5 out of 5 stars!
Library Hardcover - YA/NA Fantasy
ACOTAR= A Court of Thorns and Roses ACOMAF= A Court of Mist and Fury
I could not get enough of this book! I'm not a fast reader- I prefer to read each line slowly and savor, but I tore through this second book of the ACOTAR series. Maas was on fire, and whether I was just used to her writing style, or her writing actually improved, I don't know. But it was amazing.
My first critique goes back to the excessive use of ellipses and em-dashes. Most of the time they're not even necessary, and caused me to stumble through some pretty important, action-packed sequences. Not sure if I should blame Maas or her editor for this, but I found myself ignoring them most of the time. My second critique is this is definitely NOT young adult. Not only is there a decent amount of explicit sex scenes (yes, I know, teenagers have sex but still.) but Feyre also didn't feel young to me anymore. ACOTAR starts with her at 19. Depending on who you ask, this is already considered "new adult" based on age alone. But her experiences and trials in that first book were more aligned with YA- I get it. Not so with ACOMAF. She was older, wiser, stronger, and the stuff she dealt with (finding a mate, honing new power, balancing betrayal, preparing for war, etc) felt...bigger than YA. Again, not necessarily Maas's problem.
I'm trying really hard to not spoil anything, but HOLY HOTNESS BATMAN! These character descriptions had me drooling a little. The way Maas added dimension to the already amazing world, and how she managed to craft a new side of Prythian is why I gave this 5 stars. She took a world where the newness had worn off, and made it fresh again. I thought I knew where this book was going in the beginning, but I was pleasantly surprised. And I'm usually pretty good at calling out the ending of books before I read them. Well done, Maas!
I've read other reviews and opinions about how Maas made a certain character possessive/creepy/unrealistic but I admired her take on that character. As a licensed counselor, I see what actual abusive relationships look like, and they're rarely physically abusive. Instead, Maas gave us a very human side of this particular faerie and showed us that love isn't always good or healthy. Sometimes, it's exactly the opposite. And the abuser rarely sees this as a problem. So props to Maas for making me actually believe the change of heart in the MC.
Ugh this feels so vague, but #spoilers! Bottom line, read this book. And read the first if only so you can read the second. Her third installment (A Court of Wings and Ruin) has some big shoes to fill!