I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Exaltation by Jamie Magee
Series: Web of Hearts and Souls #0
Published by Smashwords Edition on February 6th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
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Fate is a twisted b*$#@, at least his was.
Was one soul worth the lives of millions?
The quandary was one that Rydell King had no choice but to face. No matter the answer, the truth remained—innocence was created to destroy him. She was beautiful…extinguishing her to save his people seemed impossible, and maybe it was. As an immortal, his focus was to destroy the curse upon his people, as he devoured the emotion that bore him—exaltation, no matter the cost. She made him question everything.
Mercy had never been crueler...
Oh man, what did I get myself into…
I made the fatal mistake of reading this before any other book in the series, just because I saw it on Netgalley and thought it looked interesting. I failed to do my research. And I found myself completely and utterly lost.
Do not be me. Read the other books first. Apparently this can be a standalone, but it’s much richer when you first see some of the characters in her other books. I did not have that advantage. This was all entirely new to me. I didn’t even know what they were until they had mentioned witches like three times already- I saw ‘immortality’ first and thought vampires. Silly me. (I did not even figure it out when they kept talking about covens.) I don’t have much experience with witches, so I really had no idea what to expect. And to give her credit, the author did try to explain things as we went along, but that was the problem. As we went along. There was no real backstory or true exposition. We started out with crazy witchy things happening, and then jumped into the future with more crazy witchy things. Then she revealed all the crazy witchy things that had happened in between the two times. It just felt like the timeline was all screwed up so it was hard for me to understand.
One thing that was great was the characters and their relationships. All done really well. Immediately I could see how Raven and the twins were a unit, and how Soren could fit into that unit. Their family was pretty solid. The other relationships were pretty solid too.
The plot was pretty interesting too. The usual prophecy business, but it was especially interesting how she was supposed to kill this guy. This guy that was part of a love triangle. She was supposed to kill him to weaken a truly bad guy. While the guy she liked actually wanted to bring down the bad guy too. It was complicated. So she had to kill him for the greater good, but she didn’t want to because…love, you know…
So that was really interesting. I was actually rooting for Rydell instead of the guy who was supposed to be ‘the other half of her soul’ or somesuch business. I mean, we barely even saw the second dude, even though it was fate and blah blah blah. Rydell didn’t match up with her soul, but he was there for her and pretty much the perfect dude…so that whole story could go somewhere really interesting. I guess it was this whole deal that kept me from putting the book down and saying “oh man, I just can’t keep up with this, I have no idea about witches and Escorts and anything really, I give up.”
The ending was one of those where you think something has happened and you’re ready to throw the book at the wall and say “Now why did I read 300 pages of this just for it to end like this, thanks for wasting my time” but then it turns out like maybe it’s not what you think. That’s truly awesome. There are some books where you’re positive there’s a happy ending and it’s the getting there that makes it fun and worth the read. And then there are the books where it could go in any direction and you’re waiting with bated breath. (And some books like this one where you’re 80% sure there’s going to be an ending where the main character slays the evil bad guy but you’re not sure how many innocents will die in the process, and you’re just reading it for that and some other sub-plots or particulars.)
Don’t get me wrong, this book was a long hard slog. Especially for someone like me who had no idea about any of this witchy business beforehand. It was a long book. And I was just barely keeping up. Of course I read a little faster during the intense/romantic moments, so that helped. But there was some good plot going on and great characters. So I can see how if you’ve read the other books in the series (or at least some of them), this book would be amazing.
The ending isn’t solid, though. It’s pretty much a cliffhanger, but not a really awful one. One of those where you’re 90% sure what’s going to happen, but you would probably continue the series anyway. Eh. I know I won’t. It’s way too complicated for me to handle right now, especially after being introduced to the witchy world through this book. Like I said, my mistake.
Reaction upon finishing
*blegh* *ugh* How dare it play with my emotions like that *blugh*
(also, in the advance version I got, there were a LOT of errors, especially towards the end)