Now, there’s every chance the following review will be full of random ramblings due to the fact I have merely minutes ago finished reading Apollyon before sitting down to write. However, I shall do my best to stay focused and make at least a little sense.
First up, here are my feelings on certain aspects of the book.
Aiden. *Le sigh* ‘Be still my beating heart.’ Gush. Mush. Kissy-kissy. To be honest, I don’t normally lean toward Mr Perfect. And make no mistake, Aiden St Delphi is certainly that. He’s strong. He’s loving. He’s protective. He’s (to quote Alex) a ninja. He’s (did I mention?) loving. But I am totally and utterly Team Aiden and have been since Deity.
Seth. Initial thought: Seth is nothing short of a silly w****r! Hopefully though, if one looks deeper, as I have somehow managed to do throughout most of the series, and just as Alex is obviously able to, you have surely got to see the truly messed up and lonely guy within the f’d up exterior. He believes himself strong. ‘Well, I see your weaknesses, Seth baby.’ Because he’s nothing short of 100% vulnerable without even realising it. And I ‘feel’ for the guy, even though I probably shouldn’t. Just as I still hope for redemption for the guy, even though I probably shouldn’t.
Alex. I enjoyed Alex’s character development in this a lot. And whilst my head is arguing with itself a little because it believes her loosing Seth’s hold on her came a little too easily & too soon with not enough after-glitches, it was also relieved when I realised I wouldn’t have to spend half the book with the frustrating & deluded Alex that was stuck in the cage. And by the end of the book? Yeah, she’s bad-a$$. She believes herself a failure for what happened. I’m hoping she’ll eventually recognise her heroics for what they truly are—seeing as she really did ‘take one (or twenty) for the team’ (and not in the sexual sense of the term).
The god behind it all. I’m not going to name him and this is as much reference as I’m spilling to avoid as many spoilers as possible. But, let’s just say: I had my suspicions from pretty early on. It might have been subtle but the foreshadowing was there and I’d tied all the dangling threads together to create the bigger tapestry, so the reveal didn’t come as that much of a surprise. Just as I already knew who the visitor was pre-glimpse, and what he would turn out to be.
So, why the 4* rating? Normally, I wouldn’t consider a 4* worthy of questioning, but as I raved and raved about Deity, for Apollyon, it is. And I think Deity is wholly to blame for the 4*. Because, whilst most of my reads and how I view them are rated in comparison to other books out there, for some reason, I can’t help but compare JLA’s books to others in her own series. I did the same when I reviewed Opal (Lux #3), and I know I’m doing it again but can’t seem to help myself. Because as far as pacing and excitement goes, Deity leaves Apollyon choking on its literal dust. I get not all books in a series can hold the exact same level of action/intensity/pacing/whatnot, but Apollyon didn’t tear me through it likeDeity did. Plus, the writing wasn’t as clean/crisp/tight as it has been in previous books in the series (BUT [disclaimer for the author/publisher]: this WAS an ARC, and so not a finished copy). But the comparisons aside, there’s absolutely no denying Apollyon was a great read, and a great addition to the story of this series. Not to mention, the pacing which hadn’t been particular speedy throughout suddenly went epic at about the 85% mark, and the excitement ratcheted up, and my a$$ was being hauled toward the finish line without warning. But then, whilst I felt the book ended in the ‘right place’, and it couldn’t exactly have been wrapped up tight because the story is far from over, I do love the cliffhangers JLA so often tosses at her read7ers and I kinda missed that. That being said, I’m still 100% totally and undoubtedly looking forward to Sentinel with a major case of the eager beavers.