This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. The final book in the Falling Kingdoms Series, a book series that I've had a hate to love relationship with. I've never had such a 360 turn on my stance on a series. Going from disinterest to obsession. Especially with Magnus. I really went from hating to loving that character, and if that doesn't show spectacular character development, I don't know what does.
Final books are hard to write. You have to wrap up all the lose ends in a satisfying manner. Otherwise the end will taint every reader's experience and memories of the entire series. It's a really difficult task, one that hardly any authors are able to meet.
Unfortunately, Immortal Reign did not meet all my greatest expectations. To be fair, I did have some great expectations for this book, and at the same time I was a little doubtful. One of this series' biggest flaws is pace/timing. It has a tendency to rush some plot lines while keeping others feeling much too slow. This book was no exception. Maybe the reason I can't quite forgive this rushed/slowed plot is because this is the final book. At the end of the last book I feared there was too much to wrap up in one more book, and I fear that fear was not overly misplaced.
While some elements of this story were fantastic, others were just not timed right. In fact, the pacing for most of this book just felt wrong. It was either too fast, or too slow. Don't get me wrong, the book was still good, but I just really wished I could've enjoyed the experience a little more.
Of course, I was always welcome to both Magnus and Cleo's chapters, it would seem they were the only characters I really felt invested in by this book. I didn't care to read about any others, in fact, their chapters just felt long and arduous. Side Note: I'm not just saying Magnus and Cleo chapters were perfect, because they weren't. Some of their pacing was off as well, but I just felt happier when reading their bits. The others? The stakes didn't even seem to matter that much to me, I was just bored with the story and the characters, and I think that was mostly due to the pacing. It didn't allow me to just sink into the story, I kept getting thrown off.
Other than pacing the other main thing that I just got irked by in the novel is how easy and convenient everything felt. That helped with the issue of pacing, how fast it felt sometimes. There was no challenge to the story, and if there was it seemed to be wrapped up in the next page. There was never enough suspense to actually get me on the edge of my seat. I was never really al that worried-- I knew things would turn out fine because before I could even start worrying, it was resolved. I get it, the novel had to finish the story, but... Still. It could've been a million pages long for all I cared, I just wanted the perfect book. (I get it, it's hard to write the perfect book. And I did enjoy parts of this book, I did! But I'm just disappointed this was how it had to end.)
All in all, I can't give an unbiased rating on this book, so I really don't know how to rate it. My instinct is to rate it higher due to my attachment to the series, but my critic senses call for me to lower that rating, knowing my bias for the series. So I'm going to give this book a 6-7/10 stars, because I just don't know how to rate it. Sorry for all the complaining, it's just easier to point out the flaws than the good things. Plus the flaws tend to stick with you longer, and I actually read this book a bit ago. I don't want you to come out of this review thinking this book was all bad, because there really were good parts, I promise. I was just overall disappointed because it's the end of a series I'm highly invested in.
As two lethal elemental gods set out to destroy Mytica, sworn enemies must become allies in the final fight to save the kingdoms.
Jonas continues to willfully defy his destiny, but the consequences of plotting his own course are drastic. As the fight for Mytica rages on, he must decide just how much more he's willing to sacrifice.
Lucia knows there's something special about her daughter and she'll do anything to protect her, even if that means facing Kyan alone.
Amara is called back home to Kraeshia. Grandma Cortas has her own plans for Mytica's future. She promises Amara power, revenge, and dominance if she agrees to be part of her scheme.
Magnus and Cleo's love will be put to the ultimate test. Dark magic is causing widespread destruction throughout the kingdom. Enemies across the sea are advancing. And unrest is stirring throughout the land. Is their love strong enough to withstand the outside forces tearing them apart?
I know, no author can be perfect. If you kill of characters people are upset, but if you don't, your readers are still upset. None of the main characters died in this book, and I was actually never worried about any of them dying because I just got the feeling it wouldn't happen. Yes, I want a happy ending for my beloved characters, but I also didn't feel like there was anything at risk, also there was no real cost of this huge war. The way to get people invested is to make the stakes high, to show the cost, and in this the stakes were not all that high and there wasn't much of a cost.
The only big(ish) character who actually died was Gaius, and we all knew he was going to die anyway. Sure I didn't want Cleo or Magnus to die, but wouldn't it make the novel have more of an impact? If the people who hosted the elements died?
Y'all know where I stand on Lucia, and that still hasn't changed. I dislike her. And Jonas? I didn't particularly care for him either. I found myself just wishing for Magnus or Cleo chapters on any chapters that weren't about them, because nothing that happened seemed all that interesting. In fact, things that happened in Magnus and Cleo's weren't all that riveting either, I just like their characters. Don't even get me started on Amara's chapters. Do I care? Nope. No I do not. Nor do I care for her happy ending, because she was never a character I was particularly invested in. I guess Amara could be compared to Manon from Throne of Glass. The difference is, the way Manon was written and the plot she takes part in makes her a far more interesting character who you can get invested in, while Amara was just dull and annoying to me.
Everything just felt rushed. Like it all happened, then it was over. Such as the big finale? How many pages was that? five? And you think they're dead... never. Because it's all resolved so soon, plus the finale didn't really feel like it had all that much risk, either. Also everything just happened so easily, such as Magnus getting into the castle at the end. Cleo had to like get fire taken out of her path by Lucia, how did Magnus get there for his convenient little interruption? And then there were just the slow bits that I couldn't wait to have over. All in all, it was a strange book that I have very mixed feelings about. I want to love it... but I just can't.
Thanks for reading,