Across the Room: Another heart-pounding adventure from Jenna Moreci, this tale follows the same storyline and timing as "The Savior’s Champion." This time, however, we get to see things from Leila’s POV. Let me be the first to tell you, this one’s much much darker, and I’m here for it.
Temperature: Hypothermic: This book starts off *dark*. Young Leila is a force to be reckoned with, and her ire only grows from there. Rarely did I feel any hope, but when I did, it was masterfully done.
Heart Rate: Normal Rate and Rhythm: Jenna has a fantastic feel for the pacing of a story. The slow is never too slow, and the fast is never too fast.
Blood Pressure: Normotensive: Reading "The Savior’s Champion" helped me understand some of the nuances of the story. However, this side of the storyline is also intriguing, and I found myself fully immersed and ready to take a bullet for Leila.
Respirations: Regular rate, some irregular rhythm: The biggest flaw I see with these characters are that some of them seem to be just "evil for the sake of being evil". I still have a hard time following Brontes’s motivations, here. I’m told what he wants, sure, but I still get a lot of "Dark Lord" vibes from him. It’s not a trope I was anticipating in this book, especially with how "protective" he seemed in book 1.
Oxygenation: Well-oxygenated. Jenna’s prose is so vivid. It’s not as flowery as some of the other books I’ve read, but her style works well for this storyline. It doesn’t need to be flowery, it just needs to get the point across.
Work of Breathing: I had no trouble at all staying immersed in this book. Once again, I finished it in one 8-hour sitting.
Family: Dark Fantasy/ Romance
Medical: Jenna’s grammar and writing style are amazing. I’ve discovered that her specific author’s voice just hits me in *all* the good feels.
Psychiatric: Some of the relationships, like Leila’s closest friends, are great. However, I discovered that the majority of her relationships were quite dysfunctional. Almost to the point of me questioning Leila’s mental health. However, with the big-reveal, all of my questions and concerns fell into place. I don’t want to assume, but something tells me that this was what Jenna was going for.
Socio-economic: Marketed and reads as dark fantasy romance for adults.
Head to Toe Assessment
Head and Face: I just love the cover. I actually reached out to Jenna and asked who her cover artist was! If I’d found this in a bookstore, it would be in my bag immediately.
Neck: Once again, I’m hooked from the get-go with another jaw-dropping intro. I was doomed from page 1 to never put this book down until it was finished.
Chest: Just like with book 1, the stakes were high at the beginning and just *skyrocketed* from there.
Abdomen and Flanks: I’m incredibly grateful to have read "The Savior’s Champion" first. While this one takes place at the same time as book one, there is an air of confusion that would have gripped me had I not known what happened on Tobias’s side of the story. Needless to say, while this may be a "companion" book, I’d recommend reading it as a sequel.
Perineum: Leila’s breaking point was visceral. It was around this part of the story that I found myself questioning Leila’s mental health, as well as my own support of her story arc. Not only did Jenna manage to make this Leila’s breaking point, it was *mine* as well.
Extremities: The big reveal! This time, the big reveal fell just a tiny bit flat for me. While I was relieved to seethe my support of Leila wasn’t unfounded, I was also a bit disappointed to see Brontes’s story arc as the "Evil for being evil" trope.
Backside: Though it ended exactly the same as "The Savior’s Champion", the falling action in this instalment felt a lot less rushed. I didn’t have a massive amount of exposition through dialog to sift through, and the ending felt a bit more organic than the last one.
Prognosis: I would give this one a "Very good" (4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 on Goodreads). There were some minor complaints I had about a couple of the tropes used in this POV of the tournament, but I was overall impressed. I absolutely *love* Jenna Moreci’s writing style, and she’s found a lifelong fan in me.
Once again, here is my link for my "Triage" formula. (I'll stop posting these someday):
Stay safe. Stay sane. Keep healthy. Keep smiling. Much love!