All of Us Villains takes seven kids from seven magical families and locks them away within a competition. Part Hunger Games, part Tri-Wizard Tournament, All of Us Villains gives readers a character-driven story about what it means to be powerful in a world that marks you as a villain.
All of Us Villains has got to be one of the best books I have read this year. One of the taglines for promoting this book says, “You Fell in Love with the Victors of the Hunger Games. Now Prepare to Meet the Villains of the Blood Veil.” Talk about a great way to build up the hype for this novel. Of course, being a Hunger Games fan, I was immediately hooked but wondered would it live up to my expectations?
In this world, magick lives, but high magick is rare. So in the town of Ilvernath, seven families, to save their city and their lives, devised the competition as a means of making the magick fair game. Survive, and your family controls the wellspring. Well, someone in this tiny little town publicized the horrors of this cursed game because it is a curse as far as magic is concerned, and now they have caught the eye of the media and the world.
It is a high-tension story between four different perspectives, four challengers, and their plans to survive the Blood Veil. But there is more than just survival; there is history. Locations, magical points that differ with their traps and safeties, and have different defenses and relics that fall from the sky, each with its own magical enhancement. Each item offers the readers and the characters more history of the curse that forces them to kill one another.
There is excellent plot development, unique twists, turns, and the tension and pace they build off of one another to create this fantastic story that keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end.
However, the best thing about All of Us Villains are the characters. All of Us Villains is a character-driven novel.
These characters are raised to be villains, feared, and hated by the townspeople. But more importantly, they are pitted against one another, others they would have been friends with if the circumstances were different. Since childhood, they are reared to be powerful and not fall short because doing so would mean death.
This leads to a lot of complex characterization. The characters struggle with their internal conflicts, grief, anger, and the consequences of their actions. Some even struggle with the love they hold, both familial and romantic.
To see the internal struggle of the characters and how it adds to their development makes them incredibly engaging characters. They evolve and keep the reader guessing because they are supposed to be the villains.
So there’s a lot to unpack regarding their personalities and growth.
All of Us Villains is one of the best books I’ve read this year. It is masterful, engaging, and wonderfully unpredictable from beginning to end.
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|Pub Date: November 9, 2021||Page Count: 400pp||Age Range: 13 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-1-2507-8925-9||Publisher: Tor Teen||List Price: $18.99|