ARC Review – The Damned by Renée Ahdieh

Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien.

Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review and can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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

This book picks up at the ending of The Beautiful. Bastien has been turned into a Vampire and Celine has lost all memory of him. When the Brotherhood learn another Vampire has been created, something that goes against the treaty all hell breaks loose. Not only does Bastien have a city of Werewolves after him to deal with, but Celine is remembering things that shouldn’t be possible and as more and more of her memories come to the surface, so does something about her past. Something unthinkable, something that she’s not sure she wants. Especially when she learns it could be the one thing to truly keep her and Bastien apart.

Though this is obviously Celine and Bastiens book, the author gives us a multitude of perspectives to read from. We learn more about the History of the Court of Lions and the backstories of it’s members, as well as the story behind how Emilie, Bastiens sister, came to become a Werewolf and her reasoning for her actions. This added a whole extra depth to the story, making all the side characters come to life and ensuring you fall a little in love with every single one. Bastien spends the majority of the book coming to terms with the fact he is now one of the Fallen, a life he never envisioned for himself and certainly never asked for. The worst thing about it though, is that he feels like he no longer deserves Celine, and staying away from her may be the hardest thing he has ever had to do. Celine is sure the people around her are lying to her. She has flashes of memories and nightmares about a faceless boy dying in her arms, but between her best friend Pippa, and saviour Micheal she is kept busy enough to try and keep those memories at bay. They both have an awful lot of character growth in this book, filled with revelations about their pasts and their undecided future.

This book was well paced, with no chance of it falling into second book syndrome. Though, in the grand scheme of things, not a lot happens until nearer the end the author builds the story by giving us the history of, not just the characters, but the magical world in general. We get introduced to a whole host of other magical beings, some of which play a massive part in the general plot. We learn how Vampires and Werewolves were exiled from their world and left to survive in the mortal one we know and love, and how that exile formed the resentment that still holds today between the Fallen and the Brotherhood.

The authors writing style is delicious. Inviting you to take bit after bite with an ending that leaves you hungry for more. Lush and rich I could almost taste the words on my tongue, and this is one of my main reasons for loving the book. Her descriptive writing brings New Orleans to life, with the smells and sights as well as the snippets of French, you easily fin yourself transported to a world, I for one, did not want to come back from.

As with most of the authors works the romance plays a large part in the story line, and boy was this book filled with steamy moments, heated glances and lingering touches. We already know the depth of the characters feelings for one another, but seeing Celine regain her memory bit by bit, knowing that she feels something for this boy but not sure what it is. Seeing Bastien struggle to keep his promise and keep his distance from Celine, even when he see’s her with his mortal enemy. The romance is all kinds of tortured and I am so here for it.

Like the first book we get an ending that had me write knuckled, on the edge of my seat and desperately wishing that book 3 was out sooner than it is. We are left with a multitude of questions, as well as heartbreak and the desperate hope that everything will turn out alright, but I know how much this author likes torturing her readers so I’m not holding out much hope. All in all I enjoyed this book more than the first and am eagerly awaiting the final book in the series.


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