Fall of Ruin and Wrath & Hemlock Island

Posted September 12, 2023 by Carole in Reviews / 13 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Fall of Ruin and Wrath & Hemlock IslandFall of Ruin and Wrath by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Awakening #1
Published by Bramble on September 12, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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From Jennifer L. Armentrout, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of From Blood and Ash, comes the beginning of a searing fantasy romance series for adults, Fall of Ruin and Wrath.

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Long ago, the world was destroyed by gods. Only nine cities were spared. Separated by vast wilderness teeming with monsters and unimaginable dangers, each city is now ruled by a guardian—royalty who feed on mortal pleasure.

Born with an intuition that never fails, Calista knows her talents are of great value to the power-hungry of the world, so she lives hidden as a courtesan of the Baron of Archwood. In exchange for his protection, she grants him information.

When her intuition leads her to save a traveling prince in dire trouble, the voice inside her blazes with warning—and promise. Today he’ll bring her joy. One day he'll be her doom.

When the Baron takes an interest in the traveling prince and the prince takes an interest in Calista, she becomes the prince’s temporary companion. But the city simmers with rebellion, and with knights and monsters at her city gates and a hungry prince in her bed, intuition may not be enough to keep her safe.

Calista must choose: follow her intuition to safety or follow her heart to her downfall.

Breathtaking suspense and scorching romance meet in this immersive new fantasy from a mega-bestselling force, Jennifer L. Armentrout.

I loved his book! I have had Jennifer Armentrout’s books on my tbr for a very long time, but I haven’t read any of her work for one reason or another. When I got my hands on an early copy of this book, I decided that it was time to give this author a try, and let me tell you – I am impressed! This was one of those books that you just don’t want to put down and I wanted to read it at every opportunity. I am certain that if I didn’t have so many responsibilities, this would have been a book that I would have read in a single day.

Calista, or Lis, is lowborn but she has a special gift that has earned her a special place with the Baron. She sometimes has visions and can read other’s thoughts if the situations are right. Thorne is a powerful Hyhborn lord who is drawn to Lis. The chemistry between these two is palpable and the tension between them never seemed to settle down. I loved the way the world-building was done giving the reader just what is needed at the right time. And here were more than a few surprises worked in along the way.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This was a fine example of romantasy that left me eager to get my hands on the next book. I will warn readers that the story ends in a bit of a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see where things go next.

I received an advanced review copy of this book from Bramble.

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Fall of Ruin and Wrath & Hemlock IslandHemlock Island by Kelley Armstrong
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Published by Macmillan Audio, St. Martin's Press on September 12, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Horror
Length: 9 hours 6 minutes
Pages: 304
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo | Libro.fm

A standalone horror novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

Laney Kilpatrick has been renting her vacation home to strangers. The invasion of privacy gives her panic attacks, but it’s the only way she can keep her beloved Hemlock Island, the only thing she owns after a pandemic-fueled divorce. But broken belongings and campfires that nearly burn down the house have escalated to bloody bones, hex circles, and now, terrified renters who've fled after finding blood and nail marks all over the guest room closet, as though someone tried to claw their way out...and failed.

When Laney shows up to investigate with her teenaged niece in tow, she discovers that her ex, Kit, has also been informed and is there with Jayla, his sister and her former best friend. Then Sadie, another old high school friend, charters over with her brother, who’s now a cop.

There are tensions and secrets, whispers in the woods, and before long, the discovery of a hand poking up from the earth. Then the body that goes with it... But by that time, someone has taken off with their one and only means off the island, and they’re trapped with someone—or something—that doesn’t want them leaving the island alive.

This was great! I have read quite a few of Kelley Armstrong’s books over the years (not even close to the number that she has written though) so I was eager to dive into her newest offering. I was thrilled, and a bit surprised, to find that this book made me feel like I was watching a scary movie. It was such a delight to find that one of my favorite authors had written a horror novel and had done it amazingly well.

Laney owns a house on a private island that she rents out to strangers on vacation. She needs the money that the rentals bring in to be able to afford to keep it. Strange things have been happening on the island so she goes to check it out along with her niece. Her ex-husband Kit, his sister Jayla, and a few other friends also show up to help. Everything came together to form a recipe for the perfect creepy novel. I couldn’t wait to find out what was really happening on the island. I loved all of the creepy vibes and I wanted to scream at the characters when they ventured off into the woods alone. There is some relationship drama, and even a bit of romance, along with plenty of surprises worked into the story.

I listened to the audiobook and thought that Angela Dawe did a fantastic job with this story. I loved the voices that she used for each of the characters that play a role in this story. I thought that she was able to bring just the right amount of emotion to her reading to leave me hanging on every word. I am certain that her performance added to my enjoyment of this story. Overall, this was a wonderful read and I hope that Ms. Armstrong plans to tackle more horror in the future!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Macmillan Audio and St. Martin’s Press.

13 responses to “Fall of Ruin and Wrath & Hemlock Island

  1. Oooh nice! I’m super excited for Jennifer’s new book! She and Kelley write at the speed of light bc I’m always behind on their books! And Jennifer’s have been so deliciously long lately that I legit cannot read fast enough!

    I also read Kelley’s book early and really enjoyed it! It was perfectly creepy! Can’t wait to get to Jennifer’s new series!

    Great reviews!

  2. Fabulous reviews you have here. These are both great authors. I have been nervous to try this JLA because this style of fantasy doesn’t always appeal to me, but I will definitely do more research on it.

  3. I’ve seen other thrillers/horror books from Kelley Armstrong, though I’ve also stayed away from them because I don’t usually read that genre and I trust that she has written them well enough that they will be too intense for me. I’m glad you liked it, though!

  4. I love Armstrong’s Rockton series and am really looking forward to reading Hemlock Island! It’s the perfect time of year for a creepy novel. 😀

  5. It’s been a while since I’ve read JLA. Didn’t realize you hadn’t tried her before. My daughter is loving her other fantasy series but I can’t remember what it’s called. I’m currently reading Hemlock Island. With I would’ve requested the audio since I love Angela Dawe but only realized they had it up a few days ago and I was already reading my e-ARC. Glad to see you enjoyed both!

  6. Fall of Ruin and Wrath sounds really good. I will have to check that one out for sure. I love Kelley Armstrong, but it’s been years since I last read one of her books. Hemlock Island will have to go on my wish list. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on these two books, Carole!