Nemesis: ARC Review

Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Series: Nemesis #1
Format: e-ARC
Source: Netgalley

Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king's servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora's gift could save Tarik's kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?

** Thank you to Netgalley and Feiwel & Friends for granting me access to this title in exchange for an honest review. 

I really wanted to love this book, because I've been hearing such great things about it. The synopsis also had me intrigued with the premise that a princess runs away to the rival kingdom only to end up right in front of the King, who happens to be her nemesis.

Nemesis: To me, this word means that someone is intent on destroying their enemy by any means necessary. Sepora looked like a total badass on the cover with the silver paint and design on her face. Seeing the cover, title, and reading the synopsis, I totally thought I was in for an intense journey of enemies meeting and seeing what would happen.

None of that really took place. Instead, we get about 40-50% of the book which is Sepora traveling to Tarik's kingdom, getting kidnapped by market slave traders, and then her plotting her escape. It was SO boring and slow. If the pacing had picked up and more interesting things had happened, it would not have been so bad. Then when you read towards the end, the pacing shoots off at hyperspace or warp speed, depending on which Star series you support, and you're left wondering what the heck happened.

Then Sepora gets thrown into Tarik's court against her will and suddenly she is the star of the kingdom. Everyone wants her, including Tarik and his extremely amorous younger brother. Everyone and their mother is fascinated by her and her exotic looks, aka her eyes and her blonde hair. Yawn.

Meanwhile, before Sepora arrived, Tarik was actually becoming a really good ruler. He cared about his people and wanted his kingdom to succeed. But when Sepora shows up, all of that sort of falls to the wayside because he cannot stop thinking about her and how beautiful she is. It's like he essentially loses himself when she comes along and becomes this mindless robot only thinking about Sepora. Of course, when Sepora turns him down he gets really jealous when she gets close to his brother because only he should be able to have her! Oh, the humanity! I'm sorry, but I really can't stand when characters act all jealous and territorial on another character when THEY AREN'T EVEN TOGETHER!! It boggles my mind.

Anyway, while Tarik is making googly eyes at Sepora, more people in his kingdom are getting sick and she is still keeping her forging of Spectorium, which might be the key to saving them, a secret from him. Her home kingdom is also planning an attack on Tarik's kingdom, so they are rushing to figure a way to avoid war while protecting the kingdom.

Speaking of Spectorium, that whole magical aspect is never really explained other than one night a child started making it in his sleep. Um, ok? A little more elaboration would have been nice.

Another thing that was odd was how secondary characters that had been with Sepora through much of the first half of the book just kind of disappeared. After the market, they are never heard from again. Usually the author should find a good way to make secondary characters take their leave instead of having them just vanish completely, never to be heard from again.

The romance was probably the worst thing about the book. Tarik gets instalove feelings for Sepora and continues those feelings even when she turns him down. Sepora hates him for most of the book because her father, the King, and her entire kingdom told her that he and his kingdom were terrible, even though that is not the case. So, after turning him down and telling herself that she shouldn't have feelings for her enemy, she realizes that she is in love with him. Unfortunately, Tarik's  jealousy issues really ruined his character for me.

Speaking of Sepora, I really liked her at the beginning. She ran away from home to avoid being used for evil, which was awesome. Good for her! Then she got to Tarik's court and made stupid decisions when she should have just opened her mouth and told people of her plans. Then of course, she has the power to help people but she keeps it from them because it would be helping the enemy. PLOT HOLE: She could have forged the Spectorium at night when nobody saw and left it at the place where the experiments were being conducted. Nobody would have known and she could have helped!

One of the good things about the book was the kingdom of Theoria. I love how they were basically an Egypt spinoff, with the silver paint, pyramids, giant cats, etc.

The end actually got interesting with what happened. I was shocked that it played out the way it did, and in a good way. I'm still not sure if I will continue the series because the romance was sort of awful and there was still not enough world building for my taste, but we will see what happens.


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