Monday, May 2, 2022

Review: The Lord of Population by Elizabeth Stephens


*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher
 Elizabeth Stephens
Release Date: March 3, 2022 
Pages: 550
Source: Paperback 

THE STORY:

Dark and action-packed, Lord of Population is a steamy, end of days romance ripe with unexpected twists and epic battles, perfect for fans of JR Ward or Laura Thalassa.

She thinks she can steal from me, the little human. Adorable. I can't decide what will be more fun – the hunt, or what I will do to her when I catch her. And I will catch her. There is nowhere she can run.

Abel was of perfectly sound body and mind when she looted the Other's corpse. He looked dead. Wait. Did he just smirk up at her? No. Definitely not... 

Hiding out in an abandoned townhouse, Abel doesn't expect to hear that same bloodsucking alien come knocking on her door or that, when trouble finds them, he might stand at her back, rather than stab her through it.

But when he offers to help her cross the ruined world of Population, Abel knows better than to believe him. Because when he looks at her, it's with a hunger that seems to go beyond the taste of her blood and, when he asks for payment, he requires the one thing she can't give up. 

Her trust. 

Run all you like, little human. The sword you carry won't be enough to stop me from coming for you. You're mine. Blood. Body. Heart.
BUY LINKS: Goodreads


RATING:

ONE-WORD REVIEW: [EMOTIONAL] ROLLERCOASTER

OPENING LINE:

I lay there at the edge of the bed, closest to the door knowing that it's also the closest spot to danger.



REVIEW:
*TW: SA, dubious consent, PA

LORD OF POPULATION takes place in post-apocalyptic America and follows Abel who fights to survive gangs and Others. The Others are vampire aliens who have come to Earth to escape their destroyed planet. After losing everything and everyone from her world before, Abel gives all she can to keep her best friend and her daughter alive. Abel is a survivor, a higher who runs on instinct and loyalty to keep her two people alive. When what little meaning o her life remains is snatched from her, is desperate for revenge she enlists her worst enemy. An Other.

"𝐼'𝓂 π’Ώπ“Šπ“ˆπ“‰ 𝒢 𝒽𝒢𝓁𝒻-𝒹𝑒𝒢𝒻 π‘”π’½π‘œπ“ˆπ“‰ π’Έπ’½π’Άπ“ˆπ’Ύπ“ƒπ‘” 𝒢𝒻𝓉𝑒𝓇 π’Έπ‘œπ“‡π“…π“ˆπ‘’π“ˆ. π’œ 𝓇𝒢𝓉 𝒸𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑔𝒾𝓃𝑔 π“‰π‘œ π“ˆπ“Šπ“‡π“‹π’Ύπ“‹π’Άπ“. π’œ 𝓇𝒢𝓉, π’·π“Šπ“‰ 𝒷𝒾𝑔𝑔𝑒𝓇."

The first half was 4 enchanted roses—not 5 because of the pacing and editing issues—then came the disaster of the second half. 

Had I known there was going to be cheating and an almost faux love triangle in this book, I would not have read it.

Mikael. Mikael and Abel. 

After everything with Kane, Abel cheats on him with his asshole, out of his head (not in the fun way) younger brother who is crazy jealous of him while he was held captive and tortured.

Mikael who had major anger issues was an alcoholic, and physically assaulted her with his fist—not to mention his words time and again. I feel no sympathy for Abel. When she came to After he punched her in the face, she did nothing but brush it off. When my guy Kane took her to his estate to get help and figure out a plan to save her sister, she went berserk and attacked him. 

Some argue Abel was assaulted Mikael. I can definitely see why. I know this is a touchy subject and I am in no way trying to make light of the situation in the slightest. From my persepective, Abel was a grown woman with the sound of mind who was assaulted before and not young and naive enough not to know the difference. Not only that, but she enjoyed what she's done with Mikeal. But what actually sealed the deal for Abel's guilt was: the ONLY reason why she pushed Mikael off was that she started feeling painthe cheating pains took away the pleasure. The heffer had TWO whole ass orgasms for Christ's sake before she gathered the sense to push Mikael off (again, only because of the pain)! She would've carried on with Mikael if the cheating pains had not surfaced. That’s cheating. At the very least this is dubious consent. I’m sorry, but I don’t see this as only Mikeal’s fault. And Kane deserves better than the both of them. After reading that scene, followed by her not punishing him for what he did but also sticking up for him time and time again as well as going out of her way to be kind to him made me burn with rage.  Mikeal can have Abel, they belong together in their disloyal fuckery.

After being so emotionally invested only to be betrayed by the second half, I am furious. What a waste of time. There should be a content warning for the cheating or something. Readers beware.

"𝐼 π’Ώπ“ˆπ“Šπ“‰ π“Œπ’Άπ“ƒπ“‰ 𝒽𝒾𝓂 π“‰π‘œ π“€π’Ύπ“ˆπ“ˆ 𝓂𝑒. 
𝐼 π’Ώπ“Šπ“ˆπ“‰ π“Œπ’Άπ“ƒπ“‰ 𝒽𝒾𝓂 π“‰π‘œ π“ˆπ“‰π’Άπ“Ž π’Άπ“Œπ’Άπ“Ž π’»π“‡π‘œπ“‚ 𝓂𝑒." 

*le sigh* I really needed to get that out of my system. I was NOT prepared for that scene when it happened and it took me a lot longer to process the betrayal of it for longer than I want to admit. Nevertheless, the book isn't bad. This may be shocking based on the first half of my review but I actually really quiet enjoyed LORD OF POPULATION.

Luckily, there is redemption for Abel in the second half as well which makes me a smidgen less pissed out about what happened between Abel and Mikael. My baby Kane was able to get his HEA with Abel even if I have to be mad at her on his behalf. He also go retribution against his brother for what he did to and with Abel.

"'...π’―π’½π‘’π“Ž'𝓁𝓁 𝒷𝑒 π“Œπ’Άπ’Ύπ“‰π’Ύπ“ƒπ‘” π’»π‘œπ“‡ π“Žπ‘œπ“Š 𝒾𝓃 π‘œπ“Šπ“‡ π“‡π‘œπ‘œπ“‚ π“Œπ’½π‘’π“ƒ π“Žπ‘œπ“Š 𝑔𝑒𝓉 𝒷𝒢𝒸𝓀.' 
'π’Ÿπ‘œπ“ƒ'𝓉 π“Žπ‘œπ“Š 𝓂𝑒𝒢𝓃 π“‚π“Ž π“‡π‘œπ‘œπ“‚?' 
'π’©π‘œ. π’΄π‘œπ“Š'𝓇𝑒 π“ˆπ“π‘’π‘’π“…π’Ύπ“ƒπ‘” π“Œπ’Ύπ“‰π’½ 𝓂𝑒 π‘’π“‹π‘’π“‡π“Ž 𝓃𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓉 π“Šπ“ƒπ“‰π’Ύπ“ π‘œπ“π’Ή 𝒢𝑔𝑒 π“€π’Ύπ“π“π“ˆ π“Žπ‘œπ“Š.' 
'π’ͺπ“€π’Άπ“Ž. 𝒯𝒽𝒢𝓉'π“ˆ 𝒢𝓃 π“Šπ’½π’½...π“π‘œπ“‹π‘’π“π“Ž π“ˆπ‘’π“ƒπ“‰π’Ύπ“‚π‘’π“ƒπ“‰. 𝐼 𝓀𝒾𝓃𝒹 π‘œπ’» π“‰π’½π‘œπ“Šπ‘”π’½π“‰ 𝐼'𝒹 𝒽𝒢𝓋𝑒 π“‚π“Ž π‘œπ“Œπ“ƒ π“ˆπ“…π’Άπ’Έπ‘’ π“‰π’½π‘œπ“Šπ‘”π’½.' 
'π’ͺπ“Šπ“‰ π‘œπ’» 𝓉𝒽𝑒 π“†π“Šπ‘’π“ˆπ“‰π’Ύπ‘œπ“ƒ.' 
'π’Ÿπ’Ύπ’Ήπ“ƒ'𝓉 π“Žπ‘œπ“Š π“ˆπ’Άπ“Ž 𝒾𝓉'π“ˆ π“‚π“Ž π’½π‘œπ“Šπ“ˆπ‘’, π“‰π‘œπ‘œ?' 
'π’Ÿπ’Ύπ’Ήπ“ƒ'𝓉 𝐼 𝓉𝑒𝓁𝓁 π“Žπ‘œπ“Š 𝓉𝒽𝒢𝓉 𝐼 𝒢𝓂 𝒢 π“ˆπ‘’π“π’»π’Ύπ“ˆπ’½, π“…π‘œπ“ˆπ“ˆπ‘’π“ˆπ“ˆπ’Ύπ“‹π‘’ 𝓂𝒢𝓁𝑒? π’ͺ𝓇 𝒽𝒢𝓋𝑒 π“Žπ‘œπ“Š π’»π‘œπ“‡π‘”π‘œπ“‰π“‰π‘’π“ƒ 𝓉𝒽𝒢𝓉 π“Žπ‘œπ“Š π’·π‘’π“π‘œπ“ƒπ‘” π“‰π‘œ 𝓂𝑒, π’œπ’·π‘’π“?' 
'𝒲𝑒𝓁𝓁, π“Žπ‘œπ“Š π’·π‘’π“π‘œπ“ƒπ‘” π“‰π‘œ 𝓂𝑒, π“‰π‘œπ‘œ.' 
'π’΄π‘’π“ˆ,...'"

Overall, as much as I protested in my review, I'm actually really glad I read LORD OF POPULATION! In fact, I even recommend the book. I wish there were more books that follow Kane's and Abel's story but there are two more stories that follow two other male characters we meet in LORD OF POPULATION.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Stephens writes romance of the SciFi, paranormal and suspenseful varieties. Her favorite trope is enemies-to-lovers and she loves to world-build so much so that she sometimes gets lost in places that don't exist.

One year into her author journey, she's been shocked to see her books listed among Amazon's bestsellers in their categories. Still, her favorite pieces of fanmail are from BIPOC women expressing surprise and gratitude that they've found an author who looks like them and (does her very best!) to write books that make them feel included.

When she isn't tip-tap-typing away, you might find her getting her hands dirty on a pottery wheel, traveling as much as she can, or learning a new language. A Seattle native, after over 15 years spent in Johannesburg, Cairo, Beirut, Geneva, Addis Ababa, and Berlin, she's made her way back home with her loving husband and doggo, King Louis.

To find out more about her projects and upcoming releases visit her website at booksbyelizabeth.com.

Happy Reading!

 

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