Number of pages: 375
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 2
So… this book wasn’t quite what I expected. With this one and Everless, my most anticipated releases have been disappointing so far.
Reign of the Fallen was enjoyable in the beginning, but after a major character death a few chapters in, it kind of fell flat. I was bored. This book was basically reading about Odessa’s grief for hundreds of pages. That’s great. Characters don’t grieve enough on the page in YA novels, but it isn’t enjoyable to read. I was sitting here expecting some action and the characters solving this big mystery of who is creating all these Shades, but that is a very small percentage of this book.
Just completely disregard the synopsis. This book is all about Odessa. That would be fine if her POV weren’t absolutely miserable to read from. You’re reading from her POV as she grieves for 300 pages (I read this a while ago. This is a rough estimate), through which she is completely oblivious to how everyone around her is feeling. I wanted to throttle her. We as the reader just aren’t attached enough to Odessa when she starts grieving to pull through 300 pages of grief and not end up hating her. I read the whole book, and all I know about her is that she got on my nerves to the extent I kept praying the book would add another perspective so I could get out of her head.
Reign of the Fallen read like a contemporary book, rather than a fantasy. There was a bit of magic with the approximately 3 times we saw Odessa go into the Deadlands, and the handful of times people with other eye colours used their powers, but there wasn’t a ton of it. Like I’ve said a bunch in this review, this book was really about grief, so the fantasy setting didn’t really get a chance to shine through.
A lot of the conversations amongst characters (especially the conversations between Odessa and the love interest) also often had me confused. Odessa and the love interest would be having what I would read as fun, light-hearted, banter-filled conversations, and then they would suddenly start arguing as if they had been arguing the entire time. Maybe I missed something, but I reread entire pages trying to understand what went on.
However, the one thing I did like about Reign of the Fallen was how it showcased addiction in a fantasy setting. I read very few contemporary books because I normally only read contemporary for mental health rep, so I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that dealt with addiction. It was nice to see a fantasy book with that kind of representation.
Overall, Reign of the Fallen was a very slow and grief focused fantasy, earning it 2 stars out of 5.