‘Remember: Demons lie’
Locked away inside the fortified walls of Oxford’s St Wilfred’s College, surrounded by alchemists sworn to protect them, Taylor and Sacha are safe from the Darkness. For now.
But time is short. In seven days Sacha will turn 18, and the ancient curse that once made him invincible will kill him, unleashing unimaginable demonic horror upon the world.
There is one way to stop it.
Taylor and Sacha must go to where the curse was first cast – the medieval French city of Carcassonne – and face the demons.
The journey will be dangerous. And monsters are waiting for them.
But as Darkness descends on Oxford, their choice is stark. They must face everything that scares them, or lose everything they love.
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Bookouture
I was apprehensive getting into The Secret City because while I loved the premise of book 1 (The Secret Fire), I was disappointed in the execution. The Secret City was much better The Secret Fire and I kind of wish there was another installment in this series because I can’t wait to see what happens with these characters next.
The Secret City is full of action, danger, romance, and learning to embrace your fears to become more than you ever thought you could be.
I loved, loved, loved Louisa and Allistair’s story. They have grown so much, you can’t help but fall hard for their friendship. Louisa’s past is a dark and tragic one, full of hurt and pain and heartache. Louisa has given up on love because she’s terrified she doesn’t know how because she has never been loved. It will break your heart that such a fierce, heroic, and whip-smart girl could feel so emotionally broken. Seeing her vulnerability, her bravado, the way she yearns for happiness and will sacrifice everything to save the world, she is just epic. Plus, that banter between Louisa and Allistair is playful, flirty, and full of admiration. It flows so well.
The bad guys are seriously creepy and sinister. There are several adrenaline-fueled moments that you won’t be certain of the outcome. Those weird zombie-esque creatures are disgusting and yet, you can’t help but pity them. There’s a great balance showing that not all darkness is true darkness.
Taylor still struggles. I liked that she stayed true to her personality. Yes, her power grows, yes, she’s destined, but she’s not perfect, she has to work hard for her skills and she makes mistakes. So relatable.
I wish there was more of Sacha. Despite the story divided into various POVs, it felt dominated by Taylor for some reason. Not that her voice was stronger, somehow it was more demanding. Sacha’s story is complex. Hundreds of years of hatred and curses have made him into who he is and finally, finally, you see what a wonderful person he is. Be on guard for the swoon.
I’ve waited not-so-patiently for some romance in this series and FINALLY. FIN-AL-LY. But so spaced out. Drove me nuts. MORE, needed much, much more. While I appreciated that it wasn’t romance-driven, I would have liked a little more development there on both counts.
The ending was abrupt.
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