Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy: Book 2) by Emily A. Duncan

Ruthless Gods: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy Book 2) by [Duncan, Emily A.]

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

Date of publication: April 7th, 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: Something Dark and Holy

Wicked Saints—Book 1

Ruthless Gods—Book 2

Untitled—Book 3 (expected publication date: 2021)

Where to find Ruthless Gods: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The stunning sequel to instant New York Times bestseller, Wicked Saints!

Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.


First Line:

There was a darkness.

Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

My Review:

I was pretty excited when I saw that SMP/Wednesday Books had granted my wish for this book on NetGalley. I hadn’t expected it, though. My wishes never get granted on that site. After my excitement died down, I realized that it was the 2nd book. I was still optimistic about the book, though. Lately, I have been reading books that are 2nd or 3rd in a series, and that was stand-alone. I figured that Ruthless Gods would be the same. Oh boy, was I wrong.

Ruthless Gods had a fast-moving plotline. The author was able to keep the pace up even with the book being split into numerous POVs. That I did like, she marked who’s chapter it was. I had zero issues following along with the book that way. It also worked well with the pacing. Some storylines were left open, and characters that were mentioned but never brought up again. But, considering that this is the 2nd book in the series, I have a feeling everything will be tied together in the 3rd book.

As I mentioned above, Ruthless Gods is NOT a stand-alone book. You do need to read Wicked Saints before reading Ruthless Gods. That way, the backstories/explanation of the different countries/explanation of the religions (which is essential!!) are fully disclosed. I was lost when reading Ruthless Gods because I didn’t read Wicked Saints first.

Another source of irritation for me was the lack of understanding of the different relationships between the character. Nadya and Malachiasz, I got right away. Serefin and Kacper’s was a little muddier. Ostiya, Parijahan, and Rashid’s relationships with each other, and the central 3 was even more mysterious. That is where reading Wicked Saints would have come in handy — now saying that I was impressed with the character growth that Serefin, Nadya, and Malachiasz had throughout the book.

Ruthless Gods had to have been one of the more darker, bloodier young adult books that I have read in a while. The amount of violence was terrific. The author doesn’t even bother to build-up to the first violent scene. It was bam, there you go. Now, that didn’t bother me. I figured by reading the synopsis that it was going to be bloody and violent. But it might bother other people.

I was fascinated by a couple of things in Ruthless Gods. I was fascinated that this book was based loosely in Russia. I do wish that there was some glossary that explained the different terms used in the book. I was also fascinated by the various religions portrayed. I do wish that there was a glossary dedicated to the different saints/terms that Nadya and her fellow monks used. Again, it would have gone a long way to helping me understand everything.

The storylines were well written also. There was almost too much going on in the book at one point, but the author did a fantastic job keeping everything separate. The Nadya/Malachiasz storyline broke my heart. Serefin’s broke my heart too. I couldn’t imagine living like he did and being forced to do the things he did.

The best part of the book was the last part of the book from when Katya was introduced onwards. Everything just snowballed once the group got into that forest. I expected what Serefin and Nadya did. The whole book was leading up to those two crucial things. But, I wasn’t expecting what happened to Malachiasz. That took me completely by surprise. The epilogue was fantastic. I cannot wait to read book three because of what was promised in that epilogue.


I would give Ruthless Gods an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would reccomend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Ruthless Gods. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


#1

Things in Jars

#2

Westering Women

#3

Followers

#4

A Hundred Suns

#5

The Only Good Indians

#6

The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)

#7

Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy, #2)

#8

Diamond City (Diamond City, #1)

#9

Foul Is Fair

#10

Jane Anonymous

Weekly Wrap Up: December 15th through December 21st 2019

Books I’ve Read:

Jesse & The Thinkers

Releasing Keanu

The Angel of Evil

Ruthless Gods


Books with Pending Reviews:

Ruthless Gods—review coming April 7th, 2020


Books with Published Reviews:

The Angel of Evil—Review Here

The Wrongful Death—Review Here


NetGalley Requests:

Truths I Never Told You

The New Husband


Author/Publisher Requests:

Shorefall


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Viper

If You’re Reading This…


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: December 17th, 2019

IMG_1384-0

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

Releasing Keanu (The Kennedy Boys #8)

Keanu
Selena played me.
Confirming I wasted years loving someone who didn’t love me back.
It should be easy to move on, but since she dumped me, I can’t shake her from my thoughts, no matter how hard I try.
Dates and random hookups don’t help, because no one measures up to the girl I still love with my whole heart.
When she appears at my door, begging me for help, I can’t turn her away. My protective instincts kick in, and I grasp this second chance with both hands.
This time, I’m determined to open her eyes.
To help her realize she made a mistake throwing what we had away.
To prove our love is the real deal.

Selena
Keanu has it all wrong.
I let him go because I love him too much to continue holding him back.
And I’ve paid for it every day since.
I didn’t think it was possible to miss someone this much, but my entire being aches for him in a way that isn’t healthy.
It’s why I continue to keep my distance even though it’s killing me inside.
No one understands me the way he does, so, when my ugly past returns, threatening to undo years of progress, he’s the first person I run to.
If anyone can keep me safe, it’s the love of my life.
Maybe, this time, I’m strong enough to be the woman he deserves.
If my past doesn’t take me from him first.

Releasing Keanu is a STANDALONE new adult romance in the Kennedy Boys world. No cliffhanger, no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.


I recently finished reading:

Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy, #2)

The stunning sequel to instant New York Times bestseller, Wicked Saints!

Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.


What books I think I’ll read next:

Jesse & The Thinkers (Jesse & Jake Book 1)

Jesse Winkler is one of the few who dare to stand out. A ‘weirdo’, the children at the adventure playground call him, and not because of his red bow tie. Strange things always seem to happen when Jesse is around.

No one can quite figure out what ‘Brave Jake’, who happens to be the most popular kid in the playground, sees in ‘Weirdo Jesse’. But Jake always knew. He could just tell. One person’s weirdo is another person’s hero.

Jesse and Jake’s journey turns into a deadly situation when an enemy from another world unleashes a weapon designed to destroy the minds of The Thinkers and anybody who comes across it. They find themselves caught up in a battle that was not meant for them. Or was it?

Jesse and The Thinkers is an action-packed, compulsively readable adventure story, leaving you emotionally involved in the extraordinary characters we meet along the way.

Jesse, Jake & The Return of Antheia (Jesse & Jake Book 2) by [John, Ken]

In this second instalment of the book series, Jake has earned his way onto the title, and rightly so. Jesse and Jake continue on their journey to save Thinkland from Zar’s invasion.

Some may wonder why they have taken it upon themselves to go up against Zar? But if they sit back and watch him invade Thinkland, Earthland will be next.

Will bravery be enough to take on the mighty Zar? Or will they fall deeper into his web?

The plot thickens as we follow Jesse and Jake on their extraordinary journey into the unknown.

A Critical Tangent (Moonlight and Murder, #1)

Enter a world where ignorance and darkness mask chaos and deceit.

Keiki’s focus on designing drones shatters one morning when her prototype records the murder of her friend. Captured video detailed the masked killer’s promise to find his witness and finish the job.

Experience has given her good reason to not trust cops, especially when they come knocking on her door. Their suspicions narrow when her roommate disappears without a trace.

Conflicting evidence at a brutal crime scene leaves gossamer threads weaving a complicated web of lies and deceit. Every lead Detective Garnett finds steers the investigation to a deeper, darker network entangling Keiki in a labyrinth of cunning subterfuge.

Garnett is torn between following the letter of the law and protecting the witness determined to clear her name. Can he earn Keiki’s trust in time to save her life, or will a psychotic killer destroy the woman who has demolished his emotional barriers?

An Everyday Hero (A Heart of a Hero #2)

At thirty, Greer Hadley never expected to be forced home to Madison, Tennessee with her life and dreams of being a songwriter up in flames. To make matters worse, a series of bad decisions and even crappier luck lands her community service hours at a nonprofit organization that aids veterans and their families. Greer cannot fathom how she’s supposed to use music to help anyone deal with their trauma and loss when the one thing that brought her joy has failed her.

When Greer meets fifteen-year-old Ally Martinez, her plans to stay detached and do as little as possible get thrown away. New to town and dealing with the death of her father in action, she hides her emotions behind a mask of bitterness and sarcasm, but Greer is able to see past it and recognizes pieces of who she once was in Ally. The raw and obvious talent she possesses could take her to the top and Greer vows to make sure life’s negativities don’t derail Ally’s potential.

After Greer is assigned a veteran to help, she’s not surprised Emmett Lawson, the town’s golden boy, followed his family’s legacy. What leaves her shocked is the shell of a man who believes he doesn’t deserve anyone’s help. A breakthrough with Ally reminds Greer that no one is worth giving up on. So she shows up one day with his old guitar, and meets Emmett’s rage head on with her stubbornness. When a situation with Ally becomes dire, the two of them must become a team to save her—and along the way they might just save themselves too.

WWW Wednesday: December 11th, 2019

IMG_1384-0

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

Seven Letters

J. P. Monninger, author of the international bestseller The Map That Leads to You, the novel Nicholas Sparks called “romantic and unforgettable”, tells a poignant love story of the ways the world divides two souls—and the way that love brings them together.

Kate Moreton is in Ireland on sabbatical from her teaching position at Dartmouth College when she meets Ozzie Ferriter, a fisherman and a veteran of the American war in Afghanistan. The Ferriter family history dates back centuries on the remote Blasket Islands, and Ozzie – a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States – has retreated to the one place that might offer him peace from a war he cannot seem to leave behind.

Beside the sea, with Ireland’s beauty as a backdrop, the two fall deeply in love and attempt to live on an island of their own making, away from the pressures of the outside world. Ireland writes its own love stories, the legends claim, and the limits of Kate and Ozzie’s love and faith in each other will be tested. When his demons lead Ozzie to become reckless with his life—and Kate’s—she flees for America rather than watch the man she loves self-destruct. But soon a letter arrives informing Kate that her heroic husband has been lost at sea, and Kate must decide whether it is an act of love to follow him or an act of mercy to forget.


I recently finished reading:

The Woman in the Mirror: A Novel

Rebecca James unveils a chilling modern gothic novel of a family consumed by the shadows and secrets of its past in The Woman in the Mirror.

For more than two centuries, Winterbourne Hall has stood atop a bluff overseeing the English countryside of Cornwall and the sea beyond.

In 1947, Londoner Alice Miller accepts a post as governess at Winterbourne, looking after Captain Jonathan de Grey’s twin children. Falling under the de Greys’ spell, Alice believes the family will heal her own past sorrows. But then the twins’ adoration becomes deceitful and taunting. Their father, ever distant, turns spiteful and cruel. The manor itself seems to lash out. Alice finds her surroundings subtly altered, her air slightly chilled. Something malicious resents her presence, something clouding her senses and threatening her very sanity.

In present day New York, art gallery curator Rachel Wright has learned she is a descendant of the de Greys and heir to Winterbourne. Adopted as an infant, she never knew her birth parents or her lineage. At long last, Rachel will find answers to questions about her identity that have haunted her entire life. But what she finds in Cornwall is a devastating tragic legacy that has afflicted generations of de Greys. A legacy borne from greed and deceit, twisted by madness, and suffused with unrequited love and unequivocal rage.


What books I think I’ll read next:

The Die of Death (The Great Devil War #2)

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life. But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe. Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.

The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series.

The Wrongful Death (The Great Devil War #3)

An unfortunate chain of events makes Philip responsible for the untimely death of the school bully Sam—the Devil’s original choice for an heir. Philip must return to Hell to find Sam and bring him back to life, so that fate can be restored. But trouble is stirring in Lucifer’s kingdom and not even Philip can imagine the strange and dark journey that awaits him. A journey that will take him through ancient underworlds and all the way to Paradise.

The Wrong Death is volume 3 of The Great Devil War series.

Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy, #2)

The stunning sequel to instant New York Times bestseller, Wicked Saints!

Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.

The Angel of Evil (The Great Devil War #4)

SPOILER-ALERT! Stop reading if you haven’t read book I-III yet!

Nothing will ever be the same. Satina is gone, kidnapped by the enemy. Disobeying Lucifer, Philip heads out to find her, journeying into the deep darkness of Outer Reach. But nothing can prepare Philip for the horror that awaits—or the demons he will face.

Meanwhile, Lucifer’s kingdom is threatened as the Great Devil War draws closer. All Hell is about to break loose.

The Angel of Evil is volume 4 of The Great Devil War series.

Weekly Wrap Up: October 6th through October 12th, 2019

Books I’ve Read:

Small Town Secrets

Christmas in Harmony Harbor

Cilka’s Journey

Lethal Nights

The Earl of Smuggler’s Cove

The Devil’s Apprentice

The Dark Lord Clementine


Books with Pending Reviews:

The Dark Lord Clementine—review coming October 10th

Naked Mole Rat Saves the World—review coming October 8th

Delicious Disasters—review coming October 7th


Books with Published Reviews:

The Earl of Smuggler’s Cover—Review Here

The Devil’s Apprentice—Review Here

Naked Mole Rat Saves the World—Review Here

Delicious Disasters—Review Here

The Grace Year—Review Here


NetGalley Requests:

Ruthless Gods (NetGalley wish)


Author/Publisher/Blog Tour Review Requests:

An Everyday Hero—Publisher Request (St. Martin’s Press)


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Sons of Fire—Cover Reveal

Shadow Weaver—Book Blitz

The Sister Series—Book Blitz

Sweet Retribution—Release Blitz

One More Song—C.M. Seabrook

Fool’s Bargain—Cover Reveal

Prestigious—Cover Reveal

Playing with Fire—Book Blitz

Corrupted Enchantment—Book Blitz

The Book Witch—Book Blitz

To Wake the Dead—Book Blitz

Storm—Cover Reveal

The Dark Lord Clementine—Blog Tour

Naked Mole Rat Saves the World—Blog Tour

Roughing the Kicker—Book Blitz

Off Balance—Cover Reveal

Delicious Disasters—Blog Tour

Million Miles Away—Book Blitz

The Twelfth Knight—Book Blitz


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday