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Savage City

af L. Penelope

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

My actual star rating is 3.5! I have mixed feelings about this book. The world-building and magic systems in this were interesting enough that I wanted to learn more about them. But, the book only goes into a surface-level exposition of what the magic system in this world is like, and not too much beyond it. The part of the magic system that involves "animal-type daemons that are connected with people's souls" did give me pause. As the book first explained how daemons work, I thought, "This sounds a LOT like how the daemons in His Dark Materials work...", but beyond the daemons being animal-shaped and connected to the soul, there are little to no similarities. The main plotline of this book is actually a very popular and common plot trope in many manhwa series. The entire "I died in my world, but I woke up in this world, and they think I'm their princess!" is a SUPER common type of "isekai" manhwa. Even the trope of the main protagonist dying because they got hit by a car is an incredibly common opener to this type of story. I have read so many of that type of manhwa, but I honestly like the trope, so I don't mind reading more of the same. This plot was the same old, same old for me, but I feel like I don't see this plot trope in standard novels, so it would probably be "fresh and new" to those who don't read manhwa. The opening scene of this book is very abrupt and very confusing. I think it's meant to be that way? I still was sitting there like "What the hell is going on, did I skip or chapter or something?!" while reading through. The mentions of there being a multiverse or parallel worlds in this story were interesting, for what few of them there were. The romance between the two main characters was very "eh" in my opinion. The way they fell in love felt very sudden and almost out of the blue. I really didn't expect Ryin to suddenly act as if he was madly in love with Talia. I honestly was confused why he suddenly was acting so strongly towards her. Also, was the random sex scene really needed? It was so out of place and it honestly felt like it had been thrown in randomly. My personal pet peeve is a book adding random sex scenes for no real reason. There was a line that made me pause near the beginning of the book; it actually made me put the book down for a minute. "My muscles are leaden and my blood has turned to wood." I have heard "my blood turned to ice" or "my blood ran cold", but I have NEVER heard "my blood turned to wood". There were also scenes that didn't seem to flow all too well. It felt like they were written to be cliffhangers, but when you can just flip the page to find out what happens, the cliffhanger falls a bit flat. It also felt a little bit like the author had written themselves into a corner, and had to do one of those "AND SUDDENLY!" type of moments to get out of it. Thought that could have been because of the weird way some chapter ends felt like cliffhangers. The actual ending of the book (excluding the epilogue) I really didn't like. Others might like it, but it was way too bland yet cheesy for me. Very, the car driving off into the sky at the end of Grease. Also, with how the ending is written (again, ignoring the epilogue) it feels like the book was meant to be a single novel, not the beginning of a series. The epilogue feels a bit slapped on; like they scrambled to figure out how they could continue to another book. I really did like some of the concepts the author had, and they made a really interesting world, but the weak ending soured me a little to this book. I doubt I'll be looking for the next book in the series. ( )
  Katharine_Opal | May 18, 2022 |
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