Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.***
With that being said I must start off with a declaration...WOW! Not only was this ruthless but it was brutal and painful to experience. It has been likened to a literary baby procured from the loins of The Hunger games + The Magicians and let me tell you...it is an extremely apt comparison.
"Maybe we’d grown up at opposite ends of the city, on opposite sides of that invisible divide between old magic and new, but in that moment we were feeling the exact same horror, and he would go every bit as far as I would to overcome it."
I gathered that the trials were to be difficult and dangerous but torturous to read was not what I was expecting when I first ventured down the magic rabbit hole. The characters were diverse, true, and a few were fleshed out nicely but the 2 characters whose POVs we were privy to were my favorite. Rocio was not only brave and talented but she was strong willed, humane and fierce as well. Seeing what was to become of her (and Finn) kept me reading well after I lost interest in the torture fest. The big twist was an interesting wrench thrown into la machina and it even has some future potential but I can not foresee which direction this will go...that's sort of how this entire book went. We went from horrific situation to even more gruesome/ morally bankrupt scenario...on and on until the very end (which was slightly on the underwhelming side). The beginning sucked me in and had such potential but when the barbarism kicked into high gear, I lost my stomach and will to see it through to the end. I somehow perservered and made it through to the end but just barely...I must admit to a teenie bit of skimming in the home stretch....it wasn't much but that's always a bad sign.
All in all it was well written, the world building was excellent, there was a twist with regards to the magic system (possibly intriguing in the future...we'll see) and the main characters were nicely done. The crazy Battle Royale wasn't my thing but it could be yours. You should definitely give this a try if you're into that sort of thing... it was intense!