Time for another book review! However, I’m afraid this one might not be (okay, absolutely isn’t) as positive as my usual ones. I ummed and ahhed about posting it at all, but upon weighing it up, I think it’s just as important to have honest negative reviews as honest positive ones. Otherwise, what’s the point in reviews at all?
I read Kingdom Of The Wicked as a NetGalley ARC, and was really drawn in by the synopsis, which I’ll share below. The cover is also incredibly eye catching, and this always plays a role – conscious or not – about my choice in books.
One brutal murder.
A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…
And an intoxicating romance.
Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.
Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…
The synopsis is fabulous, utterly unique and really grabs my attention. Unfortunately, the book itself did none of that. I felt it was very predictable, pretty bland as far as the writing quality itself went, and aside from making me feel very hungry with the amount of foods discussed, didn’t make me feel much at all. A book like this, with so much at stake, and so many supposed plot twists, should make you feel something. And I just didn’t.
I was really disappointed, especially with the last quarter of the book which seemed to run at a different pace to the rest of the story, and not in a ‘the plot is picking up speed’ way. It was far more ‘I’ve got to match a page count’ way – or at least, that was how it felt as a reader. It was jumping far too quickly, and things were both predictable and illogical all at the same time. It didn’t draw to a sufficient conclusion, and although it could be argued that it’s supposed to have a sequel, it should still read as a singular book – which it just doesn’t.
In all honesty, this is probably my most disappointing read this year, which says a lot, after my slightly scathing review of The Starless Sea earlier on. I so wanted to love it. I gave it two stars on GoodReads but really that felt like a compliment! A real shame. I did finish the whole book, hoping it would improve, but, as I mention above, if anything it got worse.