Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Teen for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: November 9th, 2021
Synopsis: The blockbuster co-writing debut of Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman, All of Us Villains begins a dark tale of ambition and magick…
You Fell In Love With The Victors of The Hunger Games.
Now Prepare To Meet The Villains of The Blood Veil.
After the publication of a salacious tell-all book, the remote city of Ilvernath is thrust into worldwide spotlight. Tourists, protesters, and reporters flock to its spellshops and 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. (Goodreads)
If you’re on Goodreads or follow a lot of book bloggers, you’ve probably heard a ton of buzz regarding All of Us Villains, the first book in a planned duology by well known YA authors Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman. After spending the weekend completely spellbound, I’m happy to say that it’s entirely worthy of all the hype.
While the book definitely gives off Hunger Games with magic vibes, it actually goes much further than that and is completely different from anything else I’ve read. I do want to say that as far as the competing champions go, none of them are truly villains. Flawed and tortured, perhaps, but evildoers, not really. While there are seven of these champions, the chapters alternate between just four of them, so naturally those are the ones I connected with the most. My personal favorite was Alastair Lowe whose family do deserve first prize in villainy. What they’ve done to him since childhood in order to “prepare” him is inhuman and had me both outraged and heartbroken. The one constant in his life has been his older brother Hendry, and their relationship was one of my favorite things about this book. The other main characters are very complex and intriguing, and I completely connected with them as well, even when they weren’t at their best. The world building and magic system is utterly fantastic and I’ve never come close to anything similar in the fantasy books that I’ve read. Everything in this story is flawlessly detailed and try as I might, I could not discern where one author left off and the other began.
For me, All of Us Villains is a picture perfect beginning to this duology and while the ending answered a few important questions, there are plenty more, and it perfectly sets the stage for the next book. One word of caution: there are a few graphically gory scenes particularly with some of the spells and curses being used. Therefore I recommend this for older teens.
Without bragging, after my many years of reading, I’ve gotten fairly good at predicting outcomes of stories, but this has left me at a loss as to what will come next for Alistair and the surviving champions. I have a feeling it will involve heartbreak, and I do know it’s going to be an interminable wait for the sequel.