25092129

3 star

A bloody path has been chosen… 

The war against the Titans continues, and they remain determined to wreak havoc on the world, but Seth has become something all gods fear. Now the most dangerous, most absolute power no longer resides in those who have been freed from their tombs. 

The Great War fought by the few is coming… 

All may doubt and fear what Seth has become. All except the one woman who might be his final chance at redemption. Josie will do anything to prove that Seth is on their side, but fate has a nasty way of changing lives, of changing people. 

In the end, the sun will fall… 

The only way they can save the future and save themselves is by facing the unknown together. It will take more than trust and faith. It will take love and the kind of strength not easily broken. No matter what, their lives will never be the same. 

For what the gods have feared has come to pass. The end of the old is here and the beginning of the new has been ushered in…

The Struggle suffers greatly from second book syndrome. The pacing is incredibly slow, nothing exciting happens for a large portion of the novel, and there’s no meaningful character development. Nevertheless, Armentrout excels at creating interesting and badass characters that keep the reader interested in their story and conclusion.

I went into The Struggle expecting it to be another epic instalment in this series, but, unfortunately, the novel is almost solely dedicated to setting up events for the next, and presumably, final novel. I usually do enjoy novels that are paced more slowly and simmer in the world that the author has created, but The Struggle finds itself in an almost awkward position. Being part of such an epic world, established by previous novels that are chockfull of action and faster pacing, The Struggle cannot help but fall flat. The story does progress in a linear fashion to keep the plot moving along, but it moves so slowly it feels as if a large portion of the novel is at a stand still. It also doesn’t help when some of the action takes place outside of Seth and Josie’s perspectives.

Due to the slower pace, the reader is able to spend more time with the other characters from the previous novels, namely Alex and Aiden. Anytime spent with Alex and Aiden is time well spent. They have such a commanding presence within each scene because of how badass they are and their back-story. This commanding presence does overshadow Josie significantly within this novel because of her particular arc and personality. Josie is just as badass as Alex, but in different ways. Josie is a lot more of a relatable character because she’s only been recently thrust into this world, so as I reader I was better able to identify with her over Alex. Josie’s more reserved nature coupled with fierce loyalty makes for a compelling character regardless of the situation she finds herself in.

Seth is an interesting character in that he’s unique because of the events in the Covenant series. Seth is an alpha male who is always willing and able to thrown down whenever he’s confronted or annoyed. These types of male characters are always interesting to read because they’re full of witty remarks and their transition of alpha male to slightly less alpha male with emotions is a thrilling ride. However, Seth in The Struggle is the same Seth from The Return and the Covenant series. I was expecting him to develop and learn from his mistakes, considering he repeats them throughout the novel, but up until the last few pages he still makes the same choices.

In spite of the slower pace, the plot with the Titans and Apollo is fleshed out remarkably. Armentrout does a fantastic job of keeping their goal shrouded in mystery while introducing upcoming key players on both sides of the battle. The plot that has to be untangled in the next novel has me waiting on the edge of my seat impatiently because of all the cause and effect that The Struggle sets up. Armentrout has created an interesting pattern for the characters’ actions. Based on what’s hinted at, there are a lot of consequences yet to be dolled out with more on the horizon.

Armentrout’s writing style is flawless. Her ability to write believable quick-witted dialogue that flows easily from one character to the next is second to none. There were times I was laughing out loud, in public, at the exchanges between characters. I also enjoyed all the pop culture references hidden within the text. You know you’re reading a Jennifer L. Armentrout book when Supernatural and The Walking Dead are casually dropped in a conversation.

 

Overall, The Struggle is a decent novel in the series. It suffers from second book syndrome because of the lack of balance between progressing the story at a steady pace versus setting up key plot points for the next book. I am still greatly anticipating the next novel because these are some of my all-time favorite characters and the upcoming fight against the Titans and Gods will be too delicious to pass up.

 

**I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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