Monday, September 14, 2020

Book Review: Unravel The Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Author: Elizabeth Lim
Series: The Blood of Stars #2
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: High Fantasy, Fairy tale retelling
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 7th 2020
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

YA fantasy readers will love the sizzling forbidden romance, mystery, and intrigue of Unravel the Dusk.

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

It's been a month since I read this book and I still have a TON of feelings about it. I'm sad that it's over, I'm glad it ended the way it did, and for the first time ever I believed that something was going to happen and I honestly wasn't angry that it may happen. Let me try to put into words what I'm feeling about this book, okay?

Unravel The Dusk picks up rather soon after Spin The Dawn ended and we get to see Maia's journey and struggle with becoming a demon. She managed to convince the boy she loves that she is free of the deal she made with the demon, even though she's holding on to her sanity and her human side by a thread. Only through pure will is she resisting the voice inside her that tells her to just give up and embrace her new demon powers.

The transformation Maia goes through is awesome. I loved seeing her go from the loving, caring young woman just trying to keep people from finding out she's a woman to a magic wielding, calculating, and slightly scary woman-soon-to-be-demon. It's such a great journey and I loved every step of it. There's not much I can say about what I loved about Maia in this second book without giving away huge spoilers, so I won't even try. I will just say this: I thought her story was going one way, and for once in my life when I think a character's journey is leading to one specific event, I wasn't disappointed, I was actually.... I won't say happy, but I wasn't feeling as if that outcome would have erased any character development we've witnessed so far. And I believe that's the mark of a wonderful writer, because generally you're supposed to wish for other things to happen, but this was the one time where I would have been just as happy had the ending been different than what we got.

It was also very interesting experiencing Edan without his magic. In the first book he seems like this larger than life character, dangerous, mysterious, maybe even morally ambiguous because of how the magic made him behave. This time however we see his as vulnerable, not because he doesn't have magic to the extent that he had it, but because his life is his own now. He can choose what to do, whom to be with, where to live, and it's like he's gone back to being that vulnerable kid that was taken to the monastery by his parents. And I loved that. Again, it felt like yet another layer added to his character, rather than having it...destroyed. So, again, kudos to Elizabeth Lim for managing to write that so well.

There were a few scenes where I teared up. Some stuff that I probably should have anticipated happened and you know...they were sad. The pacing of this book was awesome. I didn't even feel the time passing while reading it, and I probably would have read it fast even if it were twice as long.

I won't lie, this is probably the best YA series/duology I've ever read. I loved being in this world, and I was very happy when I heard that the author is planning on another duology apparently set in the same world? I mean at least I hope it's set in the same world. I really hope you guys read this book, because it's truly awesome.

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