All of Us Villains Review

  • Author: Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman
  • Series: All of Us Villains #1
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • No. of pages: 400
  • Dates read: 11.10.21 – 20.10.21
  • Star Rating: 5 stars
  • ARC Publisher: Gollancz
  • Publishing Date: 09.11.21

Plot: The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins. Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world–one thought long depleted. This year, thanks to a salacious tell-all book, the seven champions are thrust into worldwide spotlight, granting each of them new information, new means to win, and most importantly: a choice – accept their fate or rewrite their story. But this is a story that must be penned in blood.

Thank you Netgalley and Orion Books for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The Hunger Games meets Caraval in this incredibly exciting novel that everyone needs to pick up the moment it comes out. Now going into this story I had no idea what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that I loved the sound of the plot and that loads of people really enjoyed the previous books written by the two authors behind this novel.

Starting off with the writing. This novel was easy to read and included multiple POVs from 4 different characters, if you are a long-term reader of my blog you will know already that I love multiple POVs. I couldn’t really tell the difference between the two authors which I really liked, I don’t know what that says about their personal writing styles but I didn’t feel like it was two wholly different individuals tackling different parts of the story. It felt like a very strong collaboration. I felt the authors did a great job of differentiating the 4 main characters, they didn’t feel the same at all, I also felt their writing of magical fight scenes and the use of magic in general in this novel was written really clearly and easy to follow as it definitely could have fallen into a trap of being confusing and not making sense.

In terms of plot, I had so much fun reading this novel. I have never personally read the Hunger Games books but I’ve seen the movies and I read and loved Caraval and I felt it had the horror and desperation of The Hunger Games alongside the more whimsical and beautiful magic of Caraval. The plot drew me in super quickly and is one of the major highlights of the book. I thought I knew early on what was going to happen, as certain parts of the book were predictable, but I felt that it really pulled me into a false sense of security and then used that against me at the most pinnacle points which I loved. One of the key points I wanted to mention is that the authors raise the stakes considerably within this book. All four of our main characters have something happen to them within this novel that has you screaming for more, wondering how they are going to fair in the tournament and what this may mean for their place within this deadly battle. I was super impressed with how they didn’t hold any punches and going into the novel you had no idea who was going to win or what the outcome was going to be.

I really enjoyed the characters within this novel. I enjoyed all the POVs equally. I really enjoyed exploring their backstories and how what happened to them in the past shaped how they approached the tournament. I think the most interesting character of all was Alistair, he had so many layers and was a walking contradiction and I really liked being in his head and understanding more about him. I also loved learning about all the different families and how they function within themselves as a family unit and within Ilvernath as a whole. You had the terrifying Lowes, the intelligent Thorburns and the overlooked Grieves etc.

The world building itself was not on the Lord of the Rings or Wheel of Time level but I felt there was enough mentioned and explored which allowed to fully understand what was going on within the novel while also leaving it open to learn more for book 2. I really enjoyed learning about how magic works in this world and I loved the setting of this being our modern day. I loved how this fantastical competition bled through into the modern world of social media and celebrity and I enjoyed exploring how that translated into our world with the tabloids and the influencer culture. It was super super interesting!

Overall, I thought this was an incredibly dark and enticing novel that everyone who loved The Hunger Games but wants a fantasy version of it should read. The next book I will be reviewing is another dark and scary novel, it’s going to be The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson. Stay tuned!

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