Chaos by Sarah Fine
Book Three of the Guards of the Shadowlands
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Summary (from Goodreads):
With Juri in control and everything in absolute chaos, Lela plunges into the depths of hell to free Malachi from creatures that have waited decades to exact their revenge. But the Judge has her own way of doing things, and Lela must work with Ana, the new Captain, who has a very personal mission of her own. Together, they infiltrate the most horrifying realm either has yet encountered in the Shadowlands - the bitter landscape ruled by the Mazikin.
The stakes could not be higher, and Lela must accept the help - and love - of people she barely knows or trusts. As alliances and loyalties shift and she realizes the soul she came to save isn't the only one in need of rescue, can Lela summon the strength to see the fight through to the very end?
What I Liked:
YOU GUYS, THIS SERIES. Easily one of my favorite series in general. And with that, Sarah Fine is easily one of my favorite authors in general. I've read all of her published novels - Sanctum, Fractured, Scan, Of Metal and Wishes, and Chaos. I think I've read her novellas, but I haven't reviewed any. To be rectified, maybe - I find it difficult to review novellas. Anyway. I loveeee this series. I loveeee this author. Ahhh!
As many of you know, Fractured left me completely heartbroken. Let's just say the cliffhanger is, well, killer. Take that as you may. Waiting for this final novel has been quite the torturous wait. I'll just let you know from now, there WON'T be any Chaos spoilers in this review, but there MAY be Sanctum and/or Fractured spoilers.
So Malachi has been taken by the Mazikin. Lela does the only thing she can do - appeal to the Judge of the Shadowlands, and try to be sent on a mission to bring Malachi back. The Judge sends Lela with Ana, who has returned for this purpose. Together, they go to Mazikin City, to rescue both Takeshi (Ana's love and former Captain) and Malachi. They run into familiar faces and new faces, and must make tentative alliances with power-hungry and untrustworthy leaders of rebellion in the city. But it's not just as simple as rescuing Malachi and finding Takeshi...
Nobody panic because you think this entire book is going to be about getting Malachi back and therefore we spend the whole book waiting for Lela and Malachi to get back together. That is not at all what happens (though I won't say more than that). I'm really glad that Fine didn't construct the story that way.
In fact, it's interesting, because I feel like there are two climaxes in this story. Your typical story has rising action, a climax, falling action, etc. But this story almost seems to have two climaxes - one involving what happens to Mazikin City (in general), and one that involves what happens to Lela's (human) world versus the Shadowlands (like, the two worlds colliding. Ish). This was an intriguing way to set up the story, because readers will THINK that the story is ending at like, 60%, but it's not... ooooo...
So I really enjoyed the plot of the story, in general, and the story itself. Fine is a natural storyteller, and I really like reading what she comes up with. She has a way of weaving a story into more than a story, and I'm never bored or about to lose interest.
Also? No love triangle, throughout the entire series. HUGE win. Despite what you might think of the structure of this book's plot, there are a ton of fabulously delicious romantic and steamy scenes in this book. A lot transpires between Malachi and Lela, but Fine always reminds readers of the little things, like how Lela isn't 100% comfortable with intimacy. It's awesome how consistent Fine keeps everything - not that I wouldn't expect her to do so, but she never lets us forget how consistent she keeps everything. Which is good!
As always, I enjoyed the paranormal world that Fine has created, and the worldbuilding is solid. This book is mostly spent in Mazikin City, so we really get a feel for how they live, where they come from, etc. It's interesting, some of the abilities and magic that the city possesses. I'm a huge fan of how people heal ;)
Basically, this conclusion novel is faaabulous, and I love it, and I wish I could just gush about it for the entire review and be all like THIS SERIES IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES SO GO GO GO.
What I Did Not Like:
Honestly, I can't think of anything too pressing to go in this section. The only real reason why I'm giving this book four stars (versus five stars) is because I'm comparing it to Sanctum, which is definitely my favorite book of the series (even though Fractured received the same rating as Sanctum). To be honest, this book doesn't meet Sanctum, because Sanctum was amazing and awesome and fantastic and beyond compare, but Chaos comes close!
Would I Recommend It:
YES!! This book, if you've read books one and two. Or I'd recommend books two and this book, if you've only read book one. BUT IF YOU HAVEN'T STARTED THE SERIES, YOU SHOULD CHANGE THAT. Like, I put that sentence in caps for a reason. Off you go.
4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars (though that sounds negative). Much love for this book, series, and author! She's an auto-read author for me, for sure.
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