The Damned – Renee Ahdieh

☆☆☆

Published Date – 07/07/2020

This story follows on from Renee Ahdieh’s first book ‘The Beautiful’. Bastein has awoken cursed and immortal. A treaty has been broken, and his life as he knows it, is about to change forever. Celine has paid the highest price though, and attempts a life without Bastien, but her dreams terrorise her and keep her awake at night. But what do they mean? She is also about to learn the truth about herself and her past…

Firstly, thank you to NetGalley & Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me to read an ARC of The Damned!

I wasn’t too optimistic about reading this book to begin with after not really enjoying ‘The Beautiful’, but I can definitely say I was pleasantly surprised! This book had a lot of what the first lacked, suspense, mystery, and action.

The book begins exactly where the last ended, with Bastien coming back around – and Celine, gone. It’s unclear whether Bastien will survive his transition, and they can only hope!

I just felt like there was so much more to this than ‘The Beautiful’. It was fast paced, and had me keep wanting more and more from it! I enjoyed how the vampire characters were explored more, and that it was more about the vampire side of the story.

There’s a bit of romance in this, but not nearly enough to be considered cringey *cough* TWILIGHT.

I also like how there’s more to Celine’s story in this book too, I felt like in the last she was a little ‘wishy washy’ and quite a flat character. In ‘The Damned’ Celine’s past is explored and things come to light that make sense, and make the story that much more interesting. Especially as it turns out that her bloodline is a known enemy to vampires. And I think this will make it an interesting story for the next book, if there is to be one. There is still a lot of unanswered questions that I’d like answers to, and I feel as though the story could definitely go on, as it was kind of a ‘cliff-hanger’ ending!

Now I’m all for lots of different characters in a book, and I LOVE reading from the perspectives of them, but when reading like ten characters thoughts it gets a bit much. I felt as though sometimes it was unnecessary for certain parts to be included, and at times it got confusing working out who was who, who was good, who was bad…

I do also think that the story perhaps dragged just a little longer than I felt it necessary, but overall I did enjoy the book. And based on this one alone, I look forward to reading the next in the series!

The Beautiful – Renee Ahdieh

☆☆

Set in 1872, New Orleans, there’s a mysterious killer lurking in the shadows – and wherever Celine goes, chaos follows. Who the killer is, is a mystery to all, and Celine decides it’s best for her to stay well away from her loved ones after her friends are involved in a fatal moment. In the other part of town is Bastien and his family of vampires, and they very much want to know who this killer is, as is causing absolute Mayhem in their town. When Celine and Bastien finally cross paths they do what they can to keep themselves and their families safe. The thing to ask is, is the killer someone closer to home than they thought? Are they right under their noses?

I read this book as I got accepted for The Damned which is the sequel, which I shall be reviewing next so keep your eyes peeled!

This is the first fantasy I have read in a long time after reading thrillers and more contemporary fiction, so it was like reading something I’ve never read before! I enjoyed how the perspectives change between Celine, Bastien and the unknown killer. Getting an inside on the killers mind was very interesting – but also frustrating at the same time as you just want to know who he is! When the murders happen, they are very much blood and gore, but without going into too much detail if you know what I mean? So I would definitely recommend this for younger readers/those of you who enjoy YA fantasy series.

Unfortunately for me there was a few negative points that I feel I should mention in my review – as always I try to keep it entirely honest without the risk of coming across as brutal or harmful! So please do remember these are my views and mine only, there has been no other input on this other than from myself! Just because I only rated it two stars, does not mean you may not rate it five stars yourself! I will always recommend the book regardless – so to any readers, reviews and authors – please do not be disheartened by my reviews – it just means that the book just wasn’t for me!

My main points that I disliked was that I felt that although there were multiple murders throughout, it wasn’t until the final 10% that it really GRIPPED me. There wasn’t much action for me, or at least not enough for me to feel like I should keep going! But for the sake of my review for The Damned I felt like I must, so that I knew how the story continues and whether it connects well with each other!
I also feel like it lacked romance, I expected an all-consuming, passionate romance/love story but that just isn’t what I felt like I got, so I will say I was slightly disappointed in that.

I won’t elaborate too much as I want you to have a read for yourselves and see what you think! I have seen many, many readers who really enjoyed this, so again, please do not be disheartened that it just wasn’t for me! I value all readers and authors and their books – so whilst my reviews may not be what you hoped for, it doesn’t mean I won’t necessarily read any of that authors future work!

Let me know what your thoughts are if you’ve read this!