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A « bittersweet » sequel with a radical turn of events… I needed several days in order to sort my thoughts.. I love this series , Tory and Darius are one of my favorite couple among all my books. This series is absolutely addicting, enthralling, hilarious and sexy … you see the « but » coming … and I will attract the wrath of the people who adored it but it’s too much ..
This is the 7th book and in terms of winning the war it has never been worse… there is no need to put 99% of the characters in a dangerous situation or to kill them to make a good cliffhanger .. at this stage It’s swaying misery over and over again.. It's a lot of things to settle and people to save for the last book .. (heal, bring back to life, rescue, kill, declare who is sit on the throne (which at this stage would deserve to burn..).
The writing is very good , I laughed a lot.. it’s so stirring !
But I also regret the number of POV which was excessive .. (I would have preferred to have more Darius and Tory 😉, but it’s personal)
❓would I read the last one ? Definitely ❓do I recommend ? Of course ❓will I buy physical copies ? Yes , all of them and especially the edition of @thebookishbox .
It took me days to finally be able to pierce my thoughts on this masterpiece. Our celestial authors once again outdid themselves. First of, this book is chunky like really really chunky,, it's a mammoth of a book. Can you imagine more than 300K in a single book? The whole book was one of the best if not the best I have ever read. The first third of the book was exactly what we have all been waiting for since the beginning of the series. We got answer to question that were asked in way earlier. Lionel was still is usual villainy self, even though karma started getting him a tiny bit. Lavinia was more evil and powerful than ever. I don't whom of them I despise more, for now it's a draw. I highlighted so many passages that I love, some that made me laugh so much, think omg this is so perfect.
The end brought so much heartaches, like the authors probably collected so many readers with only the last chapters of the books that not only they can make a pool out of it but they would be able to open an aquatic resort with only readers tears with most of them coming from this book. I am perfectly sure that the end of the book not only rip out my heart but it numb my humanity as if I were a vampire in tvd. My heart took a vacation and swore he wouldn't come back until book 8.
They have a lot of ends to close to reach the Hea but I have full faith (I think)
This book has destroyed my little heart and put it back together, then laughed in my face as it ripped it back out and stammped all-over it.
The end of this book had me sobbing. I think this book was so good because it had some really good moments in it, but also the gut-wrenching heartache we know and love! and the twins and the heirs just forged stronger and stronger bonds, which im presuming will be needed in book 8. The twisted sister just have a way of writing a villain. Every book of theres has an a*****e villain, but i seriously think Lionel Acrux takes the a*****e crown 👑. Gerry absolutely stole the show in this book. i dont think I've ever laughed so much whilst reading. She is the absolute best and warms my buttery bagels right up 🤣🤣
I finished this book last night & I was too much of a wreck to write the review at that time. This book had some of the highest of highs, but the last 10 to 20 percent was just brutal, watching all of the characters you've come to adore be smashed on the rocks below that titular Heartless Sky.
Before I get deeper into the review, I just have a few words to say about Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti. Aside from their obvious sadistic tendencies towards their characters (& therefore our hearts!) & the psychopathic apathy towards their readers' pain (just kidding ... Sort of.... 🤔), these two ladies are absolutely EPIC writers. The world of Solaria is that rarest of gems for readers: a truly original, fully emersive world filled with vividly drawn, relatably flawed characters undertaking the most amazing of adventures. SO much more than just a simple Academy romance. I love these gals, they are so worth the pain they put me through!
BE WARNED: FROM THIS POINT FORWARD THERE WILL PROBABLY BE SPOILERS.
So, the end of the previous book was pretty grim, & Heartless Sky picks up right where it left off. What follows is about 4\5ths of the book watching things (for the most part) go right for our heroes for once. There were so many of CP & SV's signature hilarious events. It was freaking amazing to see Darius & Tory finally be able to be together & love each other with all of their beings, the way they were always meant to. Not to mention how incredibly rewarding it was, after ALL the hell they've been through, to see Darcy & Orion finally get their divine moment & Orions' power shaming to end. Xavier finally got the best dijazzle & the Dom position in the herd. Kitty & Hamish were so lovely. Caleb & Orion's accidental brotherhood was an unexpected pleasure as well. If only Seth could get his shit figured out & tell Caleb how he feels... especially now that it seems Caleb feels the same way.
As always, the book was a great read, but with all of the positivity & beginnings of HEAs, I have read enough of these diabolical ladies' other works to realize it was all way too good to be true. Only this time, instead of sprinkling unbelievable atrocities throughout the book at every turn, CP & SV saved all of the despair, horror, heartache & hopelessness for the final 5th or so if the story. I don't think I have ever read a book during which I cried quite so much. I can't even list all of the times that I had to put my phone down & just let the sobs stop so my eyes would be dry enough to start reading again. Waiting for the final book is going to be a bloody torture, & there are so many hurdles for our beloved Heirs, Vegas, & crew to overcome before we will receive the pleasure of reading the HEA endings these poor, beloved yet beleaguered characters so desperately deserve.
Definitely this is the best book in the series so far (but I've pretty much felt that way after reading every single book leading up to this one as well). I just don't know what will be more painful: the agony of what I just read, or the torture of waiting for the release of book 8 & the story's conclusion! Highly, highly recommended!
One final thing! Caroline & Susanne, keep up the good work! And give me more of Solaria! I'm awaiting the next book in Darkmore Penitentiary almost as eagerly as I am ZA8 (how could you do that to Roary, after everything he's been through?!) but I've already read Elise's (& Gabriel's & Leon's & Ryder's & Dante's) story. And I would be so sad if this is all we ever get to see of this amazing magical world!!
This whole series so far has had my heart ripped in shreds. I’m finding myself using words such as a ally wag. Book 7 of 8. I can’t see it concluding in any way nicely and it should probably be labelled as a horror rather than the lightly named ‘dark romance’ I’m not sure my weak soul can take the final book but. Here I go. 1130pm. 4/1/23. Susanne, Caroline I don’t think I’ll make it to the end of this whole. I think you will forever hold a piece of me.
I used to love this series and now I kind of dread it! Of course I have to read every book to find out what happens at the end of the story, but it is getting to be a long slog for me personally. Nothing happens in this book until the end. And I'm currently reading book 8 and guess what? Nothing happens till the end (I've read 75% so far or something like that and things are just starting to get interesting). I'm thinking maybe I should just read the end of the 9th book. I thought there were only going to be 8, but no, there's another one coming, perhaps 2 or 3. I don't know and I'm starting not to care at this point.
It saddens me because I always looked forward to these books and now I'm scared to start reading one of them because it takes me a month to get through them. I like Geraldine, I really do, but I don't want to read chapters upon chapters of her POV, which is barely coherent and adds nothing to the overall story. Same with long suffering Seth, etc. The Seth/Caleb thing is too much. At this point the "romance", if you want to call it that, has been developing (I use this term for lack of a better word even though it doesn't really suit in this case) through 2 books and nothing has changed for the better or worse. It's taking up a lot of chapters and not moving anything along. I'm rooting for them, but good lord, this is just reader torture at this point. Anyway, I don't want to give away the farm but I will say that these later books need a dragon shifter editor, stat, to rip out half the pages of the books and set them on fire, never to be seen again.
I think these writers have put a ton of time and energy into this and they have imagined characters that we really came to love over the years, but a bigger book does not mean a better book and I am hoping they go back to mainly Darcy and Tory's POVs in the last book or books. If things keep meandering this way, I might have to say goodbye this series and make up what happens to Tory and Darcy in my head. Book 7 and Book 8 leave me feeling like I've wasted a lot of my time for not a lot of payoff.
Final Review - I've finished this dastardly disappointing disaster and it shows that it was written in haste over a six week period that the authors describe. This duo is in desperate need of a professional editor post haste. I will leave it at a two because while it suffers hugely, there is a story and world here that was created albeit it suffers due to the authors' ineptitude to polish the plot in favor of supporting characters seeing their time in the sun this go around.
To be frank, this was one of the worst written books I have read in a while. While they should be working to tie up loose ends and give everyone their just desserts, they do not accomplish this. Unlike skilled writers of multiple POVs who use their POVs as a vehicle to move the plot, Caroline and Susanne can't seem to get themselves out of the raunch and comedy to utilize their POVs as plot movers.
Darcy's foreshadowing for her curse was poorly done because the authors were more focused on giving the readers laughs or sex scenes. Being "tired" or "exhausted" is not effective foreshadowing to the beast that she becomes. If they had her wake up in odd locations or feel Lavinia's calls, then maybe, it would have been more apparent that the curse was working in a different way than the characters believed.
They do time jumps without any discretion or description. First we start right after the Christmas battle, then we are thrown into March, miraculously, it becomes the twin's birthday and then autumn? Way to mess with our heads without writing it to reflect as such. It does not take more than a few paragraphs to describe the time gone by by the POV you are writing from the set the current scene.
Next - because they are writing so many POVs the story development hurts immensely. These authors love their creation, and it is apparent but with that love comes an unwillingness to let certain scenes or POVs go when they are editing. There is time devoted to characters that have no effect on the plot. They are in the endgame of this series and because they gave time to the supporting characters (that never should have had a POV to begin with) the plotline of the story of the twins faltered. This book should have been tight with development (character and plot) but alas, we are stuck with more raunchy scenes and forced upon comedy then needed that takes away from important story telling.
There is also little to no development in our two main baddies (why there are two? Please enlighten me). We learn little of Lavinia other than she is creepy, ok whatever. And Lionel does all he does because he was bullied? Really, that is all you can come up with for him? They do not go into Lavinia's background, why she is owed an Acrux, and her planning (how it would have been nice to see some of that). Lionel is made to look like a fool when we get POVs of him which is not how he is written from the non-POV side. Yes, you can have a villain who has fears and embarrassments but Lionel was hyped over six books for being sadistic, masochistic and down right awful but none of that was seen. It was as if the authors took joy in making him a a farce.
Finally, giving us another prophecy as a cliffhanger is a cop out. There was already one prophecy that was being deciphered (and now that I think about, was completely forgotten about in this book and rarely touched upon).
If they had taken out all of the fluff and merged the important plot points of Book 8 into this, they could have ended the series in Book 7. But now, the readers will have to wait a year to see the culmination of this series which I do not feel confident will end in any particularly amazing fashion after this snore-fest of a seventh book.
As I stated earlier, this should never be compared to the beloved Harry Potter that is a beautiful classic in itself.
******* 1st review - Right now, I am about 40% into this book and it is an absolute snore fest. These authors are in desperate need of a professional editor that can guide them. Right now this feels like they have a lot of scenes that they wrote that they couldn't part with so it made the cut which is making it difficult to get through because they do not have any bearing on the plot. The chapters are too long and filled with fluff that isn't progressing the narrative. There has been little plot development or character development to this point and that is disappointing since this book was so hyped. I've always believed that, as these books were written, adding more points of view was a mistake because now they have more plotlines and characters that need resolution which is distracting from the overall storyline and it is obviously hurting this book as they attempt to give all of these characters attention. It feels like a second rate soap opera at this point. As I read along, I may change my review but right now as I am in the thick of moments that should have been edited out or down, I can't see myself giving this more than a two star, I am just disappointed and discouraged to read further.
Edit update 1- Ending my night at 72% and I am just frustrated. Keeping it at a two star still. There is just so much fluff. I'd say about 5 or so chapters are relevant to the storyline while the others have no substance to the plot. It is obvious that this was written in a rush over six weeks. There are holes in the story and still no reason for the Lionel's "orderist" opinion. In his chapters, it feels like the authors are making fun of him instead of writing a true villain. I need intention and malice but I am getting silly side stories or high school bullying. This is not enough motive to bring down a kingdom for me.
I am still on the train that there are too many points of view and it is detracting from a proper story. Instead of using these points of view as a vehicle to propel the story, they just give them fluff pieces (cough, Seth and Caleb cough) that do not aid in the overall story telling.
Will update once I finish but still, a sorely disappointed reader who really thinks JK Rowling should interfere with comparing this to our beloved Harry Potter, this doesn't even come close to it.