These Hollow Vows (book review)
Picture a chicken flying while riding a bike. That's me with this book.
Spoiler Free- Synopsis:
From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes.
Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she'll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.
Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie's only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.
Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.
Why oh why do I always fall for the evil ones?? Le cri
I took a nap of about an hour, and I'm still not okay with how that ended.
It doesn't count that I woke up with a big smile because a certain someone appeared in it.
*tv announcer type voice. very dramatic stuff* Are YOU looking to be left with goosebumps after a certain chapter make you squeal at 1am when you were supposed to be sleeping? Are YOU sure you don't like love triangles? Because half of the time they're annoying but just this once, they actually worked, okay? Well, fear no more! This is definitely NOT the book for you. I wish I could say that, sadly, this is the exact book you were probably looking for.
For the majority of the book, I was sure, I would give it 2 or 3 stars. Because firstly, the whole 'I'm so special' and 'I'm not like other girls' really tried me and the positive life view I've been trying so incredibly hard to have. Why didn't I give it that rating? Simple, simple answer.
A dark-haired shadow prince (you don't even have to read the rest, this should probably convince you), who had questionable intentions, morally gray, didn't preach about protecting the main character for the whole book, SILVER FREAKING EYES, infuriating, basically all-around perfection- If he hadn't been present, I'm not sure how I would've rated this. Oh, yeah, this would be more of a rant than OHMYGOSH WHATHTEHECKHAPPENED GFTY78IJHBVCXDRTYUJ.
Can I sell a pinkie for an ARC of the second book? Not even an ARC at this point, I can read a quote. Like, come on... you want me to beg? The main character did it once- I'll shut up now. (seriously, though, *clears throat* FDERFTYUIKJHGFDSW3E4567UIKJHBGVCXSER5T6Y7U)4
Now, as I'm sure y'all have heard somewhere (or right now, pfft) I love books that give me a... je ne sais pas. Especially when that je ne sais pas comes as acid rain, when the least I have at the moment is a darn umbrella. Did that make sense? Let's pretend it does. And that je ne sais pas (getting my points with Duolingo and Memrise, y'all. One of these days they'll kill me, I'm telling you) came in the form of me almost never reading a fantasy novel and I don't know... having huge mega incredible expectations for them?? Regardless of the fact that I don't read them as much??? Again, me being me??? Okay, so, yeah. This was a very very very, pleasant surprise. (I cannot believe I typed surpside instead of surprise twice)
Starting with the plot, I was so happy the hype didn't crush my soul this time. It actually existed! There was a plot, le gasp. I know, right? Alright, reining in the sarcasm. Soooo, I kinda sorta maybe perhaps really enjoyed it. The fast pace aided my fangirling feelings and of course, having to finish research papers whilst being hooked on a book isn't exactly smart. But when have I ever made smart decisions? Literally, take this book for example. Sequel, where? Brain, who? My voice after having spent all night squealing under the covers like a book fiend? Non-existent.
In short, before I go off-topic for the fifteenth time since I started this review. The pace was marvelous, 400 pages flew by like my sudden and obsessive attraction for a faerie in this book. I considered this book quasi unique in the sense that there were some plot twists that I saw coming a mile away, the protagonist was speshul and didn't know it yet, but then there were the plot twists that actually took me with the nails and made me hang upside down on a cliff. And I loved those. A lot.
Moving along, since I need to keep daydreaming about uh- okay, I'll stop once again. The writing was really nice and flowed accordingly with the feel of the story. I do think I was surprised (I wrote surpsied again, I cannot with myself) when modern syntax was used and I was like, oh. That's actually a very good surprise, I can understand a fantasy novel! (can you tell I have the mind of a toddler) I adored how I could visualize everything and feel like I was within and immersed into the story alongside the characters. I've never drunk faerie wine but dang, it tasted good. Never danced with a faerie prince (hold my casket-) but I felt every step that we took at the same time.
Then we have the characters. Y'all know I always got to rant about something but this time I'll start with the good stuff (not, not him yet, I need to properly breathe a little before touching on that subject)
The MC was someone I could relate to in a lot of things (thank you for that). We both have people we would die/ kill for, we both read (I almost cried when she said that), we both fell for people we can never have. And apart from that, we both whine a lot when being very tired. Since I do feel as if she was a decent main character overall, I'll mention just a few things that annoyed me about her, which would be: the stupid stupid very very stupid decision she made towards the end to do something with an idiotic someone I can't even find one good thing to say about that someone, and how she (as always) said she was like so not like other women vying for the prince's attention and that they were fools. Excuse me, sweetheart, some of us have DREAMS okay? Stop stepping on my ish, like dang. What did I ever do to you? And when I thought I would give up on her, she had a character ARC y'alll. A beautiful, heartless, character development that made me write in my book notes 'YAS GIRL, YAS, YES, YOU GO BOO'.
Sebastian, I don't even know about that dude, to be honest. I have no clue if it was because he was so obviously fake and dumb, or because in front of the MAN he looked like a mere toddler playing grown up half of the time. Yes, I need to roast him. I really do. Of course, he had good things. Of course, he did. He was kind, and loving, and idiotic, and gorgeous and kind and idiotic and nice. There, I gave him some complements. Pfft. No, really, I need to ask what in the world did he do in the whole book? I know a lot of awesome people have read this, so I would love to chat with y'all! And I get he's sweet and all, but come on, y'all can't trust people like that in books.
But when there was even a smidgen of me liking Sebastian, my heart was stolen by Finn. Yes, he is indeed the dark-haired faerie I felt the need to fangirl about up there. The scene, there was a scene. Not a one bed trope, this time. Not fake dating. Not in-the-air suspicious actions, nope. A scene where he made me sing for him with the bits of my voice that were left. Compared to Sebastian (who felt the need to protect the MC 98% of the time and those were the times when the MC felt the amazing pull to feel 'I need to do this so he can protect me' *ugh*), Finn in turn wanted to train Brie to be the 👏🏽best queen 👏🏽in 👏🏽her 👏🏽 own 👏🏽right 👏🏽she 👏🏽 could 👏🏽 be. Exactly, you know imma be his team regardless of how gray of a character he turns out to be.
The rest of the background characters were very well thought through, they weren't paper mashed with glue getting stuck on the crevices, rather, real magical creatures with expectations and pain. Finn's gang? Loved them too much. Sebastian's gang? Creepy disgusting friend, no, thank you. I would adore for the friendships to continue blossoming in the second book, and I literally cannot wait for it.
Romannnceee. Love trianngglllleeee. Do those words make you cringe? Once upon a time, when I would think through my actions, they did make me cringe as well. Now? At this point in my existence? I just rolled with it. Cried out in frustration, clawed the air in annoyance, spoke in 'peeved'... all of those. But boiiiii, I enjoyed the heck out of that drama. *evil cackling* I actually enjoyed it a bit more than I should've.
On a closing note, I am patiently waiting for an ARC to be delivered. I expect myself to be found in a faerie Pinterest loophole very, very soon, since I'm not even in the qualm of common sense at this point. I ache (pfft, if you know, you know) for a certain shadow magnificent being to visit me, would adore to slap the light out of Sebastian and even though I wouldn't have given the book a high rating if not for the plot twist at the end, I found myself looking forward to ever chapter.
Also, THE PLOT TWIST AT THE END. FGYUIOKJHGVFCDERT67YU8IJKMJNH CXDRTF67YU8JIKMJ
I shall be taking my leave now. Thank you for enduring this!
P.S: I couldn't help myself. I need to throw Brie off a steep mountain just a little for all those pages she made me question my sanity-
My inability to fall for the nice guys in books.
The shadow prince