Caitsbooks Reviews The Damned by Renee Ahdieh (4.5 Stars)

The Damned (The Beautiful #2) by Renee Ahdieh – (Review)

Thank you so much to PenguinTeen for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! All thoughts and opinions are my own. All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change.

Overall: 4.5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: The Damned is a fantastic sequel; expanding on the world and characters, building on the plot, and answering so many of my questions from the first book.

“It is never too late to chase the better version of yourself.”

[ Related: The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Ahdieh – I’m Obsessed, But Not Everyone Will Be (ARC Review) ]

// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Assault, Gun Violence, Panic Attacks, Suicide, Murder, PTSD, Racism, Misogyny //

Release Date: 7/7/2020
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 456
Premise:

The Damned is the sequel to The Beautiful, and takes place directly after the events of the first book. I can’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to spoil anything, but if you liked this first book, then you definitely want to pick this one up.

“The higher hatred burns, the more it destroys.”

Read more for all of my thoughts on The Damned!

Writing & Setting

I absolutely adore Renee Ahdieh’s writing style. I just need to make that clear. It’s beautiful, with so much depth and description. Her dialogue flows perfectly, with great banter and some fun humor. Her writing seems to get better and better with every book.

The setting of this book is another standout aspectThe Beautiful was dark and atmospheric, vague and mysterious, and The Damned is definitely atmospheric, but much less vague. The world-building is much clearer, with the supernatural creatures and their histories explained in depth.

“The dark does not pretend to be something it isn’t. And I’ve had my fill of the light.”

Plot

This book answers a lot of questions and leaves you with even more questions. This series is still more character-focused than plot-focused, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a plot. The Damned seemed a lot more action-packed than The Beautiful, but the pacing is still a little on the slower side. It definitely picks up in the second act, and by the end, there is quite a lot happening at once. Speaking of that ending- yeah I’m still in shock.

“Fire was necessary to forge a weapon of steel.”

Characters

Where the focus of The Beautiful was predominately on Celine, The Damned pays much closer attention to Bastien. We barely see Celine until the second act. But, honestly, I didn’t mind- Bastien has such amazing character growth over this book, and so much to deal with, that it never bothered me that Celine was sidelined for a little while. However, she gets some amazing moments as well.

Every character in this book is extremely well developed. This cast of characters is so fun to read about. I would read an entire spin-off series about Odette, Jae, or Arjun, I love them so much.

“Blood begets more blood.”

Conclusion

Pros- Amazing character development
Cons- A little slow at first
Overall- 4.5/5 stars.
The Damned is an amazing second installment in a series that you don’t want to miss.

“Every setting sun brought the promise of a rising dawn. A tomorrow that could change the course of today.”

If You Liked The Damned, I’d Recommend:

Bonus! More quotes I loved (because this book really is quotable)

“Hatred should never prevail over love.”

“The silliness of mortals. Your God will not help you now.”

“Men were the worst kind of heroes. Riddled with flaws they refused to see.”

“Feel your anger, but do not succumb to it, for it will be your end.”

“There is no such path. And I am no one’s hero. So I choose the way of destruction.”

“With enough fear, you can stoke hatred until it becomes a wildfire, burning everything that stands in your way.”

“But the deepest cuts can come from the smallest blade.”

“Beauty often masks the decay beneath.”

“It was easy for a man to be kind and generous in times of plenty. The real measure of a man was what he did and said in times of difficulty.”

“I have loved you in both my lives. I will love you in all the rest to come.”

What’s your favorite vampire book?






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