What We Devour by: Linsey Miller

” Lorena Adler has a secret–she holds the power of the banished gods, the Noble and the Vile, inside her. But she has spent her entire life hiding from the world and her past. Lorena’s content to spend her days as an undertaker in a small town, marry her best friend, Julian, and live an unfulfilling life so long as no one uncovers her true nature.

But when the notoriously bloodthirsty and equally Vile crown prince comes to arrest Julian’s father, he immediately recognizes Lorena for what she is. So, she makes a deal–a fair trial for her betrothed’s father in exchange for her service to the crown.

The prince is desperate for her help. He’s spent years trying to repair the weakening Door that holds back the Vile…and he’s losing the battle. As Lorena learns more about the Door and the horrifying price it takes to keep it closed, she’ll have to embrace both parts of herself to survive. “

bookshop.org

***I received an ARC, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. ***

TRIGGER WARNING:
First things first…if self-harm/mutilation triggers you…this is not the book for you. In order for people to access their wrought/wrights, they need to provide a sacrifice. In most cases, the sacrifice is flesh and blood from themselves or others.

This was one of those books that took me longer to fully digest…and for a good portion of the start I was worried I was reading a book that really wasn’t meant for me. Fantasy books, in general, take me a little bit to get into since there’s usually a lot of world-building and characters that can be overwhelming at times.

As I had asked for this ARC, based on the summary, I was determined to finish the story…I mean something sparked my interest and curiosity so it was only fair to see it through, right? Don’t get me wrong… I’m not above DNF’ing a book, I just feel being given access to an ARC is a little different than me getting a random book that I may DNF now, but pick up again later.

This was one of those books that I didn’t instantly connect to, but I also didn’t dislike, so I pushed through and continued reading, as the concept of the world fascinated me, even though I struggled to connect to the characters. A story that I needed to let marinate a day or so after completing to really let myself understand it before writing my review. I really had to think about what I wasn’t connecting to and why I might not be connecting to that part.

Why was I having trouble connecting to Lorena? I really thought this over, she’s a good person trying to ensure the safety of the many so why am I struggling so much to connect to her? And then my “Aha!” moment finally clicked into place. One of Lorena’s main sacrifices is her memories. Over the years Lorena has sacrificed countless memories to her wrought/wright. Memories shape us and make us who we are…they connect us to those around us and a lot of times our decisions are lead by our emotions around certain memories.

As a reader, and human in general, I rely on connecting emotionally to characters and people. I crave emotional connection. Lorena has sacrificed a lot of memories to ensure she remains on the mission she’s given herself. Sacrificing those memories helps her focus and not be lost or confused about what she needs to do. As someone who relies so strongly on my own emotions…the idea of erasing painful/happy memories is something I struggle to understand. If given the choice I’d rather sacrifice flesh and blood than erase any memories from my past…even the most painful ones. I’m too scared of who I might be if I didn’t have all those memories.

Once I finally realized this was my hesitation to connect to Lorena… I viewed the story, and Lorena, in a completely different light. Lorena has a true hero mentality, she will do what it takes, and make any sacrifice necessary to ensure the future of the many. Lorena’s strength and ability to put others first is …phenomenal. I look forward to re-reading this book now that I see Lorena through new eyes.

If you’re looking for a book that has Ace, and NB, representation, as well as a hero whose fierce determination to protect, is awe-inspiring…you should definitely check this book out!

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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