Renée Ahdieh is Now the Queen of Vampire YA | Review: The Damned by Renée Ahdieh

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Last year if you told me that, exactly one year later, I'd be frothing at the mouth for vampire fiction during a global pandemic I would have asked you who your dealer was. This year, I'd say, "READ THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DAMNED. Both are by Renée Ahdieh and you are missing out." Word for word.

The Damned 
by Renée Ahdieh

New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with the second installment of her new sumptuous, sultry and romantic series, The Beautiful.

Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien.

Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.

The Damned by Renée Ahdieh
Rating: ★★★ 
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.    

Is there anything more swoon-worthy than a good Renée Ahdieh release? No. No there isn't. The Beautiful was one of my favourite books of 2019. (That! Cliffhanger!) It should come as no shock that its sequel, The Damned, is now one of my favourite books of 2020. (This! Whole! Series!) Boy, oh boy, The Damned is truly a gorgeous release and just as thoroughly hypnotic as its predecessor.

(And I absolutely need to get my hands on a finished copy of it. Because I'm already aching to reread it. But, I want to hold it in my hands, not on my Kindle.)

How easy it is to get lost in Ahdieh's stunning prose. You read only a few lines and then suddenly you've inhaled the entire book. It quite literally weaves you into the narration in a way that makes it all feel brighter, more vivid, than just a story. There's a big part of me that felt jolted once I finished The Damned and realized that I wasn't actually in the book.

Honestly, Renée Ahdieh has officially made her way onto my list of favourite authors. If words were magnetic, I'd be clinging to the curve of each letter she writes. The Damned, of course, is a nod to how beautiful she can tell a story. In truth, there's this subtle burn to the way the story progresses that makes it all the more engaging to me.

Although they undeniably tie into one story, so much of the tone of The Damned felt just slightly different from The Beautiful. I mean that in the best of ways. There was this added layer of history to this installment, as well as a continuation to the explosive events of The Beautiful. But it felt just slightly different. It was kind of like watching a coin flip in the air, seeing its difference and knowing both sides still join as one.

It's hard to explain how much this book kept me focused, and captivated, but I'll say this: I absolutely adore the world that Renée Ahdieh has created. From the romantic aspects, to the high stakes and curse, to the character development of Sébastien and Celine, and so much more, I'm terribly smitten with The Damned. This sequel was truly electric and I'm completely obsessed. 

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