30 Jan 2017

#Review: CRYSTAL STORM by Morgan Rhodes


Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms #5
Source: Purchased from Chapters
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: December 13, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars

The ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.

In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.

Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will.

The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.
WARNING! This fifth book in a series so there will be spoilers for at least the first four books. To see my reviews of those, click HERE.

I'm a HUGE fan of this series as I'm sure you guys know. I have been to a few events and push this book on people all the time. And while I really enjoyed this one, I don't think it was the best one in the series -- and I think it didn't live up to the ending that was FROZEN TIDES. I thought there were some dry moments and that while it brought the plot along, it wasn't knock your socks off the entire time I was reading it.

I felt like there was a lot of unnecessary aspects to this one, including the angst that we saw from Cleo and Magnus, who had come together in the last book. It was just so blah to have them "fight" over things that they definitely did not need to fight about just to create tension and drama. And I felt like this about quite a few things in this book -- it was done out of a need to have tension and drama rather than to move everything alone. 

I like each character individually and enjoyed seeing everyone's point of view, but I thought that since everyone was together it felt too convoluted to have everyone explain everything all the time. I think the strength of this series -- and narration -- is that we learn about all the lands and areas because everyone is typically split up. But everyone was together so we saw different things happen based on who Rhodes wanted us to see. Which was fine, except they could have stayed separate until the very end when it was necessary for them to come together.

I also thought that there were quite a few plot holes this time around and that some of the twists came out of nowhere. It felt like some of the way the story could have gone were literally thrown out the window so that these other things happened instead. 

However, I was happy with the way that it ended. Well, happy is a weird word. But I thought that the ending left the series in a good place for the next book, IMMORTAL REIGN (!!!!!!!), which is the series finale. So I am both excited and nervous and just screaming internally into the void because of how that happened. I am Cleo and her declaration at the end of the book because my grief will knock things back a step if the series doesn't end with at LEAST ONE HAPPY ENDING. And the gays have to live. The end.

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