Here are two books that I think people should consider checking out!
I’ve talked in the past about how much I liked S.J. Kincaid’s Insignia trilogy and now her new book, The Diabolic, is finally here! It tells the story of Nemesis, a Diabolic, which is a being created to be loyal to one person, and stand against any threats to that person. When The Emperor wants to use Nemesis’ charge Sidonia as a hostage at the Galactic Court in order to keep Sidonia’s father in check, Nemesis goes to Court in Sidonia’s place. So what are people saying about Kincaid’s new book?
Overflowing Bookshelves, a fellow Insignia series fan, offers a very positive take, praising the main character as well as the overall story world. My Friends are Fiction is also mostly positive, though she is a bit critical about the side characters, particularly Sidonia. There is another very positive review from The Eater of Books, though she is also at best ambivalent about Sidonia. The major complaint from this review is that the reader wanted to see the ending extend a little further, noting that the book stops very soon after the climax of the story. This could be leaving the door open for more books in the universe, though for now The Diabolic appears to be a standalone. Not everyone was so thrilled with this book, as I’ve seen two or three recent comments on my twitter feed about it being less than brilliant, but the general consensus does seem to very positive.
Another book that has been much on my mind is Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. As I’ve mentioned in the past, Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood duology has long been on my radar, though I’ve never actually picked it up. I did read Blake’s Greek God trilogy though it was a bit of a mixed bag for me, with the later books not being as appealing to me as the first in the series. So while the concept of Three Dark Crowns, about three triplets with different magical powers who must fight for the right to be queen of their fantasy kingdom certainly appeals to me, I’ve been a bit nervous about picking it up. But I have finally purchased the book!
A Reader of Fictions was not particularly impressed with it, lamenting that she always seems to like the ideas of Blake’s stories more than the execution. Her main complaint seems to be the romance in the book, going so far as to compare one of the love interests to Finn, an unpopular character from television show The 100. She does seem more impressed with the female characters and the world-building, however. The Eater of Books seems to have much the same feelings, with most of her review focusing on the previously mentioned love interest, who happens to be at the centre of a love triangle, much to the reviewer’s disgust. She actually liked two of the triplets and at least one of the side characters, and even praises the book as interesting and engaging, but the love triangle is enough to completely alienate her from the story.
But there are some positive reviews for the book! Abellafairytale says that it leaves you wanting more, and Reading In Wonderland can’t praise the book enough, expressing a fondness for all three sisters as well as the side characters. Writer of Wrongs is ultimately positive, though she falls in line with the negative reviewers in criticizing the romance in the book, and the one love interest in particular.
Moving on to some booktubers, bookskay give the book five out of five stars. Interestingly, she did find the world-building, which most reviews seemed to cite as the main strength of the book, to be a bit vague. Thoughts on Tomes offers another positive review, praising the fact that all three of the sisters are appealing characters with engaging struggles in their lives, as opposed to a Cinderella scenario where there would be the obvious hero and the two villains. But she joined the chorus of bashing the love triangle aspect of the book. She also notes that the book does drag a bit in the middle. The Ghosts Inside delivered a very positive review of this book, and then praised Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares in their own reviews.
Ultimately, people seem to generally praise the world and the main characters in Three Dark Crowns, though the side characters are more controversial, and the love triangle seems to be pretty much universally loathed.
The reviews do note that there is quite a lot to keep track of in Three Dark Crowns. Thankfully, Epic Reads created character charts to help you keep track of the important information about the three potential queens.
I have just recently finished The Diabolic, and enjoyed it. I definitely recommend that anyone who liked it should check out her Insignia read. I began Three Dark Crowns, only to stop it in favour of Saving Hamlet from Molly Booth. Saving Hamlet just seemed like a book I should read, given that I am also writing a novel that includes a high school production of Hamlet. But I should return to Three Dark Crowns in the near future, and what I did read the first time has only left me eager to pick the book up again.