So my name is Rashika and I am weird. I read a lot (duh) and I watch a lot of TV. I also like to review. Check out my blog (where I co-blog with awesome people).
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
I think this book should be renamed to All The Bad Things That Can Happen to Jayden Over the Course of the Book. I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING. Jayden has the worst luck in the entire world. From the beginning of the novel to the end, tragedy seems to follow her around and she can never catch a break!
Which was why my feelings towards this novel were initially a jumble. I absolutely hate that she had to go through all these things and would have loved to see her catch a break that wasn’t just in the form of a romantic interest(although given that their romance is forbidden I don’t know how much of a break it really was). I feel like having all of these tragic things happen to her sometimes just made it hard for me to relate to her but the more I think about it, the more I realize that none of these tragedies are implausible, it’s just that it’s bothersome that someone could have SO MUCH fucking bad luck! *shudders*
Everything that happens to Jayden over the course of the book is a fantastic way to show the strength of her character, and how she doesn’t fall apart give her circumstances. You get her fierce determination to hold her self upright even as her world falls around her but the best thing about all of this is that you also see her desperation. You see that she is affected by what is happening to her, she isn’t just a stone statue (hehehehe) taking all the hits without feeling anything. She is affected! She has to seek help from people, even when she doesn’t want to, even when it goes against everything she believes in, which is why I thought she was a fantastic character to read about.
The secondary characters were a little more harder to understand and I had a LOT of problems getting behind Jayden's sister, Leila. Leila is the most selfish being ever and a compete opposite to Jayden’s selflessness. I didn’t like her at all but at the same time I felt like we weren’t supposed to exactly hate her but we were also not supposed to love her. It's impossible to even attempt to understand her though! It’s so hard to admire a character who cannot hold their own in the face of a tragedy. Who only thinks about how it affects them and no one else. Who wants to leave their family and run away because that is the easier answer. Leila does all of those things. And the fact that she was the older sister made it a lot harder to understand. I get that she is doing her own thing, living her dream, instead of being held down by tradition but that didn’t mean I liked that she left Jayden to deal with everything. She never took the time out to understand what Jayden was going through. She was the center of her own universe and that bothered the living daylights out of me. Especially when we are supposed to be seeing this ‘sisterly’ bond between them. *shudders*
The romance was also something that I was not entirely sold on. I loved reading about it, but it seemed a little cheesy at times and then there didn’t seem to be a clean transition between the getting to know each other faze and the ‘true love’ phase. I totally ship Kadesh and Jayden as a couple, don’t get me wrong, but I felt that their love was a little unbelievable. I did get used to it though and by the end of the book, I was just as invested in their romance as many other readers and hoping that they would get their HEA.
One of the best things about this book, is definitely the world building. I may not know much about the Mesopotamian world but the richness of the book and the way the author infused so many cultural details made me feel like she did her research and took the setting of her book seriously. There are some books where you might feel like even though the book is set in a different era, it seems like it’s in our world and it was clear that that was not the case in this book. From the way she shows us the traditions of the desert people to the way she builds the world and the just the setting of this world, it’s beautifully done. Kimberley just did a fantastic job. Although I do admit having a map in there would make a helluva lot happier so I could see what side of the red sea we were on and then all those other fantastic details Kimberley mentioned as part of her world building.
The ending was horrible but at the same time it wasn’t. There was yet another tragedy right before the ending but instead of making everything seem hopeless and waiting until the sequel to give us poor readers a smidgen of hope, Kimberley gave us something to cling on. Something to hope for. Although given how little that smidgen was I kind of found myself pitying me because I was so desperate to cling on to something. Although that really does show how invested I was as a reader and can I just have the next book? CANS I?
This was an incredibly emotional read and I would recommend it to you if you know you are a reader who can wait for seemingly long periods of time for sequels. I know that I am going to be anxiously anticipated book 2 so, if you want to join the wait and whine over the injustices of not having sequels be readily available after reading the first books in series, JOIN THE CLUB.