All Of Us Villains – Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

I devoured this book. It didn’t even make it onto my kindle – I was having a bad day and I read it like a gremlin on my phone while I was curled up. And every time I put it down I had to immediately pick it back up because I needed to know how the story continued. It is addictive and fun and just an all-around-great read and I DESPERATELY need a physical copy (hint, hint).

Massive thanks to Will O’Mullane and NetGalley for a super early eARC, all opinions are my own.

RELEASE DATE: 11/11/2021

STAR RATING: 4.5/5 ✶

Yes I’m shamelessly stealing the US cover because the UK hasn’t announced theirs yet…

SUMMARY: After the publication of a salacious tell-all book, the remote city of Ilvernath is thrust into the spotlight. Tourists, protesters, and reporters alike flock to its spellshops and historic ruins to witness an ancient curse unfold: every generation, seven families name a champion among them to compete in a tournament to the death. The winner awards their family exclusive control over the city’s high magick supply, the most powerful resource in the world.

In the past, the villainous Lowes have won nearly every tournament, and their champion is prepared to continue his family’s reign. But this year, thanks to the influence of their newfound notoriety, each of the champions has a means to win. Or better yet–a chance to rewrite their story.

But this is a story that must be penned in blood. (from Gollancz)

OPINIONS: Think of this as a magical Gossip Girl meets The Hunger Games with a dash of Nevernight. So, pretty damn addictive. It hits that easy reading and moreish vibe that I’ve been looking for. I need more ASAP and desperately. Also this will be PERFECT for a screen adaptation. I don’t think I’ve read anything that is as suited to adaptation as this is.

All Of Us Villains is one of those books where having a larger cast of main characters works great – it follows the seven contestants through the story as well as some tangential characters. Through its limited setting in the game, the world is contained and small, and tensions are high, leading to extreme reactions from everyone involved. This is a lot of fun to read. Honestly, none of the characters were especially NICE people, but all of them were interesting. I think my favourites were Isobel and Briony, and I might even have shipped them a little – and while that’s not where the story went, who knows where the twists of book two will take the contestants!

One thing I really loved about this is that the characters are thrown into this situation where they are all competing against each other, battle royale style. But Briony realises just before the competition starts that there might be a way to stop the whole thing from happening if they all work together, and a major part of the story is her trying to get the contestants to work together in a situation that is designed to pit them against each other. These psychological dynamics are really interesting, and I am super curious where the authors will be taking this in the second book, especially after the way this one ends.

So, um, you need this book ASAP. Add it to your Goodreads here, and pre-order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).

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