The Decaying Empire by Laura Thalassa | ARC – Book Review #88

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When eighteen-year-old teleporter Ember Pierce wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, she remembers only the basics: she’s been trained by the government as a spy, she’s sent on dangerous missions, and her last assignment—the one that landed her in the hospital—was a setup.

Caden Hawthorne has spent the past ten months of his life grieving Ember’s death. So when she shows up in his room like an apparition, he can’t believe his eyes. But this Ember is different. Her hair is longer, her skin is paler, her gaze is haunted. She tells him what he’s already begun to suspect: someone he trusted betrayed her.

Now, uncertain who is friend and who is foe, Ember and Caden face the toughest mission of their lives—to stay together and survive, as they run from danger toward an unknown future.’

Okay, so I am a complete idiot. I totally forgot that I hadn’t yet reviewed The Decaying Empire! Truth be told, I thought I had reviewed this book a long time ago. Turns out I haven’t so I’m writing a review now.

PLEASE NOTE: The Decaying Empire is the second novel to The Vanishing Girl.
SECOND NOTE: I was given a copy of this book from the publisher; Amazon Publishing via netgalley, in exchenge for an honest review.
THIRD NOTE: The fact that I was given a copy will in no way depict how I feel about this book.

The first note I have to myself about The Decaying Empire is: “GUESS WHOSE BACK?!” YEP! Ember; she’s back and friends, she is kicking ass!! I absolutely loved this book. There’s just as much, if not more action in this book than in The Vanishing Girl. The fact that Ember is back is crazy, and awesome, and “What the Fuck?!” worthy, and if I can’t handle it, how does Caden handle it?! Admittedly, not well at first.

“I maintained that he was still an asshat.”

The Decaying Empire starts with a bang. I remember beign awake all night, I had just finished The Vanishing Girl, so I had to read THe Decaying Empire. But I had to be quiet, because it was early morning in the warmer months, and my dad had just gotten off of work. I remember that so vividly because I was actually doing a combination of screaming and squeeling. There were also a lot of varying “What the Fuck”‘s. I was also bouncing around in my seat at the dinning room table. What happens in this book is crazy, and I was literally, so exuberant. Everything was crazy town.

So something that I didn’t expect in The Decaying Empire is the two different points of views. Now, that doesn’t take away from the story at all. If anything, it enhances the story. Usually I don’t like two points of view, but I like the dual points of view that we have with Ember and Caden.

Caden’s point of view is helpful to read because we see parts of the establishment that we didn’t really get to see or get to know in The Vanishing Girl. With Caden’s view we really get to see how much he actually feels for Ember. In the last book, The Vanishing Girl, Caden didn’t really express a lot of emotion other than that he was happy. He had to make sure that everything seemed fine on the outside so no one would see what was underneath the surface. Caden is very much still his charming self, even if there’s some underlying major stress.

“He grieves what I’ve become.”

With Ember’s point of view, we see how much she is pissed off, and how vengeful she’s become. I mean, she is out for blood. In The Decaying Empire, Ember is pretty much go-go-go and trust absolutely no one. And if there are people who want to help you, you have to expect that they’re suspect to what happened in the last book. With everything that Ember goes through, she still manages to be the spunky, sarcastic, competitive girl that we knew in the beginning of the trilogy.

Caden and Ember together are just great. Like, they’re literally made for each other. The both counter each other’s bad habits. Ember brings out the emotions Caden’s been purposely not feeling. Caden strengthens Ember’s resolve. The two of them ban joke and be fun, and serious the next minute. They’re very in-tune with each other, and they’re there for each other for better or worse. They’re the type of couple that I truly envy.

The feels for this book are all over the place. There’s understanding, grief, anger, sadness, gratefulness. And there are friends in places that I didn’t think that Caden and Ember wouldn’t find. I’m so thankful that these two have such a close network of friends.

“He did not just name my breasts.”

Along with everything that happens, there’s obviously going t be challenges. I mean, when, in life, are there not challenges? The challenges that Ember have in this are seemingly endless. The challenges that Caden have, are few, but they’re huge challenges, of course Caden will take that on, and whatever else he could. The challenges the two have together as a couple are hard as well. These two have some serious challenges in this book.

The ending for The Decaying Empire though, holy shiiiit. I didn’t expect that at all. Which makes me so freaking excited for the third book! The ending of The Decaying Empire really captures who Caden and Ember are as a couple, and who they are individually.

“Praise Jesus for muscles.”

All-in-all, I absolutely loved this book. I mean, it had me jumping up and out of my seat, the story had me not being able to sit still for a good majority of the book. Which leaves me with the thought of: “I have to get these first two books, immediately.” or, you know, when I have enough money to buy the books online. These books are the immediate-buy, immediate-faves.

Thank you so much for reading my review of The Decaying Empire by Laura Thalassa! If you like a fast paced, young/new adult book, featuring a protagonist who will stop at nothing to do what she knows is right.

Thanks again!

Adele

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