Book Review: Wormwood by D.H Nevins
Author: D.H Nevins
Series: Wormwood #1
Genre: NA, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Source: ARC, author
Tiamat and his brothers, a legion of one hundred half-angels, have orders to send all humans on to their final judgment. Yet in a moment of weakness, Tiamat risks his life to rescue a hiker named Kali from the very destruction he initiated.
Kali, thrust from the surety of her world into the boundless hell of Tiamat’s, must try to find a way to survive in the Earth’s vast, devastated landscape. Plagued by a legion of Nephilim bent on sending her on, she is forced to trust the one being who could prove to be her greatest enemy.
This is a dystopian/post - apocalyptic novel set somewhere in the future. The entire time I've been a little bit confused if it's set in another universe, or just sometime in the future.
This book started off with a really, really gray dystopian vibe. I don't know if it's because of the cover, but in my head the entire book has the color gray in it.
I never read the synopsis when I start reading the book - I came into it completely blind. And because this book has some of the strongest dystopian and post-apocalyptic vibe I've ever seen, when I realized that it also had paranormal and fantasy factors, with Nephilims and angels, I couldn't help but be a little bit like:
I'm really impressed by how the author keep such a strong post-apocalyptic atmosphere into the book while being a paranormal romance. This made this book pretty unique, and it definitely left an impression. Because of this, this book did not fall into the category of 'Just another angel book'.
This is really minor, but I still wanted to put this in the review. Whenever there's a 'time transition' or a fast-forward scene in a book (or a flashback), there are always bars, a line of symbols, or just a line of '****' to let the reader know. This helps the reader to not get confused and keep up with the timeline when the book setting and time is switched temporarily, or when flash-forwards (or flashbacks) happens. The book started off in the present, then apparently there was a flashback to the past when our heroine, Kali first met the hero Tiamat. I even re-read that part two times just to make sure I'm right. So apparently, chapter one is present, and chapter two is where the flashback begins, and it ended at chapter four. I'm a little bit confused because when the flashback ended it didn't even pick up where the last present immediately left off, there was nothing whatsoever to signal us that a time transition has been made, and we were immediately introduced to the world just recently destroyed (literally) and a really injured Tiamat after he apparently saved Kali's life from something that he caused. So this book does counts as a pretty faced paced book, and it falls into the category of books where the story starts off almost at the exact moment the apocalypse began. Either way, it's not exactly a complaint, but I have to say how I was a little bit thrown off and confused in the beginning of this.
Then there's Tiamat and Kali's relationship.
Their relationship is a combination of slight hate-love and insta love. You've got Tiamat trying to 'resist' Kali, and yet you still get the same tropes in YAs. The whole 'I'm not bad, just forced to do bad things' trope is also confessed by Tiamat himself, which is not a smart idea at all is because that trope (if done well), can be a really useful weapon to get the reader to fall really in love with him. And one of the main ways to do that is for it to be slowly revealed throughout the book (emphasizes on slowly). Tiamat obviously is a soldier kind of type. He doesn't like what he's ordered to do (which he confessed so early, unfortunately), has been trained his entire life not to care about anyone, but he's still soft on the inside and a good guy (because he's the hero). As a Nephilim to God's bindings, he's still a soldier. I'm not asking for him to be a jerk, but I think it'll be so much better if our heroine discovers this factor of him herself. Especially don't let that happen at the first five chapters. And if he has to confess it himself, let it be somewhere near the middle or end of the book, when we have one of those moments where we catch Tiamat off guard and he accidentally confesses, and only because he already know Kali halfway throughout the book, and not just after they met after 10 years, when they barely met.
The consequence of relationships between characters that are developed too quickly would be the reader feeling detached with the character relationships.
It would've been so much better, if the author developed him more, alongside his relationship with Kali. Fast-paced stories like this one work, but it never works if you speed up the relationship too much.
Please understand that I am not trying to make the author turn this into a real hate-love relationship (although that would've been nice). But I will just like it more if Tiamat didn't confess so much right into the beginning of the book. I would've liked it more if it was Tiamat's depths are revealed throughout the book, and not all explained in the first few chapters of the book. I'm not saying he has to act like a jerk, just don't...tell everyone everything in the first ten chapters. He still can be kind to her, but...yeah.
And Tiamat's dialogues are a little bit too stiff for my liking. I don't know if the author did that on purpose because of his character and who he is...but that's just what I feel.
Kali is great, she's capable, strong, and the same heroine you will expect from a dystopian novel. However, one thing that made her very unique is how she is not stupid. You know how when you're reading a YA book, and the girl is always so 'confused with the guy's feelings' when his affections toward her just could not be more obvious.
Didn't happen here.
She immediately figured out and acknowledged Tiamat's feelings for her, making her a very realistic and likable character.
Overall, this a very enjoyable read, does have some unique factors and I really liked this book.