The witches, beasties, goblins, and Royals return in this spellbinding conclusion to New York Times best-selling author Megan Shepherd’s Grim Lovelies duology.
Ever since she discovered her affinity for magic, seventeen-year-old Anouk has been desperate to become a witch. It’s the only way to save her friends who, like Anouk, are beasties: animals enchanted into humans. But unlike Anouk, the other beasties didn’t make it out of the battle at Montélimar in one piece.
With her friends now trapped in their animal forms, Anouk is forced into a sinister deal involving a political marriage with her sworn enemy, a wicked plot to overthrow London’s fiercest coven of witches, and a deadly trial of fire to become a witch. The price for power has always been steep in the world of the Haute. Now, it will cost Anouk everything.
Wicked and delightful, this spellbinding sequel and conclusion to Grim Lovelies is perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and The Hazelwood Wood
You. Guys. WHAT is HAPPENING? This year has been nothing but a series of… well, series endings that have DISAPPOINTED ME. I am so nervous for Queen of Nothing (which, at the time of writing this, comes out in A WEEK). Finale, Capturing the Devil, now Midnight Beauties… It wasn’t that I hated, or even disliked any of them, they just all fell so very, very short of the potential that the author (and plots) had, in my opinion.
So, here we go.
To be frank, there is a lot to dissect in terms of specific things that egged me on with this book. However, it all comes down to the same issue that I had with Sheperd’s previous series (The Madman’s Daughter), she had an incredible plot, and all of that came out half-bake, weak-sauce because of the romance (mime puking here). YA so quickly gets dissolved down to hormone-induced, weak sauce romance, while teens and new adults can, and enjoy, reading more than that. The beginnings of these series, prove that. Anyways.
I like romance–I think it can help to add flair and depth to a story. However, in the few books that disappointed me this year, it is because the original plots were pushed aside for romance, which was left to push forward the entire book and the remaining plot development. And, I think in the case of all three of these series conclusions, it was just because there wasn’t much “left to work with” in terms of creating an entire additional novel. Or, maybe more appropriately, there wasn’t anything “easy” to fill the last book with.
At the beginning of this novel, we had Anouk finding herself going through the trails to become a real-life witch which could’ve been very cool if it hadn’t been mushed into 100 measly pages, and then pushed aside to 200+ pages of people sitting storage at the British Museum being angsty and talking about making out. Like, cmon y’all.
Then to add, we had several character deaths that were… totally unnecessary, and just eliminated the potential plot and depth that could’ve come from them and their relationships. Don’t even get me started on Anouk with that hawk… like, shouldn’t she have had more qualms with killing a bird considering her origins?
Anyways. This all comes down to Divergent-syndrome (if you know, you know), which loosely translates to great plot being pushed aside for fan-servicey drama and romance. In this particular case, I think this series really could’ve been a trilogy. If they had let the trials expand into one book, and then pushed the conclusion (and the reversal of the crew’s curse) into a third book, they could’ve developed some of the actually interesting characters (oof, sorry but not sorry) and give us a bit more to work with.
I dunno. Like I said, I didn’t hate this novel. I think part of this, is I see how easily this book could’ve been strengthened, and I am disappointed that this is how the series ended. If you want to see the fate of Beau and the other transformed peeps, it’s kinda worth a read. However, I feel that the atmosphere and plot of the first book were much stronger on their own than with the addition of this book.
2.5 out of 5 stars.