the text to indicate the author knows the answers to any of the questions I have asked.Why is it important that the author know this information, some of which appears very minor Because it s important that the world and characters that an author creates exist not only on the page, but in her imagination I ll discuss at length later in this review how comprehensively Ms Duncan fails at this task, but for now, understand that with her jarring lack of cause and effect, description, detail, and internal logic, she actively chips away at her own believability and she does so sixty two times using these words alone.It s also worth noting that the sentence The blood drained from her face occurs five times in this book.It seems to me that many of the problems I have just discussed could have been easily caught and fixed by an editor at any stage of publication It took me, an amateur reading for fun in my spare time, roughly an hour to find and list them There are two possibilities firstly, that no editor decided to use one hour of their workday to improve this book s writing and secondly, that this is in fact what the book looks like after hours of careful editing Both possibilities alarm me Characters, Dialogue, and Voice There s not much to say about the voices in this novel aside from that they re wildly inconsistent in tone and diction, adding to the general unpleasantness of the reading experience Every line of dialogue veers wildly between casual Internet voiced banter and ominous purple prose voiced angst, usually in the same sentence The worst offender in this is the character of Pelageya, an ancient witch who is Baghra from the Grisha trilogy and shows up several times to give our heroes plot relevant information and then vanish immediately At one point she says, Not what I expected But you are One half of my delightfully bloodthirsty and pathetically delusional blood mage pair , which soundslike Cheryl Blossom than a witch from the dawn of time she then says immediately, A boy born in a gilded hall and a boy born in darkness Bred in bitterness and bred in lies , which soundslike a voiceover from a movie trailer than a witch from the dawn of time Also worthy of note is the being who appears to provide the following lines of dialogue The being snapped his fingers Right, right, right So little your kind sees So little they know Like children, staggering through the world This is what I mean about the tonal whiplash I m not sure whether I m listening to Yoda or Biff from Back to the Future It would, I should note, be interesting to read a character in whom these voices are deliberately, thoughtfully blended These are not such characters Their seesawing dialogue is evidence not of an artistic choice but of a lack thereof the author is plainly not attempting to create a voice for them at all, either because voice is not in her toolbox or because she simply does not wish to put in the effort Again, neither possibility provides a good impression.The at times dramatic, at times quippy, never given character tone of the dialogue and monologues in this book reminds me of nothingand I apologize for the specificity of the analogy than playing Dungeons Dragons with someone who is not very good at playing Dungeons Dragons There is a particular type of roleplayer or improv theatre participant, or co writer, or any sort of similar role that you can think of whose main goal in every scene is to get the last word They tend to give long, flowery speeches, and to conclude them with sharp, superior insults They are then shocked when their friends, instead of simply being impressed into silence by their cleverness, choose to respond If these players are willing to learn, it takes them many months to treat scenes as opportunities to tell stories, as opposed to opportunities to look cool If these players are unwilling to learn, they eventually become convinced that all their former friends now despise them because they are just too good at Dungeons Dragons This is half true.Every scene in Ruthless Gods feels like playing Dungeons and Dragons with a person whose main goal is to get the last word The exception is that on the page the author can, in fact, force her characters into impressed silence when someone says something cool This does a great deal to highlight each line whose role is to sound cool, and very little to make the characters and scenes lifelike or believable.Midway through this book, our heroine briefly acquires what may or may not be a rival to her love interest, a childhood friend named Kostya I say may or may not because, while Kostya is a childhood friend of Nadya s and that he has feelings for her, there is no suggestion that Nadya will legitimately end up with Kostya or that they will remain friends at the end of the trilogy We met Kostya very briefly in Wicked Saints, where he and Nadya interacted for a chapter or two before being separated For this reason, the fact that Nadya apparently likes and cares for him must be taken on blind faith She certainly does not seem to much like or care for him in Ruthless Gods, where he is present mostly to threaten to separate her and Maliachasz, and to show the reader that fantasy Russians are overly rigid and dogmatic Neither of these are particularly likable roles for a character to take on, and it is plain that Nadya and the author greatly dislike him for occupying both.Meanwhile, Maliachasz is our designated love interest Nadya fell in love with him in the last book, and spends an extraordinary percentage of this book scolding herself inwardly for having pleasant thoughts about him Some descriptions of Maliachasz by Nadya below the cut view spoiler Why should she hope for the boy who had betrayed her so completely What a fate for the boy who had won her heart with such ardent loyalty toward his friends The pieces of the boy she loved were only that, scattered pieces The boy she should not love But Nadya could only think of the boy leaning against a boat railing beside her, long hair caught by the breeze, joking how he had never had anyone in his life who cared enough to worry about him Revealing behind his flippant guise how desperately lonely he was Her splintered heart would not let her abandon that boy His voice cracked over the single word, a lost boy, bewildered in the dark until he was pulled back under No claws No iron teeth No spikes of metal jutting from his flesh Just a teenage boy, arms wrapped around his body emphasizing how rail thin he was The shield of the anxious teenage boy was too easily fractured by the monster out of his control She was seeing the boy who liked puzzles, not the Black Vulture It wouldn t last Panic was causing his features to shift swiftly and chaotically to the point where it looked painful, until it tapered down, disappearing, and all that stood before her was a lanky teenage boy, broken and lost hide spoiler I have met a great number of teenage boys in my life, most of them when I myself was a teenager, and even had crushes on some of them I never found anything particularly charming, sad, or pitiable about the fact that they were boys most boys are It s a common trait among that demographic Nadya evidently feels differently, which is certainly her right.Review continued below

  • Kindle Edition
  • 544 pages
  • Ruthless Gods
  • Emily A. Duncan
  • English
  • 21 December 2019

About the Author: Emily A. Duncan

Emily A Duncan was born and raised in Ohio and works as a youth services librarian She received a Master s degree in library science from Kent State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic folklore texts through interlibrary loan systems When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons and dragons She is represented by Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency Review Rating Policy I am a creature of many strong wills and book opinions so I only rate books Ideeplyadore Everything else is just marked as read.


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