A Reaper at the Gates

January 25, 2020

by Sabaa Tahir

This is the third book in the Ember Quartet and here we follow Laia, Elias and Helene. To avoid spoiling, I can’t really go into much of the plot here, but in this book we’re basically following three different plotlines with different goals and motivations that slowly but surely starts to merge as the Nightbringer’s plan gets more and more revealed.

I’m really conflicted when it comes to this book because I feel like there was so much potential here and so much that could have been great, but wasn’t. I really enjoyed the plot and the sub-plots in this book, but oh my what a “skim-fest” this was. There were so much stuff that wasn’t needed, so many words that were just completely unnecessary. It slowed down the story so much that nothing felt urgent even though it was repeatedly expressed in the book how little time there were until things were too late and so on. But then all those pages that just went on and on about whatever. I wanted to throw the book away so many times.

On top of the slow pacing of this book, there was no surprises, no moment when I even found myself asking questions or wanting to turn the page and to find something out. The first time I actually got a question that I wanted the answer to was close to the end, and it wasn’t even a thing that would have had a major impact on the plot.

There was also a twist somewhere imbedded there at the end of the story, one I assume is supposed to have been a twist at least. Only, I saw it coming from the first half of the first book in the series. So that was disappointing.

So, what about the good stuff? Well, it’s not a bad book, it just didn’t live up to what the two books prior to this had promised. Plot wise it did, but it should have been quicker, more urgent, more twists and unexpected things happening. 

What I do like about this book through is that we get three POVs here, and even though I’m still not a fan of Laia, she’s growing on me. Helene is the most interesting character of the three and Elias as the Soul Catcher, well, he’s a bit underwhelming. Not a fan there, but it was at times interesting to see certain people meeting Elias in the Waiting Place.


The end was decent, and there was a little bit of a twist-like ending there to give some interest for the final book in the series. It’s going to be interesting seeing how this story wraps up and what happens to the characters, but I truly hope that the final book will be a lot better than this one, because I’m kind of disappointed here unfortunately. 

Wrap Up

A Reaper at the Gates

  • 5.5/10
    Overall
  • 6.5/10
    Plot
  • 6.5/10
    Writing
  • 6/10
    Characters
  • 5.5/10
    Ending

Pros

  • Interesting plot
  • Multiple POVs

Cons

  • Super slow
  • Unnecessary details etc
  • Expected twists

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