Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The Reckoning by Caroline Peckham


 If you heard a loud YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASS echoing in the distance, that was me. Best book in the series so far? I THINK SO. But I knew it would be, because the title shares the name of one of my favorite songs by Halestorm. #foreshadowing

I began Zodiac Academy on a whim a couple days ago, only to get sucked in. It has everything I love in a story: magic, danger, action, romance, strong heroines, dangerous men, and well-placed humor. Picture Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield fighting their way through Vampire Academy against Hana Yori Dango's Elite Four while using Harry Potter spells, and that's basically the whole premise in a nutshell. Darcy and Tory Vega are the long-lost princesses of the fae kingdom and they're enrolled in school to prove their worth before they can claim their inheritance and their throne. But the four elemental heirs who grasped power in the void aren't willing to give up their legacy. If they can't rule, no one can.

One of the things that makes this so much richer than other bully romances is because of how the sisters fight back. Their acts of revenge are truly brilliant and some of them wreak pretty devastating results on the boys. When one of the boys in this book finds out who was responsible, he FLIPS THE FUCK OUT, and boy is it satisfying to watch. It isn't often that you get to see a female character commit that kind of betrayal, so I loved that. And the Heirs deserve it.

Some of the stand-outs about this book were the introduction of Hell Week: a week of hazing before the students go through The Reckoning, a series of Goblet of Fire-esque challenges to test the mettle of the students and see if they're worthy of enrollment. Also, one of my ships FINALLY banged, and that was royally satisfying on so many levels and didn't disappoint. There's actually a lot of smut in this book, to the point where I might have to start calling it Smut Academy. I know some people don't like Tory for being more promiscuous than Darcy but YOU KNOW??? She should get some, if that's what she wants. The vampire sex games she plays with Caleb were hot. And Darcy and Orion are the MVPs.

Some other random thoughts: Professor Washer and his sex toys literally scarred me for life. Seeing the fae getting all horned up during the lunar eclipse was hilarious. I will never not laugh when Caleb gets mad at people for thinking he has a pegasus fetish. Geraldine and Sofia are the BEST and I love them. Xavier must be protected at all costs. I want to go to a Fairy Fair. AND AND AND we finally get to find out what Darcy and Tory's Order is... and it is PERFECT. Look at me being all good and not spoilering you the way I DESPERATELY, DESPERATELY want to. I'm being good for your sake. So you'll read these books too and be as awed and astounded as I am.

But God. That cliffhanger. Everything has changed now.

Lucky for me, I know my girls won't disappoint.

4.5 to 5 out of 5 stars

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