I was recently suggested to read Wicked by Jennifer L Armentrout by a good friend (thanks, Fray)! Actually, it was more like she kept telling me to read it until I finally gave in. I’m sorta slapping myself now for not reading it sooner! I am so obsessed with this book now, and I can’t wait to dive into the next one. It was filled with all the tropes I love and it’s New Adult. I really couldn’t ask for a better book.
If you’d like to see my spoiler-free review, read on!
About the Book
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Warnings: Explicit sexual content
Blurb (via Goodreads):
Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.
Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.
But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.
Okay, so this review is going to be a lot of fan-girling from me, so get ready! This was so fantastic, and it was everything I wanted in a book. I’ve been really wanting to read New Adult books, well, more New Adult books. If you don’t know what New Adult is, it’s basically the age category that comes after Young Adult and before Adult! There’s a similar tone as Young Adult and a similar maturity as Adult. For me, it’s a happy middle ground that is more applicable and relatable to me.
I also read the audiobook version, so more on that later! In my review, I’ll talk about the voice, plot / pacing, characters, romance, and audiobook. There’s a TL;DR at the end, too!
I was immediately sucked in by the voice in this book. Even though there were some pretty serious scenes and moments, there was tons of humor. I loved the small references. Those references might not be relevant to a reader ten years from now, but I loved them nonetheless. I mean, I’m still obsessed with Twilight, so the few times it was referenced really made me happy. Not to mention, the Harry Potter and Supernatural references, too.
The story is told from Ivy’s perspective in first person. I loved how she narrated the story!
I’m also not one to frequently read books with explicit sexual content, but I thought Armentrout did this well. The sex in the book wasn’t there just to be there. Ivy’s thought processes were important, with her wondering if she was doing things right, her surprise, and her emotions. Most other books with explicit content I’ve read don’t do this, so I thought this was nice, and a really good marker that this is a New Adult book.
Plot / Pacing
This plot was so good. The general idea is Ivy is part of a secret organization called The Order that hunt fae and protect humans. The fae consume humans to keep their near immortal lifespans. The Order also protects portals between our world and the Otherworld, stopping fae from coming through. When Ivy is shot by an ancient, a type of fae that The Order thought was basically extinct, she realizes she might not know as much as she thought. When Ren arrives, an Order member from another state, it makes things even more intense.
There were twists and turns throughout the whole book. Armentrout was so good at sprinkling in just enough details to want me to keep reading. I was invested in the story and constantly wanted more. Also, the ending has a huge plot twist. So, yeah, please read it.
The story also had really good pacing! Like I said, I was sucked in the entire time. The audiobook was about 11 hours long, and I finished it in two days. I couldn’t put it down!
I loved all the characters in this story! I think it was amplified even more by the audiobook, which I’ll talk about a bit later on.
Ivy had a really distinct, strong voice. She was a believable character, navigating such a strange world. She’s had some issues in the past, and the way she’s been handling all of that was interesting. She’s afraid to get close to people, so when the romance starts, that was really great to read.
Ren, the love interest, was super great to read about, too. He had such a firecracker personality, but he was sweet deep down, which was great. He had his cocky moments, but as a reader, I love that in the love interests. Remember when I said this book met my favorite tropes? Yeah, that’s one of them.
I also, of course, have to mention Tink. He’s a humorous brownie that Ivy takes care of. He has such a great personality! I don’t want to spoil things, so you’ll just have to read about his interactions.
The rest of the cast was really great, too. They all felt like fully formed characters!
The romance. Oh my goodness. I am such a sucker for fantasy books with romance, and this definitely had it! The dynamics between Ivy and Ren were so good! It wasn’t slow burn, but it wasn’t insta-love, either. They were both quickly interested in each other, though, but that’s more of lust than love, which I’m okay with.
I loved reading about these two! Their interactions were so many different things; humorous, serious, and totally infectious. They had their moments where they wanted to kill each other, but they also had… other… moments. It was great!
There was some mystery between the two, which was another excellent piece of this romance. They both had secrets, but those secrets can only unravel if they trust each other. Loved that.
Also, like I said, some of my favorite tropes. For example, it had one of those lets-act-like-we’re-kissing-but-we’re-not-really-acting scenes. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you read it!
This is my first time ever finishing an audiobook, and I really don’t know why I hadn’t listened to one sooner. The audiobook was narrated by Amy Landon and published through Tantor Audio. It was such a good read!
I really loved how Amy Landon had different voices for all the dialogue of the different characters. I was obsessed with the voice Amy Landon used for Tink!
I found myself often sitting in my chair, eyes closed, just enjoying listening. It was that good! I totally recommend the audiobook addition of this book.
Overall, I gave this book a five star rating. It ticked off all my boxes!
Voice: Witty and fun
Characters: Distinct, Believable
Plot / Pacing: Interesting plot, pacing was great, I was glued to the book.
Romance: Wasn’t insta-love, but there was lust beforehand. Some of my favorite tropes!
Audiobook: Seriously amazing. Why hadn’t I listened to audiobooks sooner?!
Rating: 5/5 Stars