The Fallen World Trilogy by Laura Thalassa

It’s been awhile since I’ve been sucked so wholly into a story, and The Fallen World Trilogy by Laura Thalassa was an addicting read.

21422225In the future, the world is at war.

For the last decade, King Lazuli of the Eastern Empire has systematically taken over the world. No one knows much about him other than a series of impossible facts: he cannot die, he has not aged since the conflict began, and he wants to rule the world.

All Serenity Freeman has known is bloodshed. War has taken away her mother, her home, her safety. As the future emissary of the Western United Nations, the last autonomous region of the globe, she is responsible for forging alliances where she can.

Surrender is on the horizon. The king can taste it; Serenity feels it deep within her bones. There is no other option. Now the two must come face to face. For Serenity, that means confronting the man who’s taken everything from her. For the king, it means meeting the one woman he can’t conquer. But when they meet, something happens. Cruelty finds redemption.

Only in war, everything comes with a price. Especially love.

Recommended by @Twinbookmarks, I decided to give it a try based on their gushing, and they were absolutely right. This book is a fast-paced, action-packed, hurts-so-good romance story. Half-way into the first book, I immediately purchased the rest of the series. Don’t let the covers fool you. This is a great read by an indie author.

Let’s start with Serenity and Montes’ relationship. Never have I read a more excruciatingly delicious, slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers trope. Their relationship was so toxic yet engulfing that I can only describe it as dying a slow death of arsenic poisoning, where it’s included in your favorite nightly tea. It’s both indulgent and destructive. The love and hate pull between them was dynamic, magnetic and most of all entrancing. I Could. Not. Stop. Reading.

This story isn’t all romance. In fact, there’s less sexy times with even less details than I usually expect from a romance novel. HOWEVER, the action in this story was relentless. Serenity is one badass chick. In every book, she’s taking down bad guys like it’s just another day in the life. Her targeted deadliness is balanced by her innate yearning for justice and peace. She’ll do anything to save her people. ANYTHING. That includes a bullet hole through the eyes with absolutely no remorse.

The author created a world with very high stakes. The post-apocalyptic world was both realistic and devastating. Every day is life or death. Every day one must sacrifice to help those in need. I’ve steered clear of post-apocalyptic novels as of late because I was tired of the same old, same old, but this world really stands apart – mainly that we get to see it from the dictator’s point of view. The cruelty of the King and the determination of Serenity drive this story forward like a high-speed car chase.

My favorite book of the three had to be the second book Queen of Traitors. The first book The Queen of All that Dies was a great introduction, but the depravity of both the King and Serenity is unleashed in book two. And the finale, The Queen of all the Lives, was a satisfying end to this whirlwind of a story.

If you like action-packed adventure in a post-apocalyptic world with badass heroines and a dark and twisted love interest, this book is for you.

STARS: 5 out of 5

The King by J.R. Ward

I’ve been a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward since I can remember. When I heard that she was going back to the beginning with Wrath and Beth, I was so excited. It’s really interesting to see where Ward is taking this series.

Before I continue, if you haven’t read this series, you should. If you like badass vampire stories with a lot of action and a LOT of heat, Ward is your girl. Each book in the series is extremely satisfying following one of the brothers — who each get there own happy ever after.

 17703290J.R. Ward’s # 1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood continues as a royal bloodline is compromised by a grave threat to the throne.

Long live the King…

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle–with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything–and everyone–at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response–or the distance it creates between them.

The question is, will true love win out… or tortured legacy take over?

I really enjoyed The King. First, I got to revisit characters that I absolutely love. There wasn’t a lot of face time but they each got a moment or two. Second, it was like Wrath and Beth got another happy ever after. Beth’s desire for children and Wrath’s refusal to “service” her was a very interesting conflict that was explored in this book. With Beth being half-human, she stirs up a lot more drama than she could have ever anticipated.  Third, Ward sets up some really interesting secondary characters that will most likely take center stage in future books. I REALLY enjoyed hearing about Trez and Xcor. iAm even had some shining moments. I’m also VERY curious about a new character that’s introduced as a dangerous executioner in the Shadow world.

I have to give this book five stars. It had everything I’ve come to expect from Ward. The only thing I generally dislike about this series is the chapters on the Lesser society and there is none of that in here, only small clues to their activity. I found my heart clenching and soaring as the story progressed, and by the end, I was totally satisfied with how Ward wrapped up this twelfth installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

The next book in the series, The Shadows, will be out in April 2015. This installment will follow shadow brothers Trez and iAm. I am super excited to see how Trez gets out of the pledge to the Queen his parents made for him all those years ago.

STARS: 5 out of 5