The Damned (the beautiful #2) by Renee Ahdied, #72 review

Publication date: 7 July 2020

Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien.

Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.

New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with the second installment of her new sumptuous, sultry and romantic series, The Beautiful.

Ok, wow. Where do I start? Let’s start with a: HoW dArE yOu, directed full-on at vampire speed at the author, the lovely cruel-hearted Renee Ahdieh.

The Damned is the sequel to The Beautiful. If you have not read the first book, I strongly advise you to read it first before reading my review. You may check out my review of The Beautiful if you’re interested. Please do 🙂 it is not like any other Vampire book. This series is NOT CLICHE. If you’re thirsty for blood (or other more delightful wicked things), you’ve come to the right place. Bien accueillir.

Our beloved dark gentleman, Sebastien Saint Germain is a vampire now, a child of the Night. He was sired by his uncle, Nicodemus – one of the oldest vampire in the world. Long ago, a treaty was made between the werewolves of the Brotherhood and the vampires of La Cour des Lions in the name of peace between the two foes. In exchange, the Vampires are not allowed to turn about human into a vampire in New Orleans. However, as Nicodemus only heir, his nephew Bastine was dying from a wound delivered by a betrayed vampire. A deal was struck between Nicodemus and Celine. He would turn Bastine into a vampire to save his life but in return, Celine willingly gave up her memories of her and Bastine. She gave their love in sacrifice so that he will live.           

When Bastine woke and realised his lost humanity and love, he set about on a private quest to unmake himself to return to the living and to Celine. Celine in the meantime was recovering from the attack on her life is greatly agitated by her loss of memories of the night she was attacked. At the same time, she was courted by the most famous man in New Orleans who saved her and solved the mysterious series of murders. It was none other than Detective Michael, human brother of the Brotherhood’s Alpha.

As fate would have it, the two unrequited lovers crossed paths once more, and then the tumbling mess of the dark world unfurled itself on them anew with more intensity and higher stakes.

The love I have for these characters and their stories is vast. Renee crafts characters with a deep rooting of their stories and personalities that you would be convinced she was writing off actual people. Their way of life, their habits, the way they move, the way they speak. Everything. I am hopelessly in love with them. God save me if anything happens to one of them. Many, many, many things happened. I kid you not, I was on the verge of DMing the author to rant/yell. The intricate plot twists that jumps on you is either a warm hug or a stab on the back with a silver blade. The eloquent choice of words and designed dialogues are a pure delight to read. Not to mention the fancy french that was thrown into the context since the story is set in the regency period. The fashion, the food, the building design even, all are scripted carefully with the purpose of painting a vivid picture for readers.

In the sequel, a lot is explored about the mythical world. In the beginning of the book, there is a lot of info dump and history regarding the creatures of the mythical world and new terms are introduced as we are pulled deeper into the network of the dark fairytale-like world. I realised after combing through reviews that this sequel is mostly a hit or miss. I think if you enjoy the outcome and new advancements in this book then you’ll enjoy it. If you do not favour them then opppss. Either way, I hope you will give it a try.

Thank you to @times.reads for sending me a copy of the book for an honest review.

By elysianbooksish

The Bookish Faerie who loves to read and write, and bake too

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