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Koko

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Disappointed and grossed out

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-2020

**The following review contains spoilers** I want to start this by saying I am the biggest KA Fan out there. I've been there since the beginning, gobble every single thing she puts out. I also want to say that I listened to every single minute of this series to ensure I wouldn't be premature in my critique. That noted, let me just say that I severely disliked nearly everything about this series. It contains gratuitous, unnecessary violence described in graphic detail. Every single "bad guy" was gay - which is hugely problematic and plays into a disturbing stereotype which I just cannot support. The next issue is with the length of books themselves. There was little action occurring across the first three books, then in the final the action scenes happened in the last three chapters - and most of it occurred off-page. This entire series could have been one or two books long had all the extraneous descriptions and drawn out side arcs been shortened or cut. It would have been punchier, edgier, and less long-winded. There was also a cacophony of characters. The narrators were excellent, really leaning in to the characters they were trying to embody, but there were far too many. It seemed, even in the final closing chapters of the last book, that new characters were still being introduced. And worse, they all spoke the same, used similar phrases, and had little to differentiate them from one another beyond the accents from the narrators. I'm not sure how many times the word "thus" was used in this series but it was far too often. It also took me some time to decipher one character from the other because they blended together, the chapters were choppy due to changing perspectives, and there was little to no reference points when reintroducing characters. Often I needed to relisten to remember who was speaking and how they were connected to the rest of the novel. My final concern wasn't with the premise, the numerous characters, or the long drawn out build up to a climax that fell flat. No, it was that the one interesting and unique character was fundamentally rewritten in the most disappointing of ways. Serena, the glorious princess and general, the strength of her people. a true warrior. She didn't want the crown and repaired her relationship with her sister, sure, that shows character growth. I could even work with the kink of being a sub because every strong woman needs an out. But I hated how she went from being this dominant, kickass, amazing woman to complete pushover. You don't need to be one or the other, it is more than possible to be both a fantastic woman, strong and cunning while also being vulnerable and feminie. It killed me that this amazing character was dismissed at the end, resulting in a bittersweet ending to what could have been a wonderful story arc. I'll say this - I'll continue to read and support KA throughout her career. She's an excellent writer and a wonderful human being, but this is a far departure from her normal brilliance. I'll hold out for a new series.

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