May 4, 2020

Abbreviations #103: Incendiary, Wicked As You Wish + Vengeful

Incendiary has a typical YA fantasy plot: a girl gifted with magic, formerly a weapon for a conquering kingdom and now a part of the rebels fighting against the corruption, is determined to complete a rebel plot that will help take down the conquerors once and for all… only to discover that there might be more to the truth. Since the market (and my own reading) has been oversaturated by YA fantasy stories with similar elements, it will likely come as no surprise to you that I was able to easily figure out majority of the plot and character arcs. This certainly didn’t help with my overall impression, especially considering there is a very slow-moving middle section that I struggled with a bit and I didn’t particularly develop any attachment to the characters. But my reservations about Incendiary were balanced by the two positives: a simple but intriguing magical system set-up, and the action-packed last third that left me curious about where the story is meant to go in the sequel. So, even though it’s certainly not a perfect or unique series starter, I still enjoyed Incendiary for the most part and will likely be checking out the sequel.

Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1) by Zoraida Cordova was released on April 28, 2020 by Disney Hyperion.

Wicked as You Wish is set in a modern-day world where powerful mythologies, fairytales and magic are real, the story revolves primarily around a ragtag group of individuals who team up to help Prince Alexei (the sole surviving member of the royal family) reclaim the magical Kingdom of Avalon from the clutches of the Snow Queen. This premise easily piqued my interest with its mention of magic in a modern-day setting, and it was certainly a bonus to hear that I could expect Filipino culture to be woven into it (and it was done in such a fun way, with our lore and our food (!) being integrated into the book). Much like the other books I’ve read from Chupeco, readers will be immediately thrown into this world and these characters’ lives. It can feel a little confusing to start with, but personally, figuring out all the details was just part of the book’s draw. Throw in a solid ensemble cast (who pretty much won me over instantly because they felt like anime characters, and I’m always here for that) and an entertaining plot (which felt like a cross between Percy Jackson and Once Upon a Time), and it’s unsurprising that this story ended up being so fun to read. I’m very curious to see where Chupeco takes this story in the next installment!

Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1) by Rin Chupeco was released on March 3, 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire.

I enjoyed Vicious a lot when I read it last year, so my hopes for enjoying the sequel Vengeful were pretty high. Luckily, Vengeful totally surpassed my expectations! This follow-up story still features plenty of familiar faces, but introduces us to a new ExtraOrdinary: Marcella Riggins, who is fresh off her brush with death and ready to bring the city of Merit to its knees with her newly found abilities. I'll leave you with that very brief description, since I think that going into this one with as little information as possible is the best approach. Much like its predecessor, Vengeful feels very much like experiencing a sci-fi film in book form. It's easy to visualize these characters (and their ExtraOrdinary abilities), as well as get swept up in the action as the plot unfolds with every chapter. There are two things that I particularly enjoyed about the book, however: 1) the way it explores power, choices and morality and 2) the presence of more central female characters. Schwab does a brilliant job balancing all these elements and telling a great story. I had a lot of fun sinking into another story set in this world, and will definitely read the next book in the series!

Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab was released on September 25, 2018 by Tor Books.


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)