All of Us Villains #2

This is the second book in a duology. There will be no spoilers for this book, but there maybe ones for the first book. Read at your own peril. If you would like to read my review for book one, click here.

All of Our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

Publication Date: August 30, 2022

Summary from NetGalley:

All of Our Demise is the epic conclusion to Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman’s New York Times bestselling All of Us Villains duology.

“I feel like I should warn you: this is going to be absolutely brutal.”

For the first time in this ancient, bloodstained story, the tournament is breaking. The boundaries between the city of Ilvernath and the arena have fallen. Reporters swarm the historic battlegrounds. A dead boy now lives again. And a new champion has entered the fray, one who seeks to break the curse for good… no matter how many lives are sacrificed in the process.

As the curse teeters closer and closer to collapse, the surviving champions each face a choice: dismantle the tournament piece by piece, or fight to the death as this story was always intended.

Long-held alliances will be severed. Hearts will break. Lives will end. Because a tale as wicked as this one was never destined for happily ever after.

ARC provided by Macmillan-Tor via NetGalley for an honest review.

Confession:

This book was absolutely brutal but strangely enough in a good way. If you read the first book then you know how dark this series is and it gets even darker in this second and final installment. The ending is bitter sweet and it is hard to say goodbye to these characters and this world.

All of the characters that survived the first book are back and ready to murder each other if they must. Briony and her group are of course trying to save everyone, but kill they will if they have to. All of the characters go through a lot of growth and discovery of their self worth. These characters are deliciously flawed, yet complex and fully fleshed out, and you find yourself rooting for them to end the tournament.

Alistair’s character growth is amazing and will almost break your heart, as will Gavins. Considering what their families did to them I am amazed that they could function and keep it together in the tournament. I also like how these two worked together to end the curses that were placed on them. And Alistair’s and Hendry’s love for each other held no bonds as each brother would fight to keep the other alive. But in the end it is Hendry’s love that will save Alistair.

A surprise character who had a minor role in book one is Reid. He gets a lot more page time in this one, and he proves to be quite interesting. We get a lot more insight into why he did those horrible things to Gavin and why he egged Briony on to break the curse. Reid does sort of redeem himself in this book and I actually ended up liking him quite a lot by the end.

The plot was just as good this time around, although there is a bit more emphasis on character development than the tournament. I would have liked more information on the government’s involvement and interference in the tournament. It was never clear why they wanted Briony’s sister to be the champion. And as their and the spellmakers involvement in the story becomes clearer, their motivations became murkier, if that makes sense. I really liked the trials that everyone had to go through as they paired the objects with the places in the tournament. These gave us insight in to the family’s histories and how to solve the puzzles they were given. I will emphasis again how much I loved the world building and the magical system. I especially loved how creating spells was related to the tournament and how it worked.

If you liked the first book, I think you will enjoy this one just as much. There are a lot of twists and a lot of truths revealed about the characters and their families. The ending is a bit sad, but hopeful as well.

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