📚Monstrous Power (Shadowblood Souls Book 2) by Eva Chase

The truth has come to light… but can I ever trust my men again?

After weeks of cruel hostility, the guys I swore to save know how wrong they were—at least about what I did four years ago. Now that they’ve seen my horrifying new power, will they decide I’m an enemy after all?

With what they put me through, I’m not sure I even want to stick with them. These brutal men aren’t the boys I fell in love with anymore.

But nothing matters more than learning how to control my own vicious urges. So I’ll accept a tentative truce while we hunt down more answers… by turning to the very monsters our creator feared most.

I started reading this on the same migraine heavy day that I read the first book. To be honest, reading on a black background with white writing (which is generally how I always read on my kindle) was so soothing to the raging inferno that engulfed my brain. Add to that that I had a moment of pity over the eternal quandary that is my body not being well…I really needed the continual escape into a good book.

The cliffhanger at the end of book 1 which is something Chase has much talent for made it impossible for me to take a break between reading because I really had to know what would happen and how the story would evolve.

It’s a struggle really because what this book showed more than ever was how there was no stable or safe place for the group to reside in. They don’t belong in the human camp and the don’t belong in the monster camp, so really where do they stand? As someone who knows what it’s like to go looking for answers that aren’t there, I can understand to an extent the turmoil that the characters face during the plot of this book. Having personal experiences to relate to always makes a character or a story more personal and captivating.

Riva as a character goes through a fair amount in book one and here in book two she continues to go through things with the same amount of resilience I have come to admire her for. Her character shows that you can’t be strong all the time but also shows how independent and self-sacrificing she can be. Riva has more to work through in this book and that’s a direct result of the behaviour of the men in the previous book. While she started her journey just wanting to save the men she’d been apart from for 4 years, she now has to deal with the fallout of their actions to her during the time they were first reunited.

The part of book 1 that I mentioned made me cry a little is one of the more prominent points that Riva has to work through as a character, and I commend her – and Chase – for allowing the time needed to work through how she felt and how she could move forward. It was done in a way that is very realistic and sets the characters up as fully 3-dimentional. It was none of the ’angry one page, fine the next’ drama that I often see is straight fantasy novels.

The men, in terms of Riva, have become more individual and have begun to at least open up a little. It’s something that is both beneficial to Riva and to the reader. Understanding their reasoning and actions makes me see their characters more clearly.

Andreas – He was the one I most connected with in book 1 as he was the one, I was most exposed to. I didn’t know quite how I felt about him walking into book two. I felt very conflicted in my emotions and from the perspective I got of him through Riva’s eyes.

Andreas is, I think, a more complex character than I originally thought and much of his desire to keep the group together and be the one who keeps them smiling has I think, in turn, kept hidden all the ways he’s been struggling.

Dominic – We got to see a lot more of Dominic during this book and that was quite a blessing. In book 1 I really didn’t get any sense of his character until the final pages and I wasn’t given anything to push him into a place of remembrance. In this book as the reader, we get to see many sides of him and being able to explore his character has been very rewarding. His interactions with Riva have opened him up remarkably well and as the plot develops in this book we see him become more accepting of who he is and what he can do.

Jacob – Again, Jacob has the most to turn around. His behaviour in book 1 was atrocious and I wasn’t sure if he would ever realise the extent of the damage he had done. With this book I was pleased that Riva didn’t just immediately become chummy with him – it wouldn’t have fit the characters whatsoever and would have made for an uncomfortable plot development if it had played that way. Riva’s feeling on Jacob are very clear but it is also clear how desperate Jacob is to show that he has changed and that he does regret his earlier behaviour. I’m just not sure whether this change is enough.

Zian – I feel like his character is standing at a crossroads and doesn’t know which way to turn. Out of all the men, Zian is the one I feel I’m missing out on. Though he was present and involved with both the other men, Riva, and the plot, I didn’t get to understand him as well as I did the other characters. So, at the moment he is the outlying oddity for me. I know I will get more from him in this series, but I haven’t yet found what I’m looking for.

This book adds a new element to the plot and I found myself quite mad upon realisation that help would be just as difficult to come by as it was to run from. With all that was learned in book 1 and subsequently at the beginning of book 2, I was hoping that the characters would get a break but it was not to be.

Between the Guardians, the Monsters, the Assassins, and every Tom, Dick, and Harry ordered to attack, I’m frankly surprised all the characters made it through the events of this book to remain standing at the end!

Now, I wasn’t surprised by the cliffhanger of this book. This is because I had a sense that this would happen at some point. To me it felt like it had to happened and it was only a matter of time. So I do feel quite smug at the realisation that it has indeed happened. Of course, I can see many avenues this will progress into and I’m sure it will throw in a lot of obstacles. However, I am confident the characters can survive this.

As a book it does a great job of further establishing the characters and allows them to further come into their own. The developing plot opens new avenues but there is still a lot of uncertainty and lack of knowing within the characters and the base plot. I can start to see elements of what will be happening in the future, but these aren’t set in stone and I’m sure they will deviate from what I have imagined.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed reading this book. It gave me exactly what I needed and took me away from my pain for a while. I have grown to enjoy the characters and the plot is captivating me in ways that I hadn’t expected.

I give this book: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Spice: 🌶️

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