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All of Us Villains

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The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins. Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world--one thought long depleted. This year, th The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins. Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world--one thought long depleted. This year, thanks to a salacious tell-all book, the seven champions are thrust into worldwide spotlight, granting each of them new information, new means to win, and most importantly: a choice - accept their fate or rewrite their story. But this is a story that must be penned in blood.


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The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins. Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world--one thought long depleted. This year, th The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins. Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world--one thought long depleted. This year, thanks to a salacious tell-all book, the seven champions are thrust into worldwide spotlight, granting each of them new information, new means to win, and most importantly: a choice - accept their fate or rewrite their story. But this is a story that must be penned in blood.

30 review for All of Us Villains

  1. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    ‘the hunger games’ with magic, you say? im sold. this is the kind of story that has something for everyone - a really unique magic system, interesting characters who have depth and amazing development, a high-stakes plot with a gruesome history, and really easy to binge-read writing/storytelling. for me, i found the characters to be the highlight of the novel. especially alistair and gavin. i personally have a thing for tortured souls, so i couldnt help but love them. my only critique would be t ‘the hunger games’ with magic, you say? im sold. this is the kind of story that has something for everyone - a really unique magic system, interesting characters who have depth and amazing development, a high-stakes plot with a gruesome history, and really easy to binge-read writing/storytelling. for me, i found the characters to be the highlight of the novel. especially alistair and gavin. i personally have a thing for tortured souls, so i couldnt help but love them. my only critique would be that, with a title like ‘all of us villains,’ i wanted more villainy. the synopsis makes this sound like ‘the hunger games,’ but all of the participants are careers with magic. so i was expecting really ruthless, bloodthirsty, cruel antiheroes. but they arent. theres maybe one character whos morally grey, at best. i was really disappointed to see that they were just a bunch of kids putting on a front for their families. theyre more martyrs than the true, dark villains i was hoping for. but luckily things do change right at the end. it starts to get really good in terms of deception and mistrust, so i have a feeling the next book will be more villainous. cant wait! thank you so much macmillan-tor/forge for the ARC!! ↠ 4 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Yes! Hell yeah! Million times yes for GOT style bloodier version of Hunger Games meets Maze Runner with merciless violence and darkness with Tarantino meets V. E. Schwab vibes and let’s put a little Inheritance Games resemblances into the equation...voila! This book is too delicious and too terrifying to absorb in one bite or consume in one sit! World building centered on power of MagicK is amazing! Seven families send one of their selected member to a suicide mission: a vicious blood sucking co Yes! Hell yeah! Million times yes for GOT style bloodier version of Hunger Games meets Maze Runner with merciless violence and darkness with Tarantino meets V. E. Schwab vibes and let’s put a little Inheritance Games resemblances into the equation...voila! This book is too delicious and too terrifying to absorb in one bite or consume in one sit! World building centered on power of MagicK is amazing! Seven families send one of their selected member to a suicide mission: a vicious blood sucking competition for fighting to the death every twenty years. The victor would award their family exclusive claim over Ilvernarth’s high magick, a claim that expired upon the beginning of next cycle, when the tournament began anew. Historically Lowe family dominated: for every three tournaments, they won two. Alistair is the one who will represent the Lowe family, who is one of the narrators of the story, a true cold blooded, calculated villain who already got fooled by his rival Isobel at the bar before the entire madness had a start! Isobel,Gavin and Briony are other voices telling their own complex, bleak, blood thirsty adventures. Their different family histories, quiet opposite approaches to the competition, their motives, the pressure they carry to learn the best hunter for not being a miserable victim were attention worthy, picking your entire interest! The character driven story telling and so many jaw dropping twists, too many OMG, WTH moments and screams later you find yourself nailed to your couch! No freaking way! You cannot put it down! Overall: exciting, wild, gory, head spinning, entertaining and highly disturbing but also recommended novel for the genre fans! Special thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan- Tor/ Forge for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  3. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Once every generation, in the city of Ilvernath, seven families must choose a champion who will represent them in a tournament where the contestants fight to the death. The prize is an inexhaustible supply of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world. The winner gains control over that magick for their family until the next tournament. Obviously, this is extremely important and puts a whole load of pressure onto the teenage contestants. With this particular tournament, thanks to a recent Once every generation, in the city of Ilvernath, seven families must choose a champion who will represent them in a tournament where the contestants fight to the death. The prize is an inexhaustible supply of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world. The winner gains control over that magick for their family until the next tournament. Obviously, this is extremely important and puts a whole load of pressure onto the teenage contestants. With this particular tournament, thanks to a recently released tell-all book, the contestants are thrust into the spotlight like never before. Will the contestants be able to use this difference to their advantage, or will it distract them to the point of death? Can anything ever change the cycle of the Tournament? Does their world have to be this way? All of Us Villains is basically The Hunger Games if it were fought exclusively by members of Slytherin House. Well, Slytherins and maybe one Gryffindor. If you read this statement and you're thinking, why would I want to read that? I've read those stories. I want something new. I will just stress, this is something new! Even though it channels those vibes. Cue the vibe of Knockturn Alley at night in the midst of a thunderstorm, this is its own thing. I loved how the authors formatted this, with the Reader finding out who the champion of each house would be along with the rest of the citizens of Ilvernath. Following some of the contestants perspectives, we get to know each one of them and the challenges they face in pursuit of their goals. There's plotting, scheming, strategizing and like a good season of Survivor, a lot of alliances. The writing in this story is just beautiful. It's exceptionally detailed, lush and dramatic. I could definitely feel both Foody and Herman within these pages; the darkness, monsters, violence, despair, but also highly developed and likable characters, even in all their antihero-ness. Honestly, these two authors working together is everything I have ever wanted. I feel like they have created something truly memorable here. You may be wondering after all of my gushing, why I only gave this 4-stars, as opposed to 5. For me, I don't think I ever truly understood the magic system. I am not sure if it is because I was so distracted by the characters themselves, that perhaps I missed out on some details, but I feel like there was something missing. With this being said, I still really enjoyed this story and would love to read it again actually. Most likely, before the next book is released, I will do so. Basically, this book is the love child of Draco Malfoy and Katniss Everdeen. It's amazing and feels like a dark fantasy reader's dreams come true. Yep, that's right. Thank you so much to the publishers, Tor Teen and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint. I cannot wait for more collaborative efforts from these authors!!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    chan ☆

    atmosphere? 10/10 everything else.. eh? don't get me wrong this was a really fun read but i was expecting more twists and more ~fun time~ killings. reluctant murder is not as fun when the premise of the book is a magical murder-y hunger games. and the title implies villainy. i think this really could have popped the fuck off if it were an adult story. like give me TRUE violence and stakes and grey morality please. atmosphere? 10/10 everything else.. eh? don't get me wrong this was a really fun read but i was expecting more twists and more ~fun time~ killings. reluctant murder is not as fun when the premise of the book is a magical murder-y hunger games. and the title implies villainy. i think this really could have popped the fuck off if it were an adult story. like give me TRUE violence and stakes and grey morality please.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    "Monsters couldn't harm you if you were a monster, too." I would die for Alistair Lowe. That's it; that's the review. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy. "Monsters couldn't harm you if you were a monster, too." I would die for Alistair Lowe. That's it; that's the review. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    Oh god, you guys. What a travesty this doesn’t come out in time for Halloween. All of Us Villains is exactly the scheming, twisted fantasy book that I didn’t even know I needed. Think evil magic Hunger Games—smaller in scale but twice as Vicious. Every generation there is a tournament. Marked by the Blood Moon over the secluded town of Ilvernath, seven families come together and offer a champion from their bloodlines to compete for a chance at immense power. High magick has long since left the wo Oh god, you guys. What a travesty this doesn’t come out in time for Halloween. All of Us Villains is exactly the scheming, twisted fantasy book that I didn’t even know I needed. Think evil magic Hunger Games—smaller in scale but twice as Vicious. Every generation there is a tournament. Marked by the Blood Moon over the secluded town of Ilvernath, seven families come together and offer a champion from their bloodlines to compete for a chance at immense power. High magick has long since left the world, used up recklessly thousands of years ago….or so it was thought. The only remaining source of this long-lost resource resides in Ilvernath, tied to the seven families and their generational curse. Only one family line may claim the magick, and only after defeating the other six competitors by winning the tournament in a fight to the death. And in order to protect this bloody legacy, all involved have kept the event a secret. Up until now. Word has gotten out about this brutal practice and the world has descended on Ilvernath, ready to observe and judge the participants. With unprecedented scrutiny, will centuries of tradition finally snap under the pressure? Will champions from underestimated houses have better odds with this new wrench thrown into the chaos? “Our families kept this secret for centuries. Seems to me that means, on some level, we all know what we’ve been doing is wrong.” Thorburn. Payne. Grieve. Blair. Macaslan. Darrow. Lowe. Let the games begin. This book was all-consuming. I could not pick up another thing while I was still reading it. There’s something completely mesmerizing and addictive about the characters in All of Us Villains. They all commit some truly heinous acts, and for a wide range of reasons, but still you’re rooting for them to succeed. Part of that is probably based in their struggle for survival. Like The Hunger Games, each competitor’s own success is dependent on the misfortune of those around them. But the comparison would probably be more apt if instead of Katniss and Peeta the champions exclusively had the personalities of tributes from Districts 1 & 2. Some are proud to be there, others are resigned to it, but they all are more than willing and capable of killing one another. While there are seven champions, there’s only four perspectives in the book. You’ll probably be more invested in them than the other three, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be involved in everyone’s stories. Or that you’ll end up liking those four any better. In fact, getting inside their heads might be more of a turn off than observing them from a distance. I was so impressed with the way Amanda Foody and Christine Herman wrote these characters. They can be despicable one moment and endearing underdogs the next—you’re never quite sure which version you’re going to get. Expect your own loyalties to shift just as often as the characters’ do. At this point I do have to issue a warning to potential readers: this book ends on a massive cliffhanger. Honestly it’s such a big cliffhanger that it almost feels like they just chopped the last 25% of it off and sent it out that way. I guess I won’t be able to judge whether or not the sequel is a natural continuation of the story or not until it’s out (it’s not close to coming out), but I was totally caught off guard with how this ended. Okay, even more than that, I was M A D. Like, big mad. Honestly I’m still a little mad I can’t read the rest right this second. I know that’s probably a testament to the writing and how compelling this story was, but I’m sorry Tor Teen—you’ve created a monster. I am going to be lurking around, tapping on walls and rattling chains until you release the follow-up. As of now the page for it (Untitled) just says ”2022”, but I will be haunting you all until I have the resolution in hand. You have been warned!! *Thank you to lovely angel-cherub Lizzie the Tor Intern who sent me a widget and whoever at Tor Teen sent me a physical arc as well! And sorry that you’re probably going to regret giving this mouse her proverbial cookie!!!!!!!! **For more book talk & reviews, follow me on Instagram at @elle_mentbooks! “Monsters couldn’t harm you if you were a monster too.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lucie V.

    I received a SAMPLER of this book via NetGalley (thank you Macmillan-Tor/Forge). All thoughts and opinions are my own. **This is a review is for the whole book, not just the sampler** ✅ Morally grey characters (kinda) ✅ Magic ✅ Ruthless and cruel families ✅ Tournament to death ✅ Betrayals and shifting alliances ✅🆗 World-building 🆗 Kinda wannabe hate-to-love? ❗️❗️ Trigger warnings: murder, violence and mentions of suicide Monsters couldn’t harm you if you were a monster, too. There is definite I received a SAMPLER of this book via NetGalley (thank you Macmillan-Tor/Forge). All thoughts and opinions are my own. **This is a review is for the whole book, not just the sampler** ✅ Morally grey characters (kinda) ✅ Magic ✅ Ruthless and cruel families ✅ Tournament to death ✅ Betrayals and shifting alliances ✅🆗 World-building 🆗 Kinda wannabe hate-to-love? ❗️❗️ Trigger warnings: murder, violence and mentions of suicide Monsters couldn’t harm you if you were a monster, too. There is definitely a Hunger Games vibe to this book with the whole “champions having to kill each other in a tournament”, but it's between 7 champions instead of 24 tributes. The selection process is also a little more complex. Instead of being picked at random, the champions are chosen by their families, and you can see that while some of them want and need this opportunity, having been raised with this single goal in mind, others are just forced into the role by their family and would like nothing more than to have an escape that wouldn’t mean abandoning their family and being an outcast. “Every twenty years, we send seven teenagers into a massacre and reward the one who comes out with the most blood on their hands” In Ilvernath, there are seven families who have been fighting to control the high magick for centuries. They are all more rotten and despicable from one another, fighting to gain power. Every twenty years or so, during the Blood Moon, each of the seven families sends a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. The victor’s family wins exclusive access to Ilvernath’s high magick supply, until the next tournament. I would have liked to know a little more about world-building. It seems to be a Fantasy setting, yet there are photographs, paparazzi, and use of technology. There is mention of a government, but we don’t know much about the way the country/land is governed. It does not impact the story so far, but they’re little pieces of extra information that would have been interesting to know, and I hope that we will get these details in the next book. The Lowe family had always been the undisputed villains of their town’s ancient, bloodstained story, and no one understood that better than the Lowe brothers. Alistair Lowe Isobel Macaslan Elionor Payne Carbry Darrow Finley Blair Briony Thorburn Gavin Grieves Each chapter is told from a different point of view, allowing us to get inside some champions’ heads, and understand a little better the dynamics between the seven families, and their goals too. The chapters follow Alistair, Isobel, Gavin, and Briony and they are different from one another, yet they all share some common traits (including being ruthless, resilient, and willing to kill others); Alistair is wicked and vicious, yet he would do anything for his brother and wants his family to be proud of him and to love him. Isobel is her family’s champion because she is the strongest, but she never wanted to be part of the tournament and is stuck between her loyalty to her family, and her desire to flee. Gavin comes from the weakest family, the one everyone makes fun of, the one that never ever won a tournament, and he is determined to prove to everyone that the Grieves family is worth something (and he does have a ruthless and cold side that surprised me). Finally, there is Briony, born and bred to be a champion, she couldn’t wait to prove to everyone her worth and to be remembered as a strong and mighty champion (and ended up being the one trying to convince everyone to stop fighting...). I find it interesting also that some characters had a history together, before the whole tournament was revealed to the public, and before they were kind of forced to cut ties with kids from the other families. Some were best friends or involved romantically, which will no doubt add a layer of complexity to the plot when will come the time to kill or be killed. The weak romance that was dropped in the second part of the story was not the best though, It felt forced and weak, and while it did add some extra "ouch-you-betrayed-me-even-if-we-kinda-love-each-other" to the story and a little complexity to the champions' feelings, it was not really necessary to the plot and was not very well developed either. There are no friends here. Only people you kill now, and people you kill later. The first third of the book is all about getting a hang of the working of the tournament and magic system and getting to know the champions, but after that, it's a fest of magical attacks, shifting alliances, and betrayals. It just does not stop. As soon as an alliance is formed, there are already plans to betray the others or to ally with someone else, and even with the 4 characters we were following more closely, we had no idea of what they would decide to do when faced with a threat or an opportunity to further advance in the tournament. I couldn't stop reading it, and I will definitely read the second book when it comes out. This is a very entertaining read that I recommend for any fan of Hunger Games type of books, stories full of dark magic, shifting alliances and betrayals, and characters that could be described as morally grey and vicious.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    A tournament of Terror! Calling all villains, it’s time for the Tri-Wizard contest. Oops. Not the tri-wizard contest but the tournament for all the magick. So, when I started this, I thought is this a mash up of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games????? Well, it gave me the vibes of H.P. initially if H.P. is a Villain from a villainous family who is fighting for all the magick, but this one is dark, and check out that cover, and grab yourself a copy! The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. A tournament of Terror! Calling all villains, it’s time for the Tri-Wizard contest. Oops. Not the tri-wizard contest but the tournament for all the magick. So, when I started this, I thought is this a mash up of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games????? Well, it gave me the vibes of H.P. initially if H.P. is a Villain from a villainous family who is fighting for all the magick, but this one is dark, and check out that cover, and grab yourself a copy! The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins. Every generation in the remote city of Ilvernath, seven families name one of their own as a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. Nothing says I love you like sending one of your children out to fight and potentially die. The odds are not in their favor (see what I did there?) but the payoff is huge. If you win- you win BIG. You get control over a secret wellspring of magick. But is it worth your life? This was a delightfully/wickedly magical tale, and I can’t stop fangirling over it. There are quite a few characters, but I found it was easy to tell them apart. I had a favorite - Alistair, but there are others, and you may find yourself rooting for one of them! The authors did a good job setting the stage, giving the characters distinct personalities and backstories. By the end of the book, I was anxious and a little well, upset. That goes to show just how well the authors did with making characters you root for, feel for, and want to boo and hiss at. There is going to be another book and I am looking forward to it as this one ends with things left hanging. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It had me from the start and I was busy trying to find excuses to listen to the audio. A great book which had me wanting more! Dark, magical, and deadly. Monsters aren't always what or who you think they are, or are they? Thank you to Macmillan Audio, Macmillan Young Listeners and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lia Carstairs

    "Their story had never been destined for a happy ending." Well, that was super disappointing... and here I was having such a good streak with the books I was reading💀 I definitely jinxed it. [image error] All of Us Villains had so much potential. Like a hunger games retelling?? With a cast of teens from villainous and bloodthirsty families??? HOW DOES THAT NOT SOUND AMAZING?? Yet unfortunately all that potential and it was wasted. I cannot believe that it took almost half of the book for "Their story had never been destined for a happy ending." Well, that was super disappointing... and here I was having such a good streak with the books I was reading💀 I definitely jinxed it. [image error] All of Us Villains had so much potential. Like a hunger games retelling?? With a cast of teens from villainous and bloodthirsty families??? HOW DOES THAT NOT SOUND AMAZING?? Yet unfortunately all that potential and it was wasted. I cannot believe that it took almost half of the book for the actual tournament to start??🤡 Like I get the whole setting up and everything but my god... the way I was bored to death. The four main characters were so bland. The only one I came close to liking was Gavin -- HE actually acted like a good villain and wasn't a complete fool. Coming from a hated and loser family, he strives for success -- not for his family, but for himself. He's willing to do anything to win this tournament and is not at all afraid to resort to killing in the most brutal manner. Alistair, Isobel, and Briony were just plain boring. I guess the authors tried going for having the bRoOdInG bAd BoY of the highest ranking family to secretly be a tortured character whom we fall in love with but it all really fell flat. Briony has a hero complex and is so annoying I couldn't stand her. Isobel's slighting better but still a fool. I rolled my eyes at the interactions between the characters because I could not for the life of me take them seriously. I believe I had too high expectations for this but i mean who wouldn't with that blurb??. I expected more villainy and ruthlessness but didn't get that. Also, the ending was so obvious from the very beginning that I really question the intelligence of these characters. Like you just know it's super obvious when I -- of all people -- am able to predict the ending. Only one of them got it but the rest ahahaha- I will admit though that the turn this book went at the end was pretty interesting but I don't care enough to continue the series. Who knows how bored I'd be reading that. I warn all who go into this book to not have too high expectations and then maybe you'll enjoy this a lot more than I did. Thank you so much Tor Teen for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!! _________ i jinxed it. _________ two five stars in a row, i have a good feeling abt this one😌 _________ i cant believe i actually got the ARC for this omg😭😭 hunger games retelling here i come

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mareeva

    3.5 stars Simultaneously impressed and disappointed. 💍 the "villains" in this story are not villainous enough for my tastes. Although, they do make for some morally grey characters and I liked how several got progressively more vicious. 💍 It was boring for a while there not gonna lie. But picked up when darker shit started happening. 💍 Surprisingly not much death for a plot that circles around main characters trying to kill each other off. 💍 Excellent development of each character. All of them had 3.5 stars Simultaneously impressed and disappointed. 💍 the "villains" in this story are not villainous enough for my tastes. Although, they do make for some morally grey characters and I liked how several got progressively more vicious. 💍 It was boring for a while there not gonna lie. But picked up when darker shit started happening. 💍 Surprisingly not much death for a plot that circles around main characters trying to kill each other off. 💍 Excellent development of each character. All of them had very distinctive personalities, some more over the top than others *cough* Alistair I'm looking at you. 💍 The writing is very straightforward, almost too much so. Not much of "reading between the lines" or studying a character's actions for a deeper meaning if you know what I mean. 💍 Lot's of label throwing of them being "Villains". I get that they are dubious characters some of whom have been painted as villains their entire life and some the complete opposite, and through the tournament, we realise they aren't as "good" or "bad" as those labels paint them to be. I get all that but it still annoyed me every time someone said the word "villain"😀 💍 Random but Alistair and Isobel's "love story" had the same energy as the Addams family and Weasley's coming together to make a love child💀💀 MY EXPECTATIONS FOR THE NEXT BOOK 💍 I genuinely hope they can't end this tournament with everyone alive because that would be HIGHLY disappointing. Whether they end it or not, I want them bodies piling up. Chop chop. 💍 I wouldn't be mad if Gavin dies. Logically I know he's least likely to die because pesky characters like him always survive🙄. He is that one guy who tries really hard to be good at something but fails no matter what he does, and it's a pitiful sight. Just end his misery. Once again I realise none of these expectations will probably come true. AND THAT IS WHY I don't read Young Adult books about Villains. Not ruthless enough, never ruthless enough. PS: The audiobook had a chapter missing and two others coming later than in the ebook.....what's up with that...? PS PS: Just noticed how many quotation marks I used in this review lmaooo. The uncertainty describes my feelings about this book pretty perfectly.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ilikebooksbest.com ❤️

    Magick and Mayhem! In the city of Ilvernath, there was a well of high magick which was thought to be gone from the earth. In each generation a champion was chosen from each of the seven cursed families. The tournament and the vein of high magick were a secret until last year when someone from one of the seven families wrote a tell all book about it and now the reporters and cursemongers have descended upon the town. Those chosen champions fought in a tournament to the death and the winner bestowe Magick and Mayhem! In the city of Ilvernath, there was a well of high magick which was thought to be gone from the earth. In each generation a champion was chosen from each of the seven cursed families. The tournament and the vein of high magick were a secret until last year when someone from one of the seven families wrote a tell all book about it and now the reporters and cursemongers have descended upon the town. Those chosen champions fought in a tournament to the death and the winner bestowed his family with the right to control the high magick. Allistair Lowe - the Lowe family wins 2 out of every 3 tournaments and Allistair is the favorite to win. The Lowes are hated by all in Ilvernath, though Allistair and his brother Hendry often sneak out of their mansion and go into Ilvernath to get away, to drink and to see what goes on in town. Allistair is a villain but wants to win so that Hendry doesn’t have to mourn him. Isobel Macaslan - when the reporters and cursemongers came to town not long after the book, “A Tradition of Tragedy” was released, they immediately named Isobel as the champion often Macaslan family and she became an unwitting media darling. Though her family hadn’t yet named her as their champion it was pretty much a done deal. Gavin Grieve - the Grieve family were the bad name in town. They were usually the first to die in the tournament and no spellmaker has ever allied with the Grieve family. Though Gavin had made a point to study hard, lift weights and prepare himself for the tournament as best he could, he was at a severe disadvantage because he basically had to train himself. Briony Thorburn - she knows she is the best choice in her family to be the champion. Her family has a series of trials to find out who is worthy of being the family champion but when it comes down to the last trial, she finds a corrupt government has made a deal with her family and her sister is chosen over her. “He tilted his head up, stared into the hazy sky. In less than two weeks, those clouds would turn the crimson color of high magick, like a red-tinged shroud draped over Ilvernath, and the tournament would begin. The Blood Veil would lighten a little bit with every champion’s death, until at last, when only one remained, true day and night would return and seemingly wash all the blood away, just like that.?” I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own. Blog|Goodreads|Facebook|Instagram|Twitter|BookBub

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie Colson

    If you took the characters of Vicious, gave them the magic of Harry Potter and put them all in the Hunger Games that would be this book. It such my vibe that I don't even know if I can be subjective. I honestly don't know if other people will love this or not. I sure as hell did. But that could be because this book is tailor made for me. I am well and truly obsessed. I can't begin to think about how long I'm going to have to wait for book 2. I'll start spiraling. Have you seen this cover. STUNNING. If you took the characters of Vicious, gave them the magic of Harry Potter and put them all in the Hunger Games that would be this book. It such my vibe that I don't even know if I can be subjective. I honestly don't know if other people will love this or not. I sure as hell did. But that could be because this book is tailor made for me. I am well and truly obsessed. I can't begin to think about how long I'm going to have to wait for book 2. I'll start spiraling. Have you seen this cover. STUNNING. I love the plot, the setting, the magic, the characters, the relationships, all of it. READ THIS.

  13. 5 out of 5

    theresa

    When I originally heard All of Us Villains pitched as a dark magical Hunger Games I was immediately intrigued and knew it had the potential to become a new favourite book. While it didn’t quite reach favourite territory, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with All of Us Villains and recommend it to anyone looking for some villainy, a cool modern magic system and disaster teenagers just trying to survive. The magic system of this book has interested me since I first heard of it. This book takes place in When I originally heard All of Us Villains pitched as a dark magical Hunger Games I was immediately intrigued and knew it had the potential to become a new favourite book. While it didn’t quite reach favourite territory, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with All of Us Villains and recommend it to anyone looking for some villainy, a cool modern magic system and disaster teenagers just trying to survive. The magic system of this book has interested me since I first heard of it. This book takes place in the modern world imbued with magic. Spells are bought and sold in department stores and kept inside jewellery until they’re cast. I just think this is such a cool concept and I loved learning more about the magic system and lore of this world as the story progressed. In particular, I loved the exploration of family and tradition and the beginning of breaking the cycle through our competitors. All of Us Villains has four POV characters and I enjoyed reading from them all, though I definitely had my favourites. Each character had a distinct voice and motivations and I loved getting to know them. The characters are all morally grey and all struggle with their own villainy which was really fun to explore. The war between duty to family and this role they’ve been raised to fulfil and their own morals and desires was really well executed and I could sympathise with all of them. There was also an enemies / rivals to lovers romance which I adored; it brought new dimension to this struggle between duty and free choice and upped the stakes for the characters. This book kept me hooked right from the beginning and didn’t let me go. All of the characters, the competition and the intrigue were so enthralling that all I wanted to do was find out what happens next. Not knowing who the characters could trust and knowing that they each had the capacity to turn on each other at any moment had me on the edge of my seat. I highly recommend All of Us Villains, especially if you love explorations of morally grey characters, cool magic systems and a bit of a thriller element in your fantasy. I can’t wait to see what happens next! I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter *eARC received in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley*

  14. 4 out of 5

    booksNpenguins

    Hendry looked like he was fantasizing about meeting a cute girl, judging from how he kept fiddling with his curls and smoothing the wrinkles in his sleeves. Alistair was thinking about death. More specifically, about causing it. ACTUAL RATINGS 3,5/5 There goes one of my most anticipated and desired ARCs so far. As of right now I don't feel like rounding up the ratings of this book because it left me a little unsatisfied and it was definitely not the story I'd expected from a book that has Hendry looked like he was fantasizing about meeting a cute girl, judging from how he kept fiddling with his curls and smoothing the wrinkles in his sleeves. Alistair was thinking about death. More specifically, about causing it. ACTUAL RATINGS 3,5/5 There goes one of my most anticipated and desired ARCs so far. As of right now I don't feel like rounding up the ratings of this book because it left me a little unsatisfied and it was definitely not the story I'd expected from a book that has the word 'villains' in the title. To be honest, I went into this hoping the vibe would be similar to VE Schwab's Vicious, and that was perhaps a bad idea because I love that book and it probably only fueled my expectations. If anything, it reminded me more of The Night Circus, and if you've been following me for a couple years, now, you'd know I have mixed feelings about that book, as well. I mean, imagine starting a book advertised as a The Hunger Games retelling with magic, purposely hoping it'll be full of mean people who do mean things to one another, only to find out the characters have decided they've had enough and are ready to pull an Everlark any minute. The magic system is pretty original, but I had some trouble with the world building and the setting. To be honest, for the first 50 pages I couldn't tell where or when this story took place. Foody's writing, on the other hand, is exquisite as I remember it, and while I found the book a bit lacking on the plot front, I'm happy to say it was the exact opposite when it comes to the characters. They were created to be unforgettable and it's a pity they were thrown into a story that ironically outshined them with its dullness. __ ARC APPROVED! You can't see it, but I'm conspiratorialy twirling my evil mustache.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenna {semi-hiatus}

    🚨IT'S RELEASE DAY PEOPLE🚨 Can everyone please go and get this now so we can obsess over it together 😍 ”Blood before all.” Disturbing. Visceral. Bloody. Many people are comparing this to The Hunger Games (I agree!), but it also gave Tri-Wizard Tournament vibes (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) - except, instead of 4 champions, there are 7, and instead of a bunch of magical tasks, they only have one: kill each other - oop 🤭 These characters are vicious, villainous and out for blood (literally) 🚨IT'S RELEASE DAY PEOPLE🚨 Can everyone please go and get this now so we can obsess over it together 😍 ”Blood before all.” Disturbing. Visceral. Bloody. Many people are comparing this to The Hunger Games (I agree!), but it also gave Tri-Wizard Tournament vibes (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) - except, instead of 4 champions, there are 7, and instead of a bunch of magical tasks, they only have one: kill each other - oop 🤭 These characters are vicious, villainous and out for blood (literally), and you cannot help but root for them. The writing is addictive, the world and magic-system are enthralling, and the story will tangle you up in its vines of mystery and darkness and only release its hold once you’ve gotten nice and comfy and don’t want to leave…Seriously, that ending! 🥵 It felt like someone just suddenly cut off my supply of oxygen. From the very first page I was thrust into a magical new world and became instantly intrigued to find out more. These 7 champions are each part of 7 great families in a world where the most powerful type of magick (High Magick) has been eradicated [or so everyone thought]. Now, because of an age-old curse, every 20 years this power must be fought for via a deadly tournament where only 1 victor can prevail and grant their family possession of High Magick for the next cycle; then the tournament will begin anew. Aka: big yikes. The Lowe family has reigned supreme for generations, no matter how powerful other contenders have appeared - so why exactly has this bloodline been able to attain High Magick over others no matter what? However, this year, the stakes have changed - an exposé has revealed to the rest of the world the horrors of this challenge. So with the sudden media coverage and new-found ‘fame’ of each family, alliances must now be made and sponsors secured in order to ensure a victorious outcome. So basically, Shit gets real dark, as this not-so-secret-anymore “competition” is revealed for what it truly is - two words: LAMBS. SLAUGHTER. What is the true cost of this ancient curse that has fed off the blood of so many young lives? Sacrifices, betrayals, deceit and bloodthirsty, morally-grey teenagers - what more could I ask for really? It’s dark, it’s violent, it’s unforgiving, and I need more asap 🤧 Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

  16. 5 out of 5

    sam

    if someone gave you a book and said “did you ever wonder what it would be like if the hunger games and the maze runner had a baby? here take this” i’m pretty sure everyone would be like what the fuck? they are the og’s, what the young adult book community was built on. how could any other book compare? (i’m actually not a huge fan of those books tbh this is just me being dramatic.) all of us villains is a dark fantasy following seven champions as they compete in a deadly tournament called the blo if someone gave you a book and said “did you ever wonder what it would be like if the hunger games and the maze runner had a baby? here take this” i’m pretty sure everyone would be like what the fuck? they are the og’s, what the young adult book community was built on. how could any other book compare? (i’m actually not a huge fan of those books tbh this is just me being dramatic.) all of us villains is a dark fantasy following seven champions as they compete in a deadly tournament called the blood veil, that takes place once in every generation, to give their family total control of the most powerful magic there is. there’s back stabbing, unexpected alliances, and as always - shocking truths are revealed. seven champions, but who will claim victory? i’m just going to start by saying that this book is a great read ..plot wise. it doesn’t pick up until around 50%, which is when the actual competition starts but that didn’t bother me too much. i loved the world building and really liked where they took the plot, especially in the second half since that’s when all the exciting stuff happened. what did bother me though was how the ending felt a little too abrupt or seemed pretty random to me. it made the book seem kind of short. i wasn’t really invested in the characters all that much. since it’s told in multiple pov’s (four i think), it was difficult to connect with the characters completely or to the point where i would be rooting for them. i was intrigued by alistair lowe though (who’s surprised?). he definitely had a more interesting backstory and personality than most of the other characters. i cant wait to read more about him. now let’s talk about why i decreased my rating. normally i’d give this book 4 stars, maybe 4.25 if i’m feeling extremely generous but this book was pitched as a queer and darker version of the hunger games. that’s mainly what made me want to read it. however, i was extremely disappointed at the lack of queer characters except maybe gavin who i’m pretty sure is bisexual (i’m not entirely sure because it’s only hinted). so yes, i’m kind of mad too. i cant help but feel robbed. overall, a great plot but average characters. blog | instagram | twitter | pinterest thank you to netgalley and tor teen for the arc 30/09/2021 | I just finished this and all I have to say is - what in fucking hell do I have to do for book 2? full rtc pre reading updates: just got approved for this on netgalley🤞look at me getting approved for arcs during exam season

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alexis Hall

    Source of book: NetGalley (thank you) Relevant disclaimers: None Please note: This review may not be reproduced or quoted, in whole or in part, without explicit consent from the author. One of the under-advertised of getting old is that your likelihood of being cast in some kind of teenage deathmatch goes way, way down. I mean, I guess I could still get Squid Gamed? But, in general, I think I can take comfort from the fact that my involvement in sadistic murder tournaments is going to stay spectato Source of book: NetGalley (thank you) Relevant disclaimers: None Please note: This review may not be reproduced or quoted, in whole or in part, without explicit consent from the author. One of the under-advertised of getting old is that your likelihood of being cast in some kind of teenage deathmatch goes way, way down. I mean, I guess I could still get Squid Gamed? But, in general, I think I can take comfort from the fact that my involvement in sadistic murder tournaments is going to stay spectator-side. Anyway, All Of Us Villains is basically The Hunger Games with magic, for people who secretly thought that the best part of The Hunger Games wasn’t its attempts at socio-political commentary, but the brutal will-they-won’t-they of whether teenagers would butcher or kiss each other. The basic setup here is that there’s high magick and common magick in the world (and holy God, do I have a personal hatred for magic-spelled-with-a-k): common magick is sort of day-to-day type spells and curses, and high magick is change-the-world type stuff that is in very limited supply. One such supply belongs to the seven great families of Ilvernath, except its locked behind a curse that every twenty years requires a chosen teenager from each of the seven families to murder the shit out of each other in a magical deathmatch. The winning child then secures the high magick for their family for the next twenty years. I can’t lie, I struggled slightly with this premise—not, I hasten to add, because I’m not here for all the bloody adolescent murder fests YA can throw at me, but because it’s just so transparently engineered to create a Hunger Games situation. I honestly wasn’t even completely sure of the actual stakes: like, what does high magic actually, um, do? And why is it good to have it? I mean apart from it giving you nebulous powerfulness. In Ilvernath? On top of which, there were a few elements to the setting and setup that just didn’t fully gel for me: for example, a recently published book about the Underage Slaughter-Off has brought a lot of media scrutiny to the town, which means there’s a lot of publicity around the contestants and paparazzi following them round, and this is apparently important (and is tied into the backstories of two of the characters) but I found it slightly weird and forced. As if All Of Us Villains wanted to tap into the celebrity aspect of the tributes’ lives in The Hunger Games, but hadn’t really anything specific to do with beyond the reference. Plus there’s a random government person hanging around, trying to make alliances with some of the families, and this may become more relevant in the second book, but I found it just inspired more questions than it answered. Like, if the Twenty Year Child Massacre Cycle has been going on for centuries why is the government getting to get involved NOW? Also what the hell kind of government is this anyway? In any case, despite these questions and some internal resistance (which were as much to do with me as the book itself) All Of Us Villains did, y’know, get me. Especially once the death show started. Even if the premise is a little blunt, a little shaky, the book does a really solid job at establishing the internal rules of its world—how magic works, what spells do, what curses are—so that it’s always clear to the reader what’s going on in the spell-flinging action sequences, what the consequences for various character choices might be, and how rules are broken when they are. More impressively still, it manages its large-ish cast and even larger supporting cast very deftly. There are seven participants in the Magic Hunger Games and the narration cycles through the POV of four them, each with their own well-established history, motivation, flaws, strengths, and vulnerabilities. They all have their own reasons for wanting to win or survive (given the only way to survive is to win) the tournament and it’s hard not to root for, well, all of them to be honest. It might just have been me, but I did feel the two male protagonists were had slightly more depth and shade to the two women, or perhaps their tropes were simply more recognisable? Gavin Grieve is from a no-hope family that nobody takes seriously, and the sacrifices he makes for the power to compete are genuinely quite harrowing. And Alistair Lowe is from the most successful family of child killers—having been conditioned for his role in the tournament since the day he was born, he has been taught to see himself as a monster. I feel a bit of a sucker for falling for him as hard as I did but, while I cared about the others, and felt a certain degree of empathy for Gavin with his in-world equivalent to a lower-class background, there’s no escaping the fact that Alistair is the most charismatic and complex character in the book. To an almost unbalancing degree. By contrast, Briony is motivated by a desire to prove herself a hero: a perspective that is gradually dismantled over the course of the narrative, but she felt the most one-note off all the POV characters. Isobel, too, is a likeable character, and I admired how cynical and ruthless the text allows her to be, but her problem is Alistair Lowe. They bounce between being rivals and allies, and have burgeoning romantic chemistry, but while Isobel can mostly hold her own, she’s less interesting when she’s with Alistair. Which feels like a really messed up thing to say but, err. It’s true? Of course, that leaves three of the seven participants much less well-articulated. I can absolutely see why this decision was made because seven POV characters would have been simply too much. It does, however, take much of the tension out of the book: clearly you’re more likely die if you don’t have a POV, and the lack of POV from the most explicitly antagonistic character strips her of any nuance or complexity, making her feel more like a plot device than a person. Finley Blair, the handsome noble one, is also the only Black character among the seven so it feels a bit … something … that he’s also not a POV character. Although I will say, protagonists aside, the supporting cast is comfortably diverse, and I think there’s some implication that several of the protagonists are queer. And I’m now starting to worry my thoughts are making me sound as if I was more negative towards the book than I actually was. Because please don’t misunderstand me: I enjoyed the absolute bloody hell out of All Of Us Villains. It is an unabashedly dark and fast-paced story about CHILDREN MURDERING EACH OTHER for heaven’s sake. How could it not be a rocking good time? More seriously, though, it’s coherent magic system alongside its complex characters, and its delicate exploration of familial abuse and the roles we are cast into versus the roles we choose for ourselves, all elevate it above its inspirations. Obviously comparing books against each other is not a helpful way to look at them—unlike a teenage murder show, it’s not a competition—but this ended up being a lot more to my personal taste than The Hunger Games. That’s not a value judgement about quality: I just happened to like this more. Also. Alistair Lowe. Dammit, I would gladly commit murder to keep that poor kid safe. Not that he’s not perfectly capable of doing his own murders, of course.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Peyton Reads

    HUNGER GAMES??? I’m in

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    This is the first instalment in the All of Us Villains series. "You Fell In Love With The Victors of The Hunger Games. Now Prepare To Meet The Villains of The Blood Veil." Every twenty years the quiet town of Ilvernath becomes the setting for a tournament to the death. Seven individuals enter, representing seven families. Only one will walk out of the arena alive, leaving all others behind as corpses. The Champion's family become the guardians for high magick for the next two decades, meaning their This is the first instalment in the All of Us Villains series. "You Fell In Love With The Victors of The Hunger Games. Now Prepare To Meet The Villains of The Blood Veil." Every twenty years the quiet town of Ilvernath becomes the setting for a tournament to the death. Seven individuals enter, representing seven families. Only one will walk out of the arena alive, leaving all others behind as corpses. The Champion's family become the guardians for high magick for the next two decades, meaning their life, their honour, and their abilities are all motivations to win. The novel included a perspective from almost all the potential Champions competing in this year's tournament. The first entire quarter was spent introducing their various characters, as well as their personal motives and struggles. I appreciated this slow build-up as it aided in my understanding of the magick available in this contemporary setting and bonded me with the individuals vying for control of it. I had some I preferred over others, but every one was intriguing and engaging. Once the tournament begun my early interest only sky-rocketed. Any fictional game involving the death of its competitors is going to be likened to The Hunger Games but I really felt like the brutality yet ingenuity of the former was also present here, yet presented in its own, original format. The focus on potential allies, the brewing mistrust, the ever-present fear, and the bloodshed all made this such a captivating read. This might be a general concept I have read about before, but the actual bones of the novel were entirely unique and I couldn't stop reading until its twisted conclusion. This author duo have proved themselves as the perfect pairing and I can't wait to find out what transpires in the sequel! I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the authors, Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman, and the publisher, Tor, for this opportunity.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lexi

    Oh, how interesting OVERVIEW: 🆗 Morally grey protagonists 🆗 Enemies to lovers 🆗 Lovers to enemies 🆗 Redemption arc 👍 Bisexual rep 😍 Homoerotic tension between enemies 👍 Codependent brothers 👍 Death tournament 👍 Multi POV 👍 Easy read 👍 Corruption arc Kids entering a death tournament to compete for their families to have control over a limited quantity of high magic. A simple and straightforward story. Let's look at our protagonists: Alistar- The default sad bad boy. His character is great, as is his relationsh Oh, how interesting OVERVIEW: 🆗 Morally grey protagonists 🆗 Enemies to lovers 🆗 Lovers to enemies 🆗 Redemption arc 👍 Bisexual rep 😍 Homoerotic tension between enemies 👍 Codependent brothers 👍 Death tournament 👍 Multi POV 👍 Easy read 👍 Corruption arc Kids entering a death tournament to compete for their families to have control over a limited quantity of high magic. A simple and straightforward story. Let's look at our protagonists: Alistar- The default sad bad boy. His character is great, as is his relationship with his family, though he manages to be advertised as the ultimate bad boy- he's a bit more of a Draco Malfoy type. Gavin- THE ACTUAL VILLAIN CHARACTER and my king. Gavin comes from a family of failures and is dedicated to proving the world wrong about his status as "the boy born to die" He's also bisexual and perfect. Isobel- The "nice girl" if you will, born to a family of spellcasters. Entering wasn't what she wanted, but she's handling it. Briony- The "victor" type character....at first She was born and bred to win and is enthusiastic about killing..until her life is turned upside down. Her character is easily the messiest- she oscillates between an interesting character and a character whose personality changes with the narrative needs pf the book. All of us Villains is a weird one. It's aggressively advertising itself as a "what if"- following the bad characters from series like The Hunger Games. The book is boasting itself as outwardly subversive, but it falls short of that in many ways. Amanda Foody did a great job with morally grey characters in past books, but this one sets up all 4 characters are complex and well rounded, only to shy away from them being actually bad when the story calls for it. By the early middle of the book, none of the characters want to actually kill anyone or participate in the tournament, so you can imagine how quickly the stakes drop for a death game when the 4 most powerful/bloodthirsty characters stop wanting to really play it. I also found the main romance to be a letdown like many others. The book DOES NOT advertise being queer, but the early stages set up for an amazing romance between the two main male characters and then brings out an instalove pairing that was insanely underdeveloped. I am wondering if maybe this will NOT be the case for book 2...Luckily despite the very bad canon romance, All of Us Villains seems to be unafraid to play around with various pairs and make a lot of the relationships interesting..so we shall see. All that said, the characters are REALLY cool, and I was glued to the page despite it all. Even when they are not being real villains, there's just so much juicy dramatic backstory and character drama. These characters really STICK OUT to me - if Foody cleans up her second part of this series, they are cool enough to cement themselves as classics. The friendships and rivalries, as well as the epic betrayals and family drama, had me coming back for more every time I got frustrated with cishet snore fests or the character's morality shifting. Foody REALLY knows what tropes readers of fantasy want- if she can wrangle the brilliant ones she's playing with and not shy away from taking them to all of the way. I found myself rooting for this book despite disappointments. It was addicting. It was right there ready to be a 5-star book, and it contained one of my new characters book characters. I really think this is worth your time if only for something cool/different/unique/standout for YA. Its got so much potential. At minimum, it's worth it for how intense and thirsty Gavin/Alistair is while also being confusingly tender and very sexy. I hate this argument normally but if this series ends up being gay it will become so much better and we have a 50/50 shot that it happens.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman is the first book in the new young adult fantasy series by the same name, All of Us Villains. As with most fantasy series the books are best read in order starting with this first book and continuing on as the series will pick up the story from book to book. The story in this series is one that is told by changing the point of view between the various characters. For centuries there has been a tournament in the city of Ilvernath once ev All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman is the first book in the new young adult fantasy series by the same name, All of Us Villains. As with most fantasy series the books are best read in order starting with this first book and continuing on as the series will pick up the story from book to book. The story in this series is one that is told by changing the point of view between the various characters. For centuries there has been a tournament in the city of Ilvernath once every two decades to determine which of seven families will gain control of high magick. Each of the seven cursed families choose a representative to send into the tournament to fight to the death with only one remaining the victor. This has all always taken place in secret until this year when reporters have swarmed the town after details were leaked of the upcoming tournament. Much like the Hunger Games the participants in All of Us Villains are tossed into a battle to the death but these characters aren’t the innocent children that readers sympathized with in the Hunger Games. That being said though the ‘villains’ were all chosen from their families and each had their own unique reasons and personalities they brought to the battle and it was fun getting to know them in the story. As much as it seems like this one is a remake of the Hunger Games the story is different and took on it’s own identity fairly quickly. Once the games began the pages flew by waiting to see how it would all unfold in this first book of the series. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Roanhorse

    Not sure what it is about teenagers competing to the death that is so appealing (are we all that traumatized by high school? is it a symptom of late-stage capitalism?), but it has certainly become an enduring trope in YA. And a very entertaining one. The scheming, the alliances formed and broken, the betrayal, the murdering! This book has it all and then some. The characters are well-drawn enough that they rise beyond their standard stereotypes they are inspired by (monster boy, jock girl, under Not sure what it is about teenagers competing to the death that is so appealing (are we all that traumatized by high school? is it a symptom of late-stage capitalism?), but it has certainly become an enduring trope in YA. And a very entertaining one. The scheming, the alliances formed and broken, the betrayal, the murdering! This book has it all and then some. The characters are well-drawn enough that they rise beyond their standard stereotypes they are inspired by (monster boy, jock girl, underdog, etc) and there are enough twists and turns to make it a fun, quick read. The worldbuilding is a little shaky. The first 50 pp or so felt very Potteresque and I struggled to understand when and where this world of disposable cameras, CD players, paparazzi & tabloids takes place. Was it the 90s? In the UK? Secondary world? Did I miss it? But it does eventually settle into something serviceable for the story. Anyway, if you're looking for a fun and frothy story (frothy with blood) without the social commentary of a Hunger Games, this YA fantasy about magic kids dueling to the death should hit the spot. (Note that this is a book 1 in a duology and while it doesn't end on a cliffhanger, it doesn't end with the finish of the tournament, either.)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    *falls from the sky and lands in a crouch right in front of you* I GOT AN ARC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UPDATE: I just finished and it was fantastic. I cannot believe this doesn’t release until the end of the year. I must talk about it with SOMEONE. I cannot wait for the fan art that’s going to come out of this!!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    ~ a foray in fantasy ~

    The emotional rollercoaster this book took me on! This book is criminally under hyped. It has all of the delightful tropes I love, but completely reimagined. The comp titles of Vicious and Hunger Games are spot-on, so if you like either of those books you’ll love this one. Deducting a star because the couple I was shipping did not get together. ☹️ **SPOILERS BELOW*** You have been warned! NOOOOOO! Alistair! My poor traumatized baby! I’m such a sucker for boys raised to be monsters that can’t be as v The emotional rollercoaster this book took me on! This book is criminally under hyped. It has all of the delightful tropes I love, but completely reimagined. The comp titles of Vicious and Hunger Games are spot-on, so if you like either of those books you’ll love this one. Deducting a star because the couple I was shipping did not get together. ☹️ **SPOILERS BELOW*** You have been warned! NOOOOOO! Alistair! My poor traumatized baby! I’m such a sucker for boys raised to be monsters that can’t be as villainous as expected. Kind of mad at Isobel, ngl. She is causing Alistair’s slow and painful death??! When she saw how much of a cinnamon roll he is deep down inside????! How dare she. Briony is just kind of annoying, but still a compelling character. Her whole i’M gOiNg To Be A hErO thing is getting so old. Gavin’s motivations are unique and made him a compelling “villain”— even though all of the characters are truly villainous in some way.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adalyn Grace

    This was absolutely delightful. Both Amanda and Christine have such a way of making their characters come absolutely alive. And while these characters are certainly gray, I couldn't help but to root for every single one of them. The magic system was so unique, and I just really loved this and cannot WAIT for the sequel! Official blurb: "Positively wicked in all the right ways. This series is my new obsession, and I cannot wait to devour the next one. With its innovative magic system, a twisted c This was absolutely delightful. Both Amanda and Christine have such a way of making their characters come absolutely alive. And while these characters are certainly gray, I couldn't help but to root for every single one of them. The magic system was so unique, and I just really loved this and cannot WAIT for the sequel! Official blurb: "Positively wicked in all the right ways. This series is my new obsession, and I cannot wait to devour the next one. With its innovative magic system, a twisted cast of characters you somehow can’t help but love, and a plot that will leave you on the edge of your seat, All of Us Villains is addicting from start to finish. I’m obsessed."

  26. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    Seven families do battle over the right to control high magic. One member of each family (I assume they are teenagers although I don’t recall their exact ages being mentioned) participates in a tournament in which the last one alive is the winner. What the rest of the people in this world are doing is not specified. There isn’t a lot of world building here. The magic system is conveniently flexible, so when a problem arises there just happens to be a spell for that. You also can’t count on peopl Seven families do battle over the right to control high magic. One member of each family (I assume they are teenagers although I don’t recall their exact ages being mentioned) participates in a tournament in which the last one alive is the winner. What the rest of the people in this world are doing is not specified. There isn’t a lot of world building here. The magic system is conveniently flexible, so when a problem arises there just happens to be a spell for that. You also can’t count on people being dead when you think they have been killed. We are introduced to 4 of the participants and their families at great length. That introduction and back story takes up 40% of the book. No time is spent with the other 3 families, so I just assumed that their candidates exist to be cannon fodder. The tournament finally starts and it consists of the participants forming and breaking alliances in varying combinations. They occasionally sling a spell at each other. None of the participants is at all villainous, they are self-doubting, anxious softies. Since this is the first book of a series/trilogy?, the book ends with nothing being resolved. I probably won’t continue with the story. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Helena Paris

    I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. ONE OF MY MOST ANTICIPATED 2021 RELEASES!!! YES YES YES!!! <3

  28. 4 out of 5

    ApoorvaReads

    4.5 stars ⭐️ ”Kill or be killed. It was a somber affair.” I’m not a fan of fantasy. In fact, it’s my least favourite genre and I’m not a fan of third pov either so one is more shocked than me with the rating of this book. I don’t know whether it was the cover or the blurb which which kinda compelled me to sign up for the arc of this one but I’m really glad I did cause this book was so amazing! ”But this is a story that must be penned in blood.” The Plot- The book revolves around a tou 4.5 stars ⭐️ ”Kill or be killed. It was a somber affair.” I’m not a fan of fantasy. In fact, it’s my least favourite genre and I’m not a fan of third pov either so one is more shocked than me with the rating of this book. I don’t know whether it was the cover or the blurb which which kinda compelled me to sign up for the arc of this one but I’m really glad I did cause this book was so amazing! ”But this is a story that must be penned in blood.” The Plot- The book revolves around a tournament which happens once in twenty years where 7 families would put forth a champion to compete in the tournament to the death. They winner would award their family exclusive claim over high magick till the tournament happened again. Till last year this whole thing was a private affair but someone wrote a book called “A tradition of Tragedy” which made everyone (public) aware of this tournament. So basically, there’s lots of lies, betrayals, magic, darkness, sacrifices, killing, morally grey characters and blood which totally screams of the things I love so I’m not shocked at all that I enjoyed this book so much. “Alistair Lowe played a perfect villain. Not because he was instinctively cruel or openly proud, but because, sometimes, he liked to. Many of the stories whispered by the children of Ilvernath came from him.” My thoughts- As I mentioned before about my hating fantasy and third pov, i would be lying if i told you that I wasnt sceptical before reading the book. Hell, i tried to avoid looking at the book waiting on my kindle just so i could mentally prepare myself for it but now, Im mentally kicking myself for waiting for more than a month to pick this one up from my kindle. Rest assured, this book was a pleasant surprise. I really didnt know who I was supposed to root for but yes, i already had decided on my favourite character when I read the first line lol (*wink* Alistair *wink*) I really enjoyed the third pov too! It gave me so much to think about and know more about the other characters. I loved how everyone had a motive to win - may it be because of family pressure, media pressure, wanting to prove everyone wrong - it made me want to root for everyone which wasn’t really possible because only one would be left alive. ”Innes had called the tournament a pattern. Patterns could be disrupted. Reid had called it a machine. Machines could be broken. Briony had only ever thought of it as a fairy tale. But even the grandest stories eventually found their ending. And so, in the shadow of her family’s Landmark, unchosen, unwanted, Briony Thorburn vowed that that ending would somehow be caused by her.” The characters were very refreshing to read. I loved Briony’s theories, Isobel’s confidence, Gavin’s eagerness to prove everyone wrong and Alistairs villainous yet kind heart and his love and loyalty towards his brother. “The nightmares had not taught him to fear the dark. The nightmares had taught him to become it.” The writing style was phenomenal. Usually when one reads a bool by two different authors it kinda sometimes mess with the pace and writing style but here, there was nothing of this sorts. The writing flowed flawlessly and the world the book was set in was wonderfully described and made. “The Lowes did not tell their children monster stories so that they could slay them. The Lowes told them so their children would become monsters themselves.” What didn’t work for me- ——> I wish that in the starting of the book there were spells or curses used in the book with what they did. Every-time someone used a spell or curse, I would get really confused trying to figure out what the curse or spell did. ——> I also wish the characters were a little bit more vicious because it seemed like they were more kinda martyrs rather than villains but with the way the book ended I have a feeling that book 2 is gonna be more leaning towards violence and villainous actions which I cant wait to read! Overall, this book was a pleasant surprise! The ending killed me and I can’t wait for book 2! I need it like RIGHT NOW. “This tournament wasn’t a place for heroes. It never had been. All the grand deeds her family had celebrated had been bloodshed just like this. And they could call it what they wanted, but Briony knew what they really were. Villains. All of them.” Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing me with an eArc in exchange for an honest review. ————————————————————————- pre-reading review: just got my arc from netgalley pls I can’t wait to read this ahhh

  29. 5 out of 5

    laur gluchie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’ve received an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book through a giveaway hosted by the author. This has not affected my rating in any way. Let me just start of with the fact that Briony Thorburn owns my heart. Now, for the actual review. All of Us Villains has its pros and cons. More pros than cons, for me, but I do feel like I should mention the cons first. What I Didn’t Like: Firstly, the world building. My ARC of All of Us Villains didn’t include a map, so it was hard to imagine Ilvernath in I’ve received an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book through a giveaway hosted by the author. This has not affected my rating in any way. Let me just start of with the fact that Briony Thorburn owns my heart. Now, for the actual review. All of Us Villains has its pros and cons. More pros than cons, for me, but I do feel like I should mention the cons first. What I Didn’t Like: Firstly, the world building. My ARC of All of Us Villains didn’t include a map, so it was hard to imagine Ilvernath in the first place. I’m also still confused on where the Blood Veil took place. At first I thought it was on the outskirts of the town, but then Gavin was able to get back into the town even though the Blood Veil should keep them out? I was kinda confused about how he was able to do that. Second, the magic system. I get the spellstones, and the difference between the classes of them, but I still don’t understand it completely. How do you cast them? Do you throw it, crush it? That was confusing, because all of the sentences about them would be like “Alistair used a Flicker and Flare” okay but how?? Finally, the ending. The ending of All of Us Villains didn’t fit the pace of the rest of the book. It felt very rushed, and the POVs were changing so quick between each other. Also, I would’ve thought that the Blood Veil would’ve been over by the end of the book, and the second book would’ve been about the main characters dealing with the aftermath. What I Did Like: First, the characters. The main characters was what kept me reading through the book. I loved Briony from the start, but then I really started liking Isobel after Briony did… that to her sister, then back to Briony by the end. Briony and Isobel are my faves, but Alistair and Gavin are great too. They just had to grow on me (especially Gavin, because I didn’t like him at all until the end). Second, the plot. At first glance, I genuinely thought that this might be a Hunger Games ripoff with magic. I hadn’t been a Hunger Games fan in the first place, so I really hadn’t been interested until I read the first few chapters. Other than a similarity of kids fighting to the death, this wasn’t like the Hunger Games series at all. Finally, the ending. What? I never said I didn’t like the ending. Just because I didn’t expect that ending doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. There were so many things that were left on a cliffhanger, and it has me anticipating the sequel. Hendry’s back?? Reid is the mastermind behind it all??? Finley’s still alive for some reason???? While I didn’t love the ending, it was great and has me wanting more of Ilvernath and the Blood Veil. Overall, I enjoyed this book. Amanda Foody hasn’t disappointed me, and this is the first novel of Christine Lynn Herman’s that I’ve read. I am excited for the sequel, and I will definitely be reading more of these author’s books! Pre-Reading Updates 6/14/2021: so Amanda just emailed me saying i won an arc?? i’m going to cry???

  30. 5 out of 5

    gauri

    all of us villains is about seven families who each send a champion to compete in a tournament that determines who controls high magic of ilvernath. i was very much intrigued by the premise and thought it would be action packed and super dark but it was mostly a let down. to start with the good, i liked the tournament aspect and all its rules. the worldbuilding related to it was interesting too, so were the different curses and spells used! also the action is pretty good, it gets violent and bloo all of us villains is about seven families who each send a champion to compete in a tournament that determines who controls high magic of ilvernath. i was very much intrigued by the premise and thought it would be action packed and super dark but it was mostly a let down. to start with the good, i liked the tournament aspect and all its rules. the worldbuilding related to it was interesting too, so were the different curses and spells used! also the action is pretty good, it gets violent and bloody at times in the tournament. and *maybe* i liked the bond alistair and hendry shared. some twists were surprising, that took the story forward. i liked reading alistair's thoughts and gavin's pov was intriguing, as he strived to win the tournament. ...that was it. i found the pacing really off. its not until the tournament starts that the action begins (before that we get the characters' backstories leading up to the tournament) which is at the 40-50% mark. and when we reach the action, it moves too quick. i felt like this book went really hard to make the characters villainous/monstrous, a character even always talked in terms of being a monster but there was no substance in it. they weren't as "bloodthirsty" or even morally grey. in fact i didn't even care about 3/4 of the pov characters?? some scenes in their povs definitely intrigued me but otherwise only the vibes were gritty and not the characters. also if they're deemed villains why do they keep thinking about saving everyone every other chapter?? in my opinion, the ending was rushed, the authors didn't wrap up the events and instead added new revelations. i vaguely remember seeing this marketed as 'queer hunger games' when this book was first announced and the authors did say two of the mcs are queer (bi to be exact) but, i don't know if it was because the book barely held my attention, i didn't find any queer elements. would've loved if it was made more clear and highlighted. a character was only hinted at it and i thought there would be some attraction between gavin and alistair. otherwise the main romance focus is m/f. so. yeah. i'm fairly interested to read the sequel to see how things go and how the relationships develop. aouv disappointed me but if you like bloody tournaments, go for it! thank you netgalley and tor for the arc

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