Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Review: Reign of the Fallen

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Reign of the Fallen #1
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: January 23rd, 2018
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: 1/10/18 to 1/14/18
384 pages


Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised--the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer's magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I think Reign of the Fallen would have flown completely under my radar if it wasn't for all the buzz surrounding Reign of the Fallen. And then it didn't occur to me until much later that this was the same author who wrote Fear the Drowning Deep (which I really enjoyed!). Unfortunately, I don't think this completely blew me away, especially since the hype definitely made me expect so much more. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this!

Odessa is a master necromancer, and she's employed by the royals who refuse to let go of ruling Karthia. The king believes he's the best ruler for the country, and he enforces the rule that there should never be any changes, whether in tradition or advancements in science. Though the dead are made living by Odessa and other necromancers, unless they aren't killed and brought back again, they turn into Shades after a period of time. Furthermore, they must always wear cloaks and veils because if a living person sees them, they automatically turn into a Shade.

I honestly did enjoy this book, despite some pacing issues I had. I feel like things escalated very quickly, and things were so rushed that I kind of wish I had more time to get to know some of the side characters (especially the friendships! Everyone clicked so well, I loved them all). I also felt that the plot was a bit predictable, in that it was very easy to tell who the main villain was.

On the flip side, bisexual main character!!! Honestly did NOT know this until I read the book so it was a really nice surprise!

And then the overall plot itself is really interesting to read. As a necromancer, Odessa takes a lot of risks to bring back the royals from the Deadlands. For one, there's this huge plot to get rid of the ruling Dead, and instead have only the living rule. And I mean, I personally think living people should rule and am therefore on the side of the villain, but then obviously I am for the characters. So as a reader I'm faced with this decision of who do I support.

But also, who would want trade being seen or touched with immortality? Not me!!

Overall, I enjoyed Reign of the Fallen, and Odessa, Meredy, Evander, and the rest of the cast. I just wish there was more time to develop some of the relationships. If you enjoy a fast-paced read, I definitely recommend this!