After three years on the run, I’m back in a Resistance camp, chained to a chair as the resident monster.
Everything I ran from, all of the villains of my past, they’re all here to take another bite out of me. But this time, I’m not alone.
With my Bonds desperately trying to reach me and new friendships I never expected, I start to believe that maybe I won’t become the weapon they want me to be. Maybe I’ll be a monster of my own creation.
When loyalties are questioned and Bonds are tested, everything I thought I knew gets turned upside down. Who are my friends, and who are my enemies?
Are Bond ties stronger than blood?
539 Pages | 28 Chapters | Read Time: 5 Hours
So, I read this book at a slower pace over 2-days. Not for any reason other than my body is crashing, I can’t seem to get enough sleep and I’m dealing with mega headaches thanks to the low air pressure that’s currently swirling the UK.
Somehow, it was important to read this book slowly to understand all that was gifted to the reader because this book made me realise just how big the plot is and just where it might be heading.
This instalment of the series is heavy on Resistance content and through the first two books the reasons behind the Resistance fight was sort of lost on me. I’ve directly quoted below, that the Resistance stands for.
“They’re going to use her to end the war and finally let us Gifted take control of this country like we deserve. No more making nice with the non-gifted. No more living shackled to laws that shouldn’t apply to us because we’re above them. No more sheep in control, living in their mansions while the rest of us struggle to survive.” (pg. 270)
It’s funny really. As readers, we’re so focused on the Resistance or Rebellion as being the ‘good guys’ overthrowing the ‘oppressors’ that to be confronted with a Resistance that is actually bad is thrilling to read. I find it a very unique way of taking a commonly used plot point and essentially turning it on its head. It makes for a very interesting reading experience and allows me to experience more shock and awe as I read because I’m reading what I didn’t expect.
This book also showed the extent of the Resistance’s planning and the extend of the planning of North Draven. The class structure represented in this series is incredibly fractured to the point that I wonder how it functioned in the first place. What the Draven family has been working on for decades shows how seriously they take the threat and now committed they are to keeping everyone safe.
Another expanded aspect in this book is of the bonds that live inside the characters. We already know that Oli’s bond is a separate entity and though it was alluded that this might be the case with the rest of her bond group, we get more insight into that with this book. The Everlasting One and The Dark One are the two bonds that Oli’s bond talks to the most and I’ll admit that it took me quite a long while to recognise what characters those bonds belonged to.
This book shows more possessiveness and more trust within the group. Oli is bonded to both North and Gryphon and there is a positive change in the way they interact with each other. As a trio, the animosity and misery from the first two books has all but disappeared and they work together to avoid keeping secrets and to respect each other and the boundaries Oli puts down.
The last moments of book 2 leave Atlas in a compromised position at the start of this book and really, through reading this Atlas has more to overcome than the others and having seen the part of him that was previously hiding, Oli has much more to learn about him.
There is a lot of alluding in this book about Nox and what his problem is and what has happened to him. There are a lot of warnings from both North and Gryphon to ‘leave him alone’ and don’t go ‘looking in his mind’ but we don’t really learn anything that would explain his dickish behaviour. It’s obviously trauma that has deeply affected the character but without knowing what has caused him to be the way he is, I can’t appreciate his character or get myself to like him in anyway.
Gabe, who was the second to change his feelings around Oli is a character that I felt didn’t get equal ‘screen time’ in this book. Obviously, he is an important character as he is a part of Oli’s bond group, but I felt as though the interactions between Oli and the other bonds overshadowed him a little.
You can’t, of course, have Oli and her bond group without having Sage and hers. We learned in book 2 that Sage was bonded to Felix and that she wasn’t the rejected bond of Riley but rather the central bond herself. Queue chaos! There are a lot of elements to Sage’s bond group that have yet to be identified or cleared up. This book adds another to Sage’s bond group and being bff with Oli, Sage moves where Oli goes.
Oli does feel a lot of guilt over this and also over the trouble she had brought to her bonds and while this inner voice might have become overly irritated in another book scenario, it fits into the character and her war between seeing herself as a monster and someone who is worthy of being loved.
The ending again, was the third cliffhanger of the series but while I was there for the shock and awe factor I felt while reading, the barely used logical side of my brain has already worked out the only logical solutions to why it happens. However, with the logical side of my brain being so rarely used and completely underfunded I may yet prove myself wrong!
I’m now at the halfway mark of the series, three books read, three books left to read. I am interested in how this series has managed to capture my interest to read the books back-to-back. Many other series that I’m deeply invested in, crime, fantasy, and spice included, don’t get read back-to-back with such severity as I usually need a break of some form.
Whatever motivation I have to start such a strong reading game in Jan 2023, I won’t question it as long as it keeps going!
I give this book: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐