I’ll tell you that I honestly did not expect to be reading this new release. AT ALL. Yes, I am a huge SJM fan, I love her books but I had just no interest in this series because I deeply hate Nesta as a character. I had no intentions of picking up this book or reading this series at all…but then everybody on Instagram started raving about and even my editor at The Nerd Daily said how one reviewer rated it a 9/10 even though she also hates Nesta…so I gave in. I bought myself the darn ebook and I picked it up straight after finishing the last book in the All Souls Trilogy.
Was it worth it? Read on to find out!
Day 1: Wednesday 24th February | Up to 5%
It is 11:55 pm, I should be sleeping but instead, I just read the first 2 chapters of ACOSAF and I do have to say that I missed the gang. I missed these characters (well everyday character but Nesta). I absolutely love the inner circle – not anyone in particular just everyone (but Nesta).
At this point, I’m still at the stage where I hope I continue to hate Nesta because I don’t want her to have a redemption arc, I don’t think she deserves it even though my stupid can’t help but begin to sympathise just from these first two chapters. I can’t wait to read more of it tomorrow night when I get home – even just to see the lovely characters I missed so much!
It would be such a huge lie is I didn’t say how freaking GOOD it was to see Feyre actually be tough on Nesta and be like: NO. You’re done just using us as a bank account for your activities. I 100% expected the whole “you have to go train with Cassian” thing and I can totally see where it’s going to go in terms of their relationship (I’ve been told this book is super raunchy already!) but I’m feeling optimistic about this. It was quite funny seeing Feyre scolding Rhys for being all-powerful too! The beginning of the book has definitely set up Nesta’s state of mind a bit; how traumatising the cauldron ordeal was and a bit of why she’s just sleeping with men and drinking all the time. I still very much hate her and I’m super reluctant to become a fan but I can’t say that I will or I won’t at this stage. Really hoping for won’t.
Day 2: Thursday 25th February | Up to 7%
I had such a big day that I only managed to read one more chapter and then fell asleep, so I expect to read a lot more tomorrow when I don’t have anything on after work!
Day 3 – 4 : Friday 26th – Saturday 27th February | Up to 12%
Again, I didn’t read a whole lot in these last 2 days but I was finishing another book (Spinning Silver by Naomi Novak). Again, I don’t have any particular opinions at this point. It’s still very much the ‘introduction’ phase of the book but I’m super keen to smash more of this out tomorrow!
Day 5 – 6 : Sunday 28th February – Monday 1st March | Up to 53%
Oh. my god. I underestimated SJM again…I hate to say it but…I’m starting to hate Nesta less and I don’t like it. The plot so far has developed quite well at a nice pace, and I’ve managed to read 50% of this book quite quickly considering the time I’ve actually been reading. The character development is definitely there and I’m so very intrigued to see where this is going because I’m sorta getting similar ‘chosen one’ vibes but not quite.
Note: when readers said this book was filthy with smut, they were right. I personally don’t love SJM’s smut writing so I did skim quite a few pages of ‘friendly’ interactions between Nesta and Cassian.
I feel like I should have reread the ACOTAR series before reading this because I’m astounded as to how many characters and small plot points I’ve blatantly forgotten. It’s become a bit of a struggle but I’m getting through it. I mostly forgot a lot of the politics side of things like the 4 human queens and one of them becoming a crone. Her being the new villain is a great choice tbh and I like how we’re learning more about this sorcerer across the sea. The kelpie scene was written so well and was so interesting. I love how SJM can write action scenes so efficiently and just capture all of my attention!
With Nesta and Cassian’s relationship; despite how much I hate her, I’m starting to like their interactions and she’s basically coming out of her shell despite still being a bit of a bitch – BUT I admire the effort she’s putting in by getting Gwyn and co to train with her. It was so strange when Cassian was defending Nesta and for once I wasn’t also opposed to it. If you’d ask me before I read this book, I would’ve totally been on Rhys’ side, hating her guts, but SJM is just SO good at writing her character in a way that my brain can’t help but empathise (especially when characters are dealing with trauma). I can definitely see how this is ACOMAF No. 2 but with Nesta dealing with everything she went through. That being said, I still don’t think her poor upbringing with her mother means she’s not at fault for how she treated Feyre before Feyre left for the Spring Court. Her ungrateful attitude is still annoying but we’ll see if that goes away by the end of the book.
Day 7: Tuesday 2nd – Wednesday 3rd March | FINISHED
Okay. I finished it! I can’t believe that I finished this thick book in a week – it just shows how easy and digestible SJM’s writing is. I’m a little…annoyed that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. It’s just incredible how well SJM is able to make you empathise with a character even if you hate them. The last 50% of this book just went by quite fast and I really enjoyed the friendships Nesta made and how the ending was set up for the next book. The friendships were the best highlights of this book. I really loved the new characters we got to meet and I liked the way the plot made sense without feeling like plot twists were either coming out of nowhere or that I could predict them.
As some may have mentioned, this novel followed a pretty standard format but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I can definitely attest to this book being the ‘ACOMAF’ for Nesta and I respect SJM for what she wrote because reading a journey of healing is generally cathartic for the reader and when executed well – it’s good! I’m so glad that this is the first book of this trilogy, it made sense for her to write this as she did and I am looking forward to the next novel – and not just to see the rest of the inner circle this time!
Overall, I give it a 4/5 stars. It was really enjoyable – I’m still in denial about it to be honest! The book lost a star because imo it is quite lengthy and had so much smut that I basically skimmed all those scenes. I felt like it dragged quite a bit throughout certain parts and it could’ve definitely been shorter to improve the reading experience but all SJM smut lovers will still love this.
That was certainly a great ending – and omg I did not see Nesta and co being kidnapped to do this Illyrian test coming but boy was that a good plot point. I really like SJM’s choice of villain in this book and going forward, plus it was so satisfying seeing Nesta lose her shit and literally turn that human queen to fucking ash hahaha. Probably the only thing I felt a little ‘eh’ about was that Nesta was Cassian’s mate and that I wished we’d seen more of other characters like Elain and Azriel but I get that this book focussed on Nesta’s growth – to become y’know, a proper kind human being for once. Her part in helping Feyre stay alive during the birth was kind of harrowing to read and I’m sad she doesn’t have her butt-kicking powers anymore (that was such an exciting prospect). One other thing is I don’t know what Rhys was thinking to just let Feyre’s birth go ahead without at least letting her know or getting her to try and transform into an Illyrian – and wow, the whole ‘they die together’ thing. It felt quite overdramatic at parts but still fit the narrative. Either way, this was a journey.
What did you think of this reading blog? Have you read ACOSF and what did you rate it if you did?
Until next time,