The Damned is like an explosion of color in the world of The Beautiful. Enter in faeries, werewolves, and more. Ahdieh brings the fantasy world building to another level and I loved reading about this entirely new layer of the world. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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.
Not going to lie, at this point I’m heavily rooting for Bastien and Celine. That, “us against the world” vibe? I’m here for it. And ever since Celine lost her memories, from the beginning I wondered if their love could survive. But The Damned expands the world exponentially. Introducing even more supernatural and fantasy world, at first I was a bit winded. There was the introduction of a lot of new information and honestly it was a bit hard to keep track of.
While I enjoy that the world gains more layers, this felt a bit overloaded. I enjoyed Bastien’s POV the most in this book, even though I loved the edition of Jae and Odette’s chapters. Mostly because Bastien has to contend with the fact that we think we are heroes, until we realize we are the nightmares, the villains, and the demons. Overall, I enjoyed the addition of more POVs because I have a sweet spot for Odette – who isn’t afraid to spill a little blood. But Celine was hard for me to get into again – even though I loved her in The Beautiful.
I enjoyed how The Damned examines this question of who we are. Without her memories is she still Celine? But I could not get behind the love triangle between Michael, Bastien, and Celine. In The Beautiful I feel like we get through that because it’s so clear that Celine isn’t really interested in Michael. But the lines become less clear in The Damned and I just wasn’t buying it?
I enjoyed a lot of the work Ahdieh did on the side characters – like Arjun and Odette – but there were just some things that didn’t work for me. Thematically I enjoyed how it examines when we’re stuck between what we think we want and what we know we want. The times we just want the truth and the ones we love are ‘protecting us’. I just wish that the themes had become a bit clearer, instead of being a bit buried in the new world.