This, honestly, was something I wasn’t sure I wanted to post. However, I feel that it is necessary to do so, for myself. I want to give the book a fair chance to be posted on my blog, even if the author did terrible things. I’ve been holding on to this review since May. Trust me when I say, I’ve been contemplating posting this for a long time.
I almost deleted it all. Twice.
Instead, I decided to finally post it. Here you go.
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
Blessed Monsters by Emily A. Duncan
Synopsis From The Book
The unforgettable conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Something Dark and Holy trilogy!
The girl, the monster, the prince, the queen.
They broke the world.
And some things can never be undone.
In Emily A. Duncan’s Blessed Monsters, they must unite once more to fight the dark chaos they’ve unleashed – but is it already too late?
Fantasy – Horror | YA – PW |Extreme Body Horror, War, Witch Burnings, NDEs | Friendship, Life and Death, Choice, Responsibility, Mortals vs Gods
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
Alright, here is the last book. This is it! Am I ready for the humor that will be in this book? YES. Anything else? No, not so much. But if I am not dying from laughter at some point, what even is the point? I have liked this series in general.
Now, while I don’t want to get too heavy handed in this review with how disgusted I am with Emily A. Duncan’s actions, I need to bring this up. If you were not aware, the author of this series did some horrid things, including using burner accounts to harass other authors (specifically BIPOC authors) and actors. Long story short, it’s vile. I did not know that before I bought this last book. I do know it going into reading this one. I’m going to try to be as objective as I can be regarding this review over the contents of the novel itself.
However, in the future I will not be supporting Emily A. Duncan. I will not be buying the novels in the OG color scheme and I will not make a series review for this series. I will not be advocating for others to read this series either. I was debating on not even posting this review at all, however I wanted to at least give it that: completion.
With that in mind, here is the rest of the review.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
This series broke me. I have so many emotions regarding it. I feel terrible liking this series especially considering what the author has done and knew she did when writing it. She knew and still went forward with some choices, which is terrible.
However, I really like the gruesome horror of the novels. I like how sarcastic and twisted everything is. I really liked it for what it presented itself as and turned out to be and was satisfied with the end battle and it makes me so disgusted.
This book leaves me so conflicted that I struggle with posting the review because I really LIKED this last book. I liked it more than the other two books and I constantly think of it even weeks after reading it.
Malachiasz; Waking in the forest, he finds that he is not dead despite the hole in his chest. Wandering about, he tries to come to terms with his godliness and the fact that his brother killed him.
Nadya; She and the others have regrouped after the events of book two. They are trying to figure out what to do.
Serefin; Serefin wakes after he passes a massive fever. Kacper is with him. Serefin has lots of scars and swelling from clawing out his own eye. He can still hear voices, unfortunately. His people can’t remember their magic, and he can’t use it despite remembering it. He and Kacper start to head towards their home when they are ambushed and captured. The thieves that captured them are attacked by the god that Serefin thought he had broken his connection with.
After traveling through the forest for days, Malachiasz is captured by the Witch of the tower, and Serefin is dragged before him. Serefin and Malachiasz talk, albeit forced, and agree to help each other. Malachiasz is falling to the chaos God’s control and the two of them begin to make their way home. They are captured, this time, by heretics who worship the chaos god. Malachiasz feeds on a person at their bidding and slowly drags himself closer to destruction. Serefin and Kacper almost die but Malachiasz saves them. The heretics wish to take Malchiaz to feed on another “awakened” and they are captured by an army. They are then brought to the capital.
Meanwhile, Nayda and the others make their way to the capital. They battle a god and Nadya dies. She comes back to life. Parijahan and Rashid contemplate magic and what it means.
Malachiasz runs away and Serefin reunites with Nadya. They are attacked by Vultures. Malachiasz returns and stops them enough for everyone to be captured. They are then put in prison. Nadya is tried as a heretic and burned at the stake. Katsya helps them get free and Malachiasz saves Nadya. They run away and talk to each other on what happened. They resolve to kill the chaos god.
After planning, speaking with The Witch, and lord of romance, the group makes their way to find Malachiasz ’s soul. He, however, falls more under the God’s control and disappears. They find Malachiasz ’s soul and Nadya cuts the chaos god from him. Old god set free, the four die and are given a choice of permanent death, godhood, or mortality and life. They all pick life and come back as altered beings. They race to the massive battle and send the two armies to attack one old god, as the four make a prison for the chaos god. They throw everything they have into it.
Weeks later, they wake up once more. Serefin and Katsya make a armistice, so that there can be peace once Serefin takes back his throne. People return home, with Nadya going with them. The novel ends with Malachiasz studying magic and ignoring the book that whispers. It is the book that holds the chaos god, and it is locked up right.
What I Liked:
Serefin; My prince of sass and terrible life advice. He remains my favorite character throughout this whole series. Everyone else was so dreary, but he was dreary and terrible and I love him. Also his god transformation to a prince of stars and moths is absolutely breathtaking and beautiful, of gold and horrid etherealness.
Malachiasz ; I’m happy that he gets to be happy. No one deserves to suffer nearly as much as he suffered. I am happy that he was able to take back his life and what that meant for him.
Nadya; She’s precious but still gets on my nerves a little. I’m happy that the little heretic won’t be going back to her terrible country. She doesn’t need that threat of a place that is willing to burn her because they were wrong. She deserves so much more and she got that.
Other Characters; All of the other characters are precious, I love them and their sass.
Horror; This, really hit me in this book. This is not to say that it did not hit me in the other books but those god transformation scenes? Oh man they were grotesque and perfect. The horror, lovecraftian nonsense that this book just threw out was admirable for me at least. I don’t read much horror as it tends to freak me out, but in this case it enthralled me.
General ending; I really like how it ended. I know I have tens of more questions than we got answers. I want to see how Serefin took back his country. However the end battle was terrifying in concept and the way it was resolved did not bother me so much (although the sequence could have been longer, comparatively). I liked this book as an ending because it wrapped up so much nicely.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
I would have liked a little more on Serefin taking back his throne but I guess this will do
I also would have liked to see Serefin acting more as a general, seeing him flip into general mode was nice but I would have liked more. His normal sassy incompetence is completely different than the person he is on a battlefield and I would have liked to see more of that.
“I will endeavor to maintain a constant stream of chatter from here on out.”
“I can start, well on any topic. I was always told I had an alarming wit at court.”
“I don’t think they meant that as a compliment—“
“I also have and incredible collection of lurid ditties rattling in my brain.”
“Please, never say the words lurid ditties in front of me ever—“
“I can also start in on my unfathomable collection of jokes, with a warning that I picked most of them up form Lieutenant Winarski when I was a very impressionable sixteen year old.”
“Of a deeply questionable emotional and mental state, yes. They are not good jokes.” — pg 41 in which Serefin just goes off.
“But I’m so handsome.”
“I am so sorry to be the one to tell you this, truly the words are acid on my tongue, but he is, too.” – pg 169 regarding handsome Malachiasz.
“Why do you not seem concerned?”
“I shut down my fear when I was sixteen and never looked back.” -pg 375
“Then we fight back. Mortal and broken, as we are.” – pg 452