The blockbuster co-writing debut of two up-and-coming powerhouses, All of Us Villains is The Hunger Games with magic
You Fell in Love With the Victors of the Hunger Games.
Now Prepare To Meet the Villains of the Blood Veil.
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 secret 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.
But this year a salacious tell-all book has exposed the tournament and thrust the seven new champions into the worldwide spotlight. The book also granted them valuable information previous champions never had—insight into the other families’ strategies, secrets, and weaknesses. And most importantly, it gave them a choice: accept their fate or rewrite their legacy.
Either way, this is a story that must be penned in blood.
I absolutely adored this addictive book! The world-building and storytelling are fantastic… One of those books that totally absorbs and grips you to make sure you put everything aside and focus on it from the beginning to the end.
First of all, don’t be disappointed if you find that…’No one here is a hero…’, but, by extension, no one is a villain. Although the book is essentially about the power of stories, legends and patterns, it is also about how we make choices, good and bad, cruel and well-intentioned and live with their consequences. All of the protagonists go through self-discovery and development in deliciously unpredictable ways.
The protagonists are seven teenagers thrown into a death tournament by their families bound by a powerful ancient curse. Every twenty years seven families must choose a champion to fight in the tournament until only one is left to bring the glory to their family and power to weild rare high magick which has almost disappeared from this world. The tournament used to be Ilvernath’s best-kept shameful secret until a book called A Tradition of Tragedy (allegedly written by someone from one of the seven families) came out and exposed the history of this merciless practice.
There are seven champions (Grieve, Payne, Macaslan, Thorburn, Blaire, Lowe, Darrow) and four main points of view:
-Gavin Grieve, from the least respected, least powerful family- watch out for this one as he is desperate to fight for his dignity;
-Isobel Macaslan- another champion from an underdog family who collects their raw magick in less than savoury ways- her father calls her a princess, but she herself knows she is a survivor… once she really commits to participating in this brutal ordeal;
-Briony Thorburn (Isobel’s ex-BFF and a self-proclaimed hero)- she is fast and strong, both physically and mentally, and no wonder- all her life she has been preparing for this tournament, but does she have enough self-awareness to see the impact of her actions?
-and last but not least- The Villain- Alistair Lowe- his family has won the most tournaments and all his life he’s been told he doesn’t have to be afraid of monsters because he is one of them. His family has their despicable secret to ensure a Lowe is more often than not the last one standing.
I loved the way the perspectives changed as the story raced forward. The length of the chapters was perfect and, to be honest, I didn’t have a favourite, although you might choose who out of all of these morally gray, flawed characters you want to root for.
It is difficult to avoid comparison with Hunger Games- well, impossible really, since it was marketed as Hunger Games with blood, gore, and magic. But once you start reading the book, you quickly notice the differences- the tone is different (HG is all about social justice, AOUV is about the power of stories), there are fewer characters and they have been taught and trained all their life to devise strategies, make and cast curses and spells in order to survive and claim the victory fro their family- they are not tragically random tributes. There are alliances, but no romance (sorry, not really- at least not in book 1).
Like many other readers I went into the book thinking it’s a standalone and realised towards the 80% mark, it can’t be- there’s still too much of a story to explore. Can’t wait to read Book 2 All of Our Demise and find out who survives this wild, wild ride!
AMANDA FOODY is the YA and middle grade author of The Shadow Game series, the Wilderlore series, and more. Formerly a tax accountant, Amanda lives in Boston, and you can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @amandafoody.
CHRISTINE LYNN HERMAN is the author of YA novels about magic, monsters, and growing up, including The Devouring Gray duology and The Drowning Summer. Writing updates (and cat pictures) can be found on Instagram at @christineexists or at christinelynnherman.com.