Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Dystopian Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
If you’ve ever wondered what The Hunger Games would have been like when mixed with the magic from Harry Potter, look no further. These two iconic concepts collide in All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman. This thrilling book, set to release on November 9th, is the first book in a duology you don’t want to miss!
For hundreds of years a curse has tied together the fate of 7 families in the small town of Ilvernath, but after the mysterious publication of a book that reveals the town’s secret curse, this year’s tournament is sure to be a public spectacle. While the world believed high magick was gone, the 7 cursed families in Ilvernath have sent one champion every 20 years to compete to the death for control of it.
Only one champion can survive, but who will it be? Alistair Lowe is determined to become the monster his family raised him to be… until his world falls apart shortly before the tournament. Isobel Macaslan never wanted to be a champion, but she wants to survive, and she doesn’t know how to do that when she will ultimately be faced with killing someone she loves or dying herself. Briony Thorburn has always wanted to be her family’s champion, but she is devastated when her lifelong wish seems as though it won’t work out. Gavin Grieve is tired of his family being the underdog. He is ready to do whatever it takes to win, no matter the cost.
I absolutely adored so many aspects of this book! First of all, it is written by two different authors and from four different perspectives, but the narrative is seamless. The four characters are unique and easily identifiable, but at the same time, I completely forgot that this book was written by two people. In my opinion, it is an amazing feat for two authors to maintain a coherent storyline while also differentiating between multiple characters.
While the first part of the book is a little slow, once the tournament begins, it is nonstop action-packed! I honestly didn’t know who to root for because I liked all of the characters for different reasons. However, I will warn you now, this book is going to leave you hanging! Whatever expectations you have, you might as well kiss them goodbye because Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman do not play by the rules! I seriously don’t know how I am going to find the willpower to wait for the sequel!
Furthermore, the magic system in the novel was surprisingly well-developed! More often than not, I feel as though it takes a couple of books to develop a new magic system, but that was not the case with this book. The authors did well with differentiating between curses and spells, and high magick and common magick. The narrative explained the degrees of difficulty for curses and spells and the difference between crafting and casting spells and curses. I was thoroughly astounded by the authors’ ability to describe the magical system in one book, and I can’t wait to see how they expand upon it in the sequel!
Overall, this is one of those books that you just have to experience for yourself. You will be captivated by the magic and the tension between the characters, and you will likely get lost in the story. So don’t forget to pick up a copy of All of Us Villains on November 9th! You can also pre-order a signed copy here and submit your receipt for a free enamel pin here!