It's so hard to write this review without spoilers but I've tried my hardest! In that light, sorry for being a bit vague! lol
So I have no idea why I thought spending the holidays with Aaron's mom and pop was a good idea.
Meeting his famous parents is already terrifying enough, but I've got a bigger problem. Students of his family's renowned mage academy are being attacked on the grounds—and somehow no one has seen a single assailant? Unexplained tracks litter the nearby woods, rumors of forbidden alchemy are circulating the campus…and Ezra has been acting strangely since we arrived.
Something deadly is brewing in the shadow of Sinclair Academy, and the longer we take to uncover it, the more dangerous it becomes. But no matter the risk, we'll protect the students.
And Aaron's parents too, I suppose. If we have to.
First person, single pov.
No... Not even a HFN in this one. It ends on a determined but heartbreaking note and I actually had tears in my eyes so...
I was so excited to dive back into the Guild Codex world and return to Tori and the guys. I'd missed them! Yep, I'd missed fictional characters but, you see, Annette Marie's writing is so good that they don't feel like fictional characters, they feel like friends and it's been so long since I had a catch up with these guys (re-reads don't count) that I couldn't turn the pages on this book fast enough!
And what a book it was!
The opening is full of fun and quirkiness. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it felt so good to be back with the Crow and Hammer crew and I was ecstatic.
Then, the gang (Tori, Ezra, Aaron and Kai) alongside Sin set off for the Sinclair Academy to spend Christmas with Aaron's parents... And things changed.
Yes, the book was still fun, the banter was still on point, there was action and there were developments in the romance department (woohoo!) but their time at the academy felt heavier, more serious, than the tone of previous books.
The developments and revelations... They broke my heart.
Completely and utterly broke my heart.
I cried. I actually cried!
And maybe I should have been.
This is book five, we're just past the halfway point. Things will be starting to come to a head.
I should have expected my anxiety to start rising, I should have expected hard choices and some heartbreak but I didn't. I one hundred percent didn't.
That's why I finished the book feeling utterly heartbroken! There was just so much pleasure and so much pain! Everything I've been hoping for only for it to be shattered... I know it'll all work out okay, in the end for I have faith in the author, but right now I'm hurting right along with Tori!
The gut-punching reality that had me in tears in the last chapter has lingered and left me both desperate to see what comes next and heartsick.
Let no one say this series isn't going to provide one hell of a ride!
We're at the top of the rollercoaster now and true to form my heart is in my throat and my stomach is in an anxious ball waiting for the fall and the euphoric rush that comes with it.
If I've said it once, I've said it a million times, I love this series and I highly recommend it for the magic lovers amongst you!
Book 1: Three Mages and A Margarita
Book 2: Dark Arts and A Daiquiri
Book 3: Two Witches and A Whiskey
Book 4: Demon Magic and A Martini