Friday, September 23, 2016

Early Review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

by Anna Banks
Read: May 20 - 24, 2016
Published: October 4th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: Galley from publisher (Thank You, Macmillan!)
Category: YA, fantasy, enemies-to-love
Series: Nemesis 1/2

Book Description: The princess didn't expect to fall in love--with her nemesis.

Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king's servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora's gift could save Tarik's kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?

I have said this before, but I am a HUGE sucker for enemies romances, and this is an excellent version of that trope. I loved that I could sense these characters' pull towards each other, even when they were fighting. Nemesis is also the first in a duet, which always gets a cheer out of me these days. This is definitely my favorite Anna Banks book to date. 

The main characters: I loved Sepora. This girl is not afraid to say what she wants and act on it. She doesn't have the best street sense, but she's smart, clever and gets things done. Tarik has just taken on a lot as the new king of Theoria. He is doing his best, and I admired him in many ways. However, in most arguments I'd probably take Sepora's side of things, and there were a few times that I wish I could smack him. But I like the way these two are always challenging each other. I could completely understand their connection and I ate up every time they were in a scene together. 

The setting: I really hope the final book has a map! This story has a lot of different fantasy and world elements, including characters with special gifts, and several kingdoms which all operate very differently from each other. It took me a bit to keep everything straight, and I'm still not sure I'm clear on all the history. In this story, we only visit two places (so far). Sepora is from the kingdom of Serubel, a mountainous country with ladders and ropes connecting cities. It also has flying serpens (think of dragons without the legs). Sepora has the ability to Forge septorium, a very precious and coveted substance, and the reason she's escaped out of her kingdom to Theoria. Tarik is the new pharaoh of Theoria (the explanation for his kingdom's name is pretty cheesy and made me roll my eyes), which has a desert, Egyptian vibe and giant cats. There are also carnivorous river mermaids in this land. Like Sepora, Tarik has a special ability, though his is quite different from hers.

The telling: The writing read very formal to me at first, and it took me a while to get used to it, especially because the dual POV switches between first and third person, which I always find to be jarring. I wish the author would have picked one narrative voice for both Tarik and Sepora. However, I did eventually get into the flow if the book and that didn't greatly effect my reading.

The ending: This story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, not a 'hanging off of a cliff' one, but it's clear this is part of a series - a duet I believe - and certain things are unresolved. I'm not usually a big fan of cliffhangers, but one of my favorite aspects of this book is how it ended. I've re-read this conclusion several times and every time I feel shivery with how good it is. Plus I think it will bring a lot of great tension into the next installment. 

The sequel Ally comes out next year and I cannot wait for it! 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium? Part of a duet - physically these two characters are not 'hanging off a cliff' but this is definitely mid story and there is a lot to resolve. 


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  2. YESSS I also really loved this book! You could totally feel the tension between the couple. I can't wait for ALLY ^_^ So glad you enjoyed this one!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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  6. Lovely review Lauren :D Eee. I'm glad you liked this book a bunch. <3 I loved Tarik so much, lol, as you know :) And ohhh. I haven't checked yet if my hardcover has a map. Huh. I don't think so, though :( But daaamn, I hope so :D I need a map. Now. Hmph. Anyway :D Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3


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