by Anna Banks
Read: July 6 - 9, 2017
Published: October 3, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: Galley from publisher (TY, Macmillan!)
Category: YA, Fantasy,
Series: Duet 2/2Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound
Book Description: Princess Sepora of Serubel and King Tarik of Theoria have formed an uneasy truce between their kingdoms since the deadly plague began to rip through Theoria. Since their feelings for each other are entangled in politics and power, they must use their own trusted resources to find common ground.
But when traitors with powerful allies arise from unexpected places, Tarik and Sepora face challenges that will change both of their kingdoms forever. Will they learn whom to trust—including each other—in time to save their kingdoms, their relationship and even their lives?
NOTE: Ally is the second book in a series, see my thoughts on Nemesis.
I'm pretty devastated to say book was a huge disappointment. I liked a lot about Nemesis, especially the banter and tension between Sepora and Tarik. I also loved the way the first book ended. It's such a great cliffhanger, achy and angry feelings and all, and it set everything up so well for book two. I had a lot of questions about world building that I wanted to see fleshed out in the future, but for the relationships between the characters, I enjoyed it. Needless to say, I was very excited for the second part of the series. Sadly, the second book did not live up to my expectations. At all.
While there were some aspects of Ally that I liked - namely many of the parts I wanted to see more of, such as a broader and richer look at this world of five kingdoms, and greater scheming between the different nations - many more things bothered me.
The first issue I had, which was a problem for me in both books, is the switching between first and third person narratives. This is a huge pet peeve of mine and always slows down the book while making the flow of the story feel choppy. Sepora narrates in first person while Tarik is in third, and I always had to readjust in each chapter, and it never got better for me. However, I could have gotten over this narrative choice if the story had won me over more. I also thought this plot was all over the place, especially when (highlight spoiler) Sepora gets kidnapped, what?!
But what drove me over the edge, was the romance. The romance between Tarik and Sepora is what drew me to this series, and it completely fell apart for me here. It takes until nearly the last chapter for these two to finally communicate and get on the same page, and as the book went on, Sepora and Tarik's charming banter and arguments turned into something that was just frustrating. It was too much drama and not enough communicating, especially from Tarik who never seemed to grasp why Sepora was angry with him at the start of this book (highlight spoiler) then he just gave up on her! I wanted to strangle him! The way the end plays out did not work for me at all either. I found it to be too late coming and completely unsatisfying. (highlight spoiler) I needed to see Tarik put himself out there and fight for Sepora, not test her to see if she wants him. I cannot tell you how angry I was about this.
Sadly, this isn't the first of this author's series that hasn't held up over time and it's definitely made me wary of attempting one again.
Love Triangle Factor: None. Unfortunately, this fact didn't save the book for me.
Cliffhanger Scale: series end