This was a hard-earned 4.5 out of 5 stars because it took several chapters for this novel to convince me it was worth the praise its received from many others. Despite being rough around the edges, I found the characters intriguing, the world building completely immersive and the story a great page-turner. The most striking thing about this book was its shift in genre midway. The first half was a grungy, futuristic dystopia, and the second half was a wasteland, survivalist fantasy. There is a R rating, but this book also needs a trigger warning because there are multiple rapes or attempted rapes throughout the book.
There were a few plot devices that I didn’t care for. Fee, the dark goddess and main character, has amnesia at the start of the book, so you’re as clueless as her for a long time about her identity. This leads to her love interest, Lucifer becoming the ethereal being that guides her towards her ultimate purpose. As a reader, I enjoyed Fee better when she was independent and strong-willed. In the second half of the book, she becomes a whiny, dependent, love-sick character. She also gets kidnapped or passes out or has disorienting mystical experiences more times than I could count. All of those instances didn’t feel necessary.
The supporting characters in this book are also very strong. I really liked Elena, Fee’s medical counterpart in her survivalist group, and Sam, Fee’s elderly father figure. I also wasn’t happy with Peyton’s storyline. I believe he deserved and could have been so much more than how his dynamic with Fee ended up. Maybe I’m indifferent towards Lucifer because I was hoping to see more from Peyton, but I’m curious enough about Fee’s future to look forward to how things work out in book two.