Friday, January 26, 2018

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh ARC Review

Format: Advanced Readers Copy
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin Random House) 
Pub. Date: Jan. 23rd, 2018
Without the dead, she'd be no one.

Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their soul from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised: the Dead must remain shrouded. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, a grotesque transformation begins, turning the Dead into terrifying, bloodthirsty Shades.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears around the kingdom. Soon, a crushing loss of one of her closest companions leaves Odessa shattered, and reveals a disturbing conspiracy in Karthia: Someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead—and training them to attack. Odessa is forced to contemplate a terrifying question: What if her magic is the weapon that brings the kingdom to its knees?

Fighting alongside her fellow mages—and a powerful girl as enthralling as she is infuriating—Odessa must untangle the gruesome plot to destroy Karthia before the Shades take everything she loves.



If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I LOVE Sarah Glenn Marsh's Reign of the Fallen. I was a beta reader for the first draft, I blurbed it, and I am the leader of Sarah's street teamThe Sparrow's Watch. So, with all of that, I hope you weren't expecting less than 5 stars for this beauty.

Me to this book: 


From the moment I started reading this book, I was in love. Even based on its first draft alone, I would still have rated it a solid 5 stars on Goodreads. The story flowed into my heart within seconds, and it's a love affair that will continue because it is definitely one of my all-time favorite novels. I am so excited and thrilled that this masterpiece is finally out in the world, and I can't wait to see what all of you think of it!

And be ready, because Sarah Glenn Marsh knows exactly how to make you feel all the things, right before cruelly crushing you into a million pieces... even though you're still loving it so much that you want to thank her for it.

The MC is bisexual (which you don't see often enough!), and the book itself own voices. Odessa is the perfect mix of complicated and imperfect as a character. There were times that I wanted to shake her, but then I also wanted to hug her and get a drink together as we cry our eyes out over the agony that is her life in this book.


When trying to describe the brilliance of this Reign of the Fallen, I am just an emotional mess but I will try my best to break it down for you.


1) Glenn's writing is masterful. It is manifold, but not at all pretentious. Her words force you into Odessa's shoes and have you experiencing all the love and pain  and trauma that she endures. If I were to describe Glenn's writing style in a handful of words, I'd say it's sensual, enchanting, and dark.

2) The setting and the plot are extemely unique and unlike anything I have read before. The closest comp title I can think of would be Garth Nix's Sabriel, but even then, Reign of the Fallen stands on its own. I was struck by how vivacious this story was, right from the beginning. You're immediately thrown in the thick of things, and the story never calms down, never slows down, and never gets boring. I was continiously on edge and overflowing with adrenaline and emotions.


3) There is bisexual, gay, and lesbian rep in this book and it's highly prevelant. It's not shoved somewhere in the background like a check list. Rather, Sarah Glenn Marsh always makes sure that these themes are well-represented and at the forefront of the story in a seamless and natural way—as it should be.

4) Odessa is not a perfect person. She deals with depression, addiction, and anxiety. Therefore, some of her actions and thoughts might be frustrating for a reader. However, I think that these are really important themes to explore, and I really adore the way they are used in Odessa's character arch. In fact, it was her imperfections that made her more realistic and relatable as a person for me, which made me love her even more.

5) The main couple in this book is one of my all-time favorites. I don't want to give any spoilers, but the relationship is so incredibly complex and beautiful. I just had so many feels.




I wish I could have saved certain characters from Glenn's sadism. 







32 comments:

  1. I actually did not know that you were a beta reader but I'm happy you loved it so much! I was a super intrigued by the premise but was a bit let down by the characters and how they interacted with each other. Beautiful quotes!

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    1. Yes I am! I don't beta read as much as I used to but I'm glad I still was in time to read this lovely book! I'm sorry that you were ultimately let down.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Epic review! Will check this out, it sounds amazing (:

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  3. This book was already high on my wishlist but it's even higher now if that's possible, just like my expectations. I need to get my hands on this book!

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    1. Yes, you need to read it as soon as possible! I can't wait to see your thoughts ^_^

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  4. You have convinced me that I need to get a copy of this book ASAP! The story does sound unique and it is so refreshing when the diverse aspect of the book doesn't seem forced. Looking forward to reading this one! :)

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    1. Yay! I mean, that is what I'm here for haha.

      I hope you enjoy it, can't wait to see what you think!

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  5. Sounds great! I love it when an author makes us feel like that, but at the same time puts their characters through the ringer so that we fear for them. :) Sounds like that maybe happens here a bit?

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    1. Sarah is the queen of putting her characters through major pain haha. I hope Reign of the Fallen is on your TBR!

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  6. i'm really intrigued with this book due to the necromancer aspect of this book, but i'm glad to see it has immersive setting and amazing writing style! can't wait to read this one!

    tasya // the literary huntress

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    1. Necromancers are coming back! I hope you enjoy it when you get the chance to read it.

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  7. Everything about this book sounds so amazing! I need to get my hands on a copy ASAP. Great review, Brittany!

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    1. It's sooo good Suzanne, I struggled to put down all of my thoughts and feelings here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you get a chance to read it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Eee, those quotes are AWESOME :D And sigh, so glad you loved this book so much Brittany :D I have an ARC of it, and must read it soon. SO curious. Hoping that I will love it lots too :) You make it sound amazing. <3

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    1. Thank you! But it's all thanks to Sarah's writing that they are so great. You definitely need to read it ASAP! I hope you love it.

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  9. Hahha I had a feeling this would be a 5 star! I agree about so much of your review, too. Her writing is great, very atmospheric! And I found the whole concept so very unique! And I looooved that Odessa was so... real. Like yeah she was a mess, but for a reason that made sense! And the whole camaraderie of her friends was fabulous! Great review :D

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    1. Thank you, Shannon! You're the best.

      I love what a mess Odessa was, I have found that in a lot of books the characters aren't given the time to grieve and I really appreciated her character because we get to see all of her stages of coping with everything.

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  10. HAHA I LOVE THIS REVIEW. I can't wait to read this book - my preorder came in last week and it's soooo beautiful! :D I love seeing the LGBTQIA+ rep and the fact that Odessa is complex and real and flawful. I need more three-dimensional characters like her in my life!

    - Aila @ One Way Or An Author

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    1. THANK YOU, LOVELY <3 I can't wait to see what you think, I hope you love it as much as I do.

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  11. SOLD! I don't know why it's the first time I hear about this book, but you got me intrigued for sure! Also, I really like the quotes you shared, so I think I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy the read a lot :D

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    1. This is the first time? I clearly need to work on this book even more. I'm glad you liked my quotes, and I hope you read this ASAP!

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  12. Fantastic review! Definitely putting this into my TBR pile because it sounds like something right up my alley.

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  13. THOSE QUOTES GAVE ME ALLLL THE FEELS <3 Beautiful review, Brittany, and it's so cool you were a beta-reader for the book as well :)

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

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    1. YAY!! That is what I was going for, so I'm glad it worked. I have beta-read a few books in my day but this is one of my favorites.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  14. This book was already on my radar, but reading this review put it on top of my list as it sounds so good! And those quotes <3

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    1. That's awesome! So glad I could put this one to the top of your TBR. Can't wait to see your thoughts!

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  15. I've been seeing so many great reviews for this one, I need to get to this one soon. I'm glad it was amazing for you, Brittany!

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    1. You need to read this ASAP, Becky! You'll love it!

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  16. I'm so so glad you connected me with the publicist to read/blurb the ARC BECAUSE THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD AND I CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT STILL!! I'm going to order my copy soon. *all the heart eyes*

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    1. When I first read it, I knew that this one would be perfect for you! I'm so glad that I was right and that you adore it.

      Thanks for stopping by~

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