Let me first state that you might want to take my rating of this book with a grain of salt. My review for this one is based on my experience reading it without rereading the first novella, which I realized too late that I definitely needed to do in order to get the full experience of this book. There’s one main reason behind this rating: it’s been way too long since I read The Armored Saint. I read and reviewed The Armored Saint last September, which is almost a year ago. Since then, I’ve read and reviewed 91 books; that’s a LOT of stories. I should’ve started this knowing that I would have to reread the first book.
It all comes down to the fact that I don’t remember all the side characters anymore. Heloise Factor, Clodio, and Basina are literally the only names I remember from the first book; both Clodio and Basina didn’t make an appearance here so I’m left with only remembering Heloise. I understand that this is a novella and there isn’t time for character reintroduction. However, my enjoyment was heavily affected because I didn’t remember the characters and I also felt disconnected from Heloise due to the number of books I’ve read since finishing The Armored Saint; again, seriously my fault for not rereading the first book.
This of course doesn’t mean that this is a bad book. The action scenes were all vivid, sometimes gory, and well-written. Dialogues were great and compelling, the grimdark tone really hits, and world-building wise we do get to learn more about the world, history, and the Emperor; it’s just that it could’ve been a better experience for me if I had reread the first book. The reason behind this is that Queen of Crows—50 pages longer than the first book—contains a myriad amount of action sequences; almost every chapter since the beginning of the story is action-packed. This causes the plot to move at a breakneck speed, and usually I’m okay with it in a full novel series—especially because this is a sequel and the first book introduced everything magnificently—but this is a novella. I forgot that there wasn’t any time for characters or memory refreshing. Like I always said, characters always make or break any story for me.
I might change my rating and my review for this book in the future when I do binge read The Armored Saint and this book in preparation before reading the last book of the trilogy; I’ve learned my lesson with this one. For now, this is it. I’m sorry, Myke Cole. Trust me that I’m mourning my rating too, you know how much I support you and this trilogy. Don’t get me wrong, 3 stars in my criteria means it’s still a decent book. It’s just that my expectations for this one after reading The Armored Saint was really high and I expected this to be another easy 5 stars read; this was actually one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I just can’t help it. The Armored Saint, in my opinion, is one of the best novellas ever written. I do think that if you love a heavily action-packed book, you’re going to love this one.
Once again, my rating and review for this book might change in the future. I strongly believe that if it’s been a while since you read the first book, you’ll have to reread the first book; do not make the same mistake I did. For now, I’ll just wait for the release of the last book of the trilogy and wish Myke Cole success and all future readers love this book even more than me. I liked it, I just didn't love it.
Thank you to Melanie for buddy reading this book with me, check out her review too!
Official release date: October 16th, 2018
You can pre-order the book HERE!