The Venatrix Chronicles by Sylvia Mercedes, is an imaginative fantasy series that flirts with the idea of a villain origin story. It has an enemies to lovers theme as well as a stubborn and stabby female lead and biracial love interest. The series spans seven novels, and its fantastical world is so grand it’s an easy series to get lost in.
This series is available to read for free with an kindle unlimited subscription.
I have been out of touch with the YA community for a long time and
I am know just starting to catch up with the great stories that have been
published since my absent. One such story
that knocked me out into the next galaxy was The Selection series by Keira Cass.
The Selection Series for those who were blissfully unaware like yours truly, are a series of books that follow a young woman named American who lives in a future dystopian version of the United States. In this dystopian society the U.S, now renamed the country of llléa, is basically governed by a caste system. The higher the number you are the poorer you live eight being the lowest and as America describes it those who are eights are basically homeless. Being a one of course means you’re living the good life and in the case of The Selection series you’re basically royalty. This fictional USA is also governed by a Monarchy and once the prince becomes of age women all over the country are invited to compete for him as part of the Selection. America, wanting to please her mother, submits her application to the Selection believing that her chance of being picked will be slim. Additionally, our girl America is dating this guy, Aspen, and they’re practically engaged when she decides to enter the contest. However, a stupid fight leaves America heartbroken and on the other side of the country where she meets Prince Maxon and her feelings about both of men become complicated.
Book 2 starts off with America and Maxon cuddling in the gardens their favorite spot in the palace. After an incidence involving America’s bff the two get in a nasty fight and spend the rest of the book detached from each other. In fact, both end up getting close to other people. America of course rebounds to Aspen, her comforting ex, while Maxon ends up getting close to Kriss, one of the remaining members of the selection.
Book 3 is a whirlwind. America comes to the realization that Maxon’s heart might not solely belong to her and decides to really fight for Maxon and breaks things off with Aspen. Additionally, in this book America and Maxon make an alliance with the Northern rebels after finding out that they want the same things. The King tries to get America to drop out of the competition by any means necessary. Moreover the tension builds when it is revealed that the King is abusing Maxon whenever he makes a mistake. America also decides to tell Maxon the truth about Aspen and her feelings for him. Some drama happens and Maxon comes close to marrying Kriss but alas another rebel attack occurs leaving Maxon the only surviving member of the royal family. Now that his father’s gone Maxon is free to marry America and ascend the throne.
get to the tea.
I stayed up late to read all of these books and I have no regrets
about binging this series.
What I loved about these books was that the writing is pretty easy
to follow none of those loaded words that make you feel smart after looking
them up in the dictionary. The plot itself is very lighthearted. Even though
the world is dystopian nothing overly violent happens. Also, I really want to
take a moment to appreciate Prince Maxon for not being a total jerk that was my
expectation of him when I initial dived into this series. This is the perfect series
to read when you just lose all your focus while studying and need a break.
The big thing that made me disappointed in these books was the
lack of peoples of color. The history of this world is that the United States
was taken over by China and then after few more world wars the U.S united with
Canada, Mexico, and Central America to form Illéa. All of
these countries that have formed to become llléa are diverse
so where are the peoples of color in this series? Did these women of color not
get chosen to compete?
However, after reading book two I discover that Elise, one of the remaining girls in the selection, is Asian! In addition, I also believe that it is briefly mentioned that Maxon’s mother is from a country that sounds similar to Panama, so I am unsure whether that means that Maxon is at least biracial. Regardless I wish the series gave me a more concrete answer for why peoples of color are absent.
I also felt it
was a bit wack that Maxon and America decide to keep the fact that the King is abusing
Maxon a secret between them as they do not want to worry the Queen. However, after
being with Queen Amberly throughout this series I feel that if she would have
known this was happening, she would have ripped off her husband’s crown so fast
and forced the King to step down. Thus, making Maxon the king and putting an
end to his father’s toxic reign. That would have probably been a more dramatic
ending and more satisfying for me at least.
I did enjoy Celeste redemption arc. I overall enjoy
when evil characters go grinch and have a change of heart. I loved that Lucy
ended up falling in love with Aspen given that the poor girl has gone through
so much. Plus, the way that America describes Aspen, the boy is a cutie.
Although my rant seems like I hated this series that
is a stretch. For me these books were a page turner. I spent the early hours of
the morning reading these books. And after writing this review I will most
likely continue reading this series in order to find out what the sequel “The
Heir” is all about.