ARC Review: All of Us Villainsby Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman

Posted October 25, 2021 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

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All of Us Villains

All of Us Villains

by Amanda Foody, Christine Lynn Herman

Series: All of Us Villains #1
Publisher: Tor Teen on November 9, 2021
Genre: Fantasy
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Representation: LGBTQIAP+ Character(s)
Content Warnings: Blood, Body Horror, Child Death, Death, Grief, Murder, Violence

Rating: ★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at Bookshop.org

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.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley and Tor Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I was a little bit worried about All of Us Villains at first because the book started out slowly and with a lot of POVs.  It took me a while to get into the book because for the longest time, it felt like it was going nowhere. Once the plot started picking up, I found myself pulled deeper and deeper.  I‘m glad I pushed through the beginning to get to the end.

Herman and Foody spend a lot of time setting the scene and introducing their characters’ backstories. These backstories helped to a point, but most the character development happened once the Veil fell. Some readers love a steady start like this – for me, it threw the pacing.  Books with multiple POVs can be troublesome like this. Even cut down, introductions take a while. To this point, I feel as though All of Us Villains would have fared well enough without quite as many POVs. There were four I was primarily interested in – Briony, Alistair, Isobel, and Gavin. Even Gavin isn’t particularly interesting but he does go places where the others do not. All four of these characters offered unique views based on their individual subplots. After that, I think it would be good to drop the rest of the POVs, particularly in the introductory section.

I will say that All of Us Villains is an arc, so it’s entirely possible this will change before release! 🙂

Each of the four characters mentioned above has a solid history, strong motivation, and an interesting personal quest. They are the strongest built characters in the book (other than our villain) and it’s challenging to pick just one to root for.  I really enjoyed the growth – often forced growth – each of the characters went through.

All of Us Villains has a last man standing plot.  If you enjoy intrigue and action and trickery, these sorts of plots are the best.  We begin with an exposé books about Ilvernath where every couple of generations, the children of the leading families are forced to fight to the death.  The winner takes control of high magic, a powerful tool. The crop of chosen this Blood Moon each have their own stakes. The plot deliveries on the blood and betrayals it promises – it’s terrific.

The ending… well, of course, the ending is an absolute cliffhanger which means I am anxiously waiting for book two. I would recommend this book to fans of each of the authors, but also for anyone who enjoys a good villain or duels to the death. Fans of The Hunger Games, I’m looking at you.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★
Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Writing: ★★★★ 1/2
Pacing: ★★ 1/2
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★

4 Star Rating

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If tasked to it, would you be able to kill the people you grew up with?  I absolutely couldn’t – I’ve no stomach for killing.  My plan would very much be “hide it out and hope for the best.”  What about you?  Let me know in the comments!

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