When I first heard that Amanda Foody had a new book coming out, I was positively giddy. But then I saw that it was a dual collaboration with Christine Lynn Herman and they were going for a very dark plot… Well let’s just say that I was very jazzed about it. And I have to say that All of Us Villains definitely lived up to my original hype. I need more ASAP.
All of my thanks to Macmillan/Tor Teen for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
The blockbuster co-writing debut of Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman, All of Us Villains begins a dark tale of ambition and magick…
You Fell In Love With The Victors of The Hunger Games.
Now Prepare To Meet The Villains of The Blood Veil.
After the publication of a salacious tell-all book, the remote city of Ilvernath is thrust into worldwide spotlight. Tourists, protesters, and reporters flock to its spellshops and ruins to witness an ancient curse unfold: every generation, seven families name a champion among them to compete in a tournament to the death. The winner awards their family exclusive control over the city’s high magick supply, the most powerful resource in the world.
In the past, the villainous Lowes have won nearly every tournament, and their champion is prepared to continue his family’s reign. But this year, thanks to the influence of their newfound notoriety, each of the champions has a means to win. Or better yet–a chance to rewrite their story.
But this is a story that must be penned in blood.
Have you ever wanted a very dark story about an intensely complicated family relationships and a magical death match between a bunch of antihero teenagers with very questionable motives? Well friends, you are in luck! Foody and Herman have totally delivered on all accounts! The plot in this story is so incredibly dark and twisted, delivering some very interesting revelations from start to finish. I thought the pacing was perfectly done. I loved the build up to the curse, learning about each of the seven families and their chosen participant. Truthfully, I was surprised to find myself super invested in the personal family histories and relationships. As exciting as the violent and super action-packed competition was, I could have read an entire book on the Ilvernath elite.
What also helped really move the story along, was that we were given a POV from a few of the seven competitors. Alistair Lowe – the broody boy who plays the villain to keep others at a distance. Isobel Macaslan – the veryyy reluctant champion of a family who uses her as a media darling to drum up support. Briony Thorburn – the strongest member of her family, but suffers from a serious savior-complex. Gavin Grieves – Gavin’s family is at the very bottom in terms of prestige but he has very different plans for this tournament. Each of these main characters were different with a unique voice and personality. I never struggled to remember who was who. I also loved seeing how their interactions changed and developed over the course of the story, as the characters themselves went through personal growth. If I had to choose a favorite POV though, I think it would be a toss-up between Alistair and Gavin. They scream villain/antihero and I never knew what they were going to do next.
Like I mentioned before, this book is VERY dark. For me, that is always a bonus when it comes to YA stories, as they usually try to steer more towards cutesy and sweet. I think this more recent push to elevating YA towards heavier themes and darker settings is much more in my wheelhouse. But with that being said, if you are a little squeamish or just prefer your books to have an overall upbeat tone, then you may want to skip this one. Villains is dark, it’s violent, and the majority of the characters aren’t good people. Basically what I’m saying is, it’s the perfect book to pick up in time for Halloween.
This is one of the rare times where I can’t really think of any issues I had with a book. The general plot of the book may seem very similar to other novels (namely The Hunger Games), but it was done in such a unique way that I didn’t even notice it while I was reading. The setting was fantastic, the characters were interesting, and I am very VERY much here to find out how it all ends. I would like to send a quick prayer to the book gods for a speedy release date for the sequel. I’ve been very good this year (HA!) and deserve for my dream to come true…. Wait, none of y’all believe me?! Drat.
Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Is All of Us Villains on your TBR this fall? Do you prefer to read dark or lighthearted stories more? Do you like it when books revolve around a competition?