Title: The Damned
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 7/7/2020
But never is a long time, when you have eternity to consider.
Synopsis: Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien.
Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.
Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.
Spoilers for The Beautiful to follow!
Read at your own risk!
If you haven’t yet, check out my previous review for The Beautiful here!
Review: As you can tell by my rating, I liked the sequel for The Beautiful even better than I liked the first one! I thought that a lot of my questions and some of my issues with the first book were resolved (or on their way to being resolved?) in this book. So that definitely helped to bump up my rating!
The Damned picks up almost right after the events of The Beautiful. Bastien is a brand-new, baby vamp, and Celine….doesn’t remember anything about the Court of Lions. I think that this opening was incredibly strong, because it drew you in immediately. I will say, though, that it focused A LOT on Bastien. We got one or two chapters following Celine and her recovery. Then it switched to Bastien, and stayed that way for several chapters. All this to say, I really love Celine and I wish we had more of a balance in POV. I think that the beginning was the most egregious in this, but the whole book had more of a focus on Bastien’s POV.
I was also disappointed that we got even less from Pippa in this book. She’s seldom mentioned, and even more rarely seen in the book. I mention this again as an add on to my last critique – we didn’t get nearly enough of Celine’s half of the world in this one.
That being said, we did get to explore some more of The Court of Lions! We get some backstory on Jae and the two sister vamps – Madeline and Hortense. Their story is interesting, but I was hoping for a lot more depth here. There’s also still a lot of mystery surrounding some of the other members of the Court, and sadly, I don’t think that we’ll get more info on some of the characters backstories due to…reasons.
Let’s talk about Arjun though! I really, really love Arjun, and we get to see him a fair amount in this book! He is incredibly lovable, as always, but on top of that, we also get to see a bit of where he comes from and what his kind is and can do. I’m really intrigued by the politics of the Vale, and Arjun’s relationship with his mother. All of which, I really hope we get to see in book 3!
In my review for The Beautiful, I took off a whole star for the plot hole that is Michael. It makes no sense for someone of his age o be a renowned police detective. While I still have that problem in The Damned, it did get better. First of all, Michael isn’t really investigating anything in this book, so I kindof forgot about the age issue. Secondly, it was hinted at several times that there is a reason for why Michael holds this office at such a young age. Hopefully, this is something that gets resolved soon, so I added back half a star for somewhat fixing this issue!
Overall, I really loved this book! I think that we’re getting a lot of info on the fantasy elements of this world, and it’s drawing me even further into the story. I really like how this author has paced her worldbuilding into the plot: we’re only given what we need to know, when we need to know it – unlike a lot of other authors who try to lay everything down up front and then expect you to remember it three books later. I love that we’re exploring the backstories of our characters, as well as meeting more and more characters along the way. I can’t wait to get my hands on book three!
What I am has no bearing on who I become.
Have you read The Damned? What did you think?