Avenged (Ruined, #2) By Amy Tintera

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How did I forget how much I was enjoying this series after reading Ruined? There are too many fantasy books that replicate each other, but this one is constantly surprising me. I will find myself thinking Okay...so when the characters get to X, obviously this will happen and then something will happen that I did not see coming preventing whatever I thought was inevitable from ever happening.

I may have enjoyed Avenged more than it's predecessor. Now here comes the problem with reviewing sequels. I never want to give away too much of the plot, nor do I want to spoil the first book for those just learning about the series for the first time. This is a series where each book (at least so far) has had a solid ending to the story presented within the book while also leaving things open to where you need to see where the story goes next. And let me tell you..I am in NEED of the third and final book of this series. I am so curious which of the kingdoms will get what they are after because it is clear that not everyone can end up happy. And there is this one relationship that I care about above any of the others. The danger it was put in has me nervous as hell. There is a lot I dying to know actually. Too bad we have to wait until next summer :(

Filled with action, politics, bloody battles, magic, and twists-galore. The romance is still present, though a bit more in the background with all the other craziness at the forefront.

One of the fun things about Avenged is the addition of two other POVs we didn't get in the first book. It was originally just Cas and Em, but now we also get Aren and (spoiler from first book only). I really loved Aren's story in this book. He became a much bigger character, where he was almost forgettable in the first book. I dare you not to love him. Plus that other POV is everything I wanted from that character. Dark and angry and crazy. It's perfect. Oh and Em and Cas are still sweet. They aren't physically together as much, but they have their moments and are always on the other's mind.

The story definitely begins the way I was hoping it would. It picks up where Ruined left off. I easily was thrown back into this world. The writing is strong with a fast-moving plot. I had a hard time putting the book down. The one thing making it possible was knowing the sooner I finish the book, the longer I'll have to wait for the conclusion.

If you enjoy YA fantasy series filled with revenge, this is a great series for you to read! No second book syndrome here. It is every bit as exciting as book one. Amy Tintera 4.5 stars. Really REALLY good sequel. Dang near perfect (even with the cliffhanger/similar ending to Ruined). Maybe I should round up...

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Avenged by Amy Tintera
Book Two of the Ruined series
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Rating: 5 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

In the sequel to Ruined, the romance of The Selection and the epic stakes of Red Queen come together in a story of revenge, adventure, and unexpected love.

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister Olivia from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.

But their fight has only begun. Olivia is determined to destroy everyone who acts against Ruina, but Em isn’t as sure. Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. And now that Cas has taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.

Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, Em faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty.

What I Liked:

I thought Ruined was great, but Avenged? Probably even better. I really didn't think I would like this book better than Ruined (mostly because I loved Ruined, but also because YA sequels tend to tank). I was pleasantly surprised! This sequel had no trace of sequel slump!

Also? Ignore those comparisons (The Selection, Red Queen). Both of those series are not really comparable to this series. And the romance in this series isn't as messy and as confusing as the romances in those two series.

Before I begin my review, everyone should check out my emoji review on Twitter! I did one for Ruined in March 2016, and there's my one for Avenged in April 2017. (See my blog review!)

This sequel starts not too long after Ruined finished. Olivia and Em are back in Ruina with the Ruined, but it's obviously not home like it used to be. What's more, Olivia as become ruthless and cold, and enjoys killing for fun. Em is a fighter, but she's a politician. Olivia proposes a diarchy, in which Olivia and Em are equal queens of Ruina. Meanwhile, Cas is struggling to keep hold of his kingdom, with his cousin trying to take him out of the picture. He is poisoned and leaves the fortress, only to be found by Em. Olivia and the Ruined don't want Cas with them, so Cas leaves after he recovers. But betrayal follows Em, Olivia, and the Ruined, and an ally turns on them. Cas and Em both want a truce between Lera and Ruina, but everyone must consider the kingdom of Olso, and Cas's homicidal cousin Jovita. It's kill or be killed, but identifying enemies and danger might not be as easy as Cas and Em think.

From the start, this book has a tense and yet adventurous tone to it. There is constant action from all ends - with Em/Olivia, with Cas, coming from the warriors, and Olso. I'll admit that the first 10% of the book was a little slow COMPARED to the rest of the book - but none of this book is really slow. I love how the plot is both action and plotting/scheming. Both war and politics.

This book is told entirely in third-person, but limited to Em's, Olivia's, Aren's, and Cas's POV. Em and Olivia are both in the same space for the first half of the book (in Ruina), with Aren. Aren is like their second in command - he is an old friend of Em's (no, there is no love triangle there), and the second most powerful Ruined (behind Olivia). Cas, on the other hand, is in the fortress, trying to garner the support of his advisers, who are turning to his cousin Jovita with each passing day. Until, of course, he is poisoned, and flees the fortress.

I liked Em a lot in Ruined, and I liked her in this book. She has a strong sense of duty and puts her people first. At first, this irritated me slightly because I thought her sense of duty would come between her and Cas. But then I thought, would I put my happiness aside for my people's safety, if I were queen? Yes, yes I would. And THEN I thought to myself, what if things worked out such that Em wouldn't even have to put her happiness over her people...

Anyway, Em has all of my respect. She isn't Ruined like Olivia - she's useless (that's the term for a non-Ruined person of Ruined parentage), and she doesn't have the Ruined's support. But she is incredibly smart and astute, and good with tactics and strategies. She is physically strong and capable (girl can wield a sword!), but she is also intelligently strong. Em impressed me many times in this sequel. I also liked her resolve in terms of her feelings for Cas - she never wavered in her affection of him, not even when she pushed him away (briefly, and for good reason). Em is a strong and kickbutt heroine, but she is also kind and sweet (especially compared to Olivia, who is bloodthirsty and cold).

Cas is tied with Em as my favorite character of this series. Of all of the characters, he undergoes the most character development in this book. He struggles to retain hold of his kingship, and when he is poisoned, he pretty much gives up as his loyal guards and friends get him out of the fortress. When Em finds him, he is weak, defeated, and not motivated to go back. By the end of the book, he recovers his spine and plays a pivotal role in the now fully-fledged war. Cas becomes more of a king than he ever had been, at any point yet. Cas is so honorable and reasonable and kind, but he is also intelligent and fierce. He is definitely a man I'd love to have in my life.

Olivia is such an interesting character. She is ruthless and deadly, and laughs in the face of death - death brought on by her. She enjoys killing innocents and slowly torturing people, and yes, that is all kinds of messed up. Olivia is an incredibly powerful Ruined, and she knows it. We get to read from her POV throughout the book, and we can see how she thinks and her reasoning for everything. She is a bit insane and very dangerous and unhinged, but she is also a very interesting character.

I adored Aren in this book! By the way, he is not in love with Em (and Em isn't in love with him) - their relationship is strictly a long-time platonic friendship. Which, yay! Their friendship is very strong and healthy. Aren grows a lot in this book too, in good and bad ways. He is a good man, and I'm happy about the direction of his character development. I'm also happy to see him develop feelings for a certain lady (again, not Em). Him and his lady are so cute together!

Okay, I'll talk about the romance. There is NO love triangle. None. Trust me on this. You'll start to see something that might appear to be a problem for Em, but it is resolved very swiftly and efficiently. There are only feelings involved between Cas and Em. Cas and Em don't share any pagetime in the first 20% of the book, but then they are reunited (when Em finds Cas half-dead from the poison). They are adorable together; they always seem to find their back to each other. This isn't one of those sequels in which the couple spends the entire book apart. Their reunion happens fairly early in the story. Yes, they separate again, but then they reunite again, and again, and again, and basically there were enough Cas/Em scenes and interactions (romantic and non-romantic) to keep me satisfied. Their relationship gets kicked up a notch. It's all Cas and Em (neither have feelings for anyone else and have no intention of not being together). There are other romances (Aren and his lady, for example). I am a fan of those other romance!

I already talked about how I liked the story's tense and adventurous tone. The pacing is not slow but not incredibly fast, and it worked for this story. There was constantly action or some wrench in plans, or something like that. I was never bored, and I couldn't seem to read fast enough. What's more, this book's story seemed to build and build until the climax, and even then, the story kept building. Tintera does a really good job of setting up everything for the finale in book three.

Totally worth pointing out that this book is full of diverse characters! There is an LGBT couple, and many Ruined are dark-skinned, like Aren. Good on Tintera for including many variations of diverse representation, and in (what I think was) a fairly natural, non-forced way.

There is a cliffhanger, unfortunately, and it is somewhat similar to that of Ruined's. Like the ending of Ruined, it isn't horrible and crushing and heartbreaking, but it's a cliffhanger nonetheless. I am so anxious for Em, and for Aren, and Iria, and Cas! Olivia is like a ticking time bomb... I can't wait to see how everything goes down, in book three!

What I Did Not Like:

Nothing really major to complain about. Of course I would have loved less of a cliffhanger, and more Cas/Em scenes, but I don't mind the cliffhanger too much, and I have a feeling we'll get more Cas/Em scenes in book three.

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend this sequel! It is even better than its predecessor - full of action, scheming, betrayal, and tender romance. So much swoon in this book (Cas/Em swoon, that is). Plus, I really liked how this book is told (Cas/Em/Aren/Olivia third-person POVs). Usually so many POVs would be annoying for me, but I think so many really works for this story, and the author employs this method of storytelling well.

Did I mention swoony tender romance and no love triangle? Because, well, yeah. Cas is kingly, book boyfriend material, y'all. Em is queen material. (She is a queen!)

Rating:

4.5 stars -> rounded up to 5 stars. This is only the third book of 2017 that I've given a 5-star rating (out of 48 books read for the year so far)! I absolutely loved Ruined but I think I loved this one even more, even with a few aspects that I wasn't sure would be resolved or worked out in this book (but they were!). A job really well done by Tintera. If you were hesitant to start this series, I highly recommend you go ahead and pick up Ruined, or make this a top-priority series to binge-read in 2018, when book three publishes!




Pre-read:

AGGGGHHHH, THE ENDING OF RUINED WAS JUST AGGGHHHH! I'd prefer this series to be a duology, given the ending of Ruined, but right now all that matters is BOOK TWO PLEASE!!!! Amy Tintera

Olivia turned to see Em walking to her. Olivia could sense humans and Ruined around her, even at great distance. But not Em. Em wasn't human or Ruined. She was the only person in the world who could sneak up on Olivia.


Yes, the sisters are back. One of them is going a little bit off their rocker so we shall see where that goes in the final book in the trilogy.

AND HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER!

I waited the whole book for someone to kill this evil woman and there were a couple of chances and they didn't!!!!!!!!!!!! What!? Just kill her! I can't even people!



Maybe she will become good in the last book. I hope not because I want her taken out. There are a few people in the book that are stupid and evil. They won't see reason and they want to go off the deep end. I think one of them has become a berserker! That's not a bad thing on certain occasions =)

Anyway, Cas, Em, Aren and Iria are my favorites. I'm becoming extremely fond of Aren! I hope there are great things coming for him in the final book. Watch, I probably jinxed it and he will get killed!

I enjoyed the book a great deal with the exception of yelling at people to kill that one evil woman. Lol.

Happy Reading!

Mel ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

AMAZON: REVIEW Amy Tintera Full review posted!

Sorry, how about NO.

This entire book felt like a fricken FILLER. WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS BOOK IM STILL TRYING TO FIGURE THIS OUT WHILE I WIPE AWAY MY TEARS OF DISAPPOINTMENT

If I had chosen this book for a school book report, I would have failed bc I cannot highlight WHAT THE HECK THE PLOT WAS. *steps up to the mic very calmly with a straight face* AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


This was basically me everytime Olivia/Aren/Em/Cas/August spoke

Guys, I literally tried so hard to love this book bc I wanted to finish the series and while book one was just you average, everyday fantasy book that was enjoyable but not spectacular, this was like your lower-than-average-fantasy-book-ft.-royals-and-special-snowflakes

Honestly man, I loved Cas in book 1. He’s was a little cutie who needed to be protected and loved and in this book I was totally okay with him drinking lukewarm tea for the entirety of his life (if you never faced the treachery and abuse that is lukewarm tea, I don’t want to talk to you ever again)

Everything was just SO boring and overdone and repetitive and again, THERE WAS A MISSING PLOT BC WE JUST SEEMED TO BE WALKING AROUND IN CIRCLES AND DOING NOTHING ALL DAY BUT PICKING OUT NAILS.

Also the writing. It was so ??? MODERN ??? IMMATURE ?? like they could be having their conversations via instant messaging and it would fit better there than it would as dialogue in the book.

All the characters make really terrible decisions and while theyre at “war” with each other, they’re actually harbouring each other in guest houses and having kissy kissy moments together. Like please that’s not how war works.

And for a book without much of a purpose, it sure is huge. Its basically filled with lame banter and characters walking around in circles and while I have to admit IT IS FAST PACED, there’s nothing remotely interesting (in my humble opinion) to keep me on board

And that’s why I decided to jump ship.

See ya next time, y’all.

Everyone ran from her now. People whispered her name, as that man had. They said it with fear.
It was what she had always wanted.
It did not feel good as she had expected.


1.5 stars!!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i found book 1 mildly enjoyable and so the pressure is on book 2, you better ~*~WOW~*~ me or else im outta here 💁 Amy Tintera goooooood lordy this was boring Amy Tintera

A war that will fuel her. A bond that will destroy her.

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister, Olivia, from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.

But just because Em and Olivia are out of Lera doesn’t mean they are safe. Their actions over the past year have had consequences, and they are now targets of retaliation. Olivia will destroy everyone who acts against Ruina. Em isn’t as sure.

Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. Lera may have destroyed the Ruined for decades, but Em knows that Cas is different. And now that he’s taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.

Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, she faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty. Avenged (Ruined, #2)

Avenged

(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Everyone ran from her now. People whispered her name, as that man had. They said it with fear.
It was what she had always wanted.
It did not feel as good as she had expected.”


This was a YA fantasy sequel which was possibly better than the first book in the series.

Em was once again a strong character in this book, and she really showed how clever she was too. Olivia on the other hand was just crazy, going around killing indiscriminately, and I felt really sorry for Em that after going to such lengths to save her sister she had to deal with that kind of behaviour.

The storyline in this was about Olivia going on a bit of a rampage after being freed, killing anyone who got in her way, and anyway who was just trying to get out of her way, and basically wanting to get revenge for what had been done to her people. Em on the other hand wanted to keep her promise to Cas that the Ruined wouldn’t attack Lera, and also wanted to live in peace with the neighbouring kingdoms, something that Olivia really wasn’t interested in. I did love the action in this book though, and the constant twists made for a really good story. I also liked the way the romance developed, even if we did get a couple of extra people thrown in to mess things up, and Cas and Em are just so sweet together!

The ending to this really left things up in the air again, and I really can’t wait for book 3 to see what Em is planning next.



8 out of 10 Amy Tintera 4.5 STARS (for now)! I'm not sure whether I want to round up or down so I'll decide that later.

So, I was sitting in my bed on Friday morning and I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw that my local dymocks had early stock in. I instantly screamed and ended up rushing to my store (I was the first in the door at 8:30am and I checked my book out by 8:33am). The lady at the shop was basically as excited as I was and we fangirled about how many good books are coming out - it was great.

Anyways, this book was AWESOME. I loved Ruined so I had pretty high hopes for this and it was honestly just as good. Honestly, I'm only docking 0.5 stars since it wasn't ACOWAR and I can't seem to think about any book that isn't ACOWAR. THIS BOOK WAS JUST AS GOOD AS THE FIRST ONE HOLY SHITTTT EVERYTHINGS GOING TO SHITTTTTT. I can't imagine waiting a whole year for the next book. My god, this book was great.

OLIVIA IS MENTAL OH MY GOD SOMEONE PLEASE KILL HER. If you thought she was wild before, YOU ARE IN FOR AN INTENSE RIDE. She honestly cannot be reasoned with and she's absolutely lost her damn mind. I went from loving her being crazy to going WHAT THE FUCK OLIVIA GO DIEEEEE. I think she needs to die honestly but maybe she can finally settle down eventually????

Cas and Em are A+ as always. I love them both just as much as before and OMG THEY GOT INTERRUPTED BY A GOD DAMN WAR AND I SCREAMED AT THE BOOK WHEN THAT HAPPENED. Anyways, they didn't exactly cross paths as much in this book since they both have their own crazy dramas going on but I loved them so much.

AREN AND IRIA STOLE MY HEART!!! I have so many feels. I loved Aren so so much in the first book and he got even better. I just love him as a character and the fact that he has such raw emotions in this book broke my heart. I love when people get so caught up in these crazy wars that they forget wtf they're doing and then they think about it and go shit. Iria was such an amazing character and I was 50/50 on my feels about her before but now I'm so sold on her. I loved them. Such a great pair and they're so shippable

THE ENDING WASN'T EVEN THAT BAD BUT I'M STILL ANNOYED ABOUT HAVING TO WAIT A YEAR FOR THE NEXT ONE Amy Tintera Full Review

Lol I went to check my friends’ reviews on this and the top 3 are 1 and 2 stars 😩. I’m glad i didn’t check before reading lol. That would have been bad for morale.

Anyways, from my rating, you can tell that i really enjoyed it. There’s just something about this series that satisfies me.

What I liked
- The romance!! I love em and cas so much and reading about them made me so happy. I love how they always randomly find themselves when they get separated ☺️

“Maybe ‘coincidence’ is another word for fate.” Cas smiled. “Just watch. If we get separated again, I bet we find each other.” 💕

That’s why I love that this book has multiple POVs. I get to read about how they feel about each other from their own perspective!

- Aren grew on me in this. I just love him and even though he’s the second most powerful person in the book, he’s such a sweet gentle soul. He kinda reminded me of Azriel in acotar. I loved reading from his perspective!!

- I loved that this book was never boring to me. There were wars, plotting, and betrayals and I enjoyed reading about all of them.

- I didn’t hate anyone which is rare in a book with lots of characters. Olivier annoys me but I see her as a spoiled/psycho child, and for some reason, I’m not able to hate her. I’m mostly over her character lol. And I feel like Cas’ cousin, who is another annoying character, didn’t do what she was accused of and that there might be more to the story. I’m keeping my eye on these two though.

Overall, this was a fast read and I enjoyed every minute of it Amy Tintera This is one of those series that doesn't get enough attention or recognition. And as I read more and more junk books week after week, that makes me really sad. But anyways, I digress. This book is great. This series is great. These characters are great and this world is awesome. I was never bored reading this book, that is so rare.

I really like Em, she doesn't really do stupid things which is so refreshing. Olivia is nuts, but I do love her character. Cas and Aren are so sweet and add so much to the story. You just don't find characters like this very often.

I hope more people start reading this series! You're missing out. Amy Tintera EDIT 30/05/17: oops.

One word to describe this book?
B O R I N G

Since I'm so behind on reviews I'm just going to give you my thoughts in bullet point format;

- the intensity and greatness that was book one was non existent
- second book syndrome
- olivia is crazy don't even try and tell me she isn't
- aren was boring and gave me major Chaol vibes and that isn't good
- who the fuck were these other characters
- i skimmed a lot
- can't even tell you the ending
- lots of filler stuff
- weird dialogue
- scenes that made me go ??????
- seriously why did no one stab Olivia
- Cas was great
- Em sucked tbh
- I really don't know what happened in the last like five chapters so i'll need someone to tell me what did (caitlin or maggie pls help a girl out)
- i wanna smooch Cas still
- but he was dumb
- like majorly dumb
- like someone stab him dumb
- i just wanted to stab a lot of these characters
- I liked violet
- violet was probably the best character
- what even was the plot
- too much
- honestly
- i'm disappointed
- i wanted more

To summarise, this book had hardcore second book syndrome and suffered from not enough important events happening. It's all clearly leading to the final book, but in this particular book it was weakly executed. I found myself doing anything BUT read. Amy Tintera