Review: Crushed

Crushed by Eliza Crewe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meda Melange has officially hung up her monstrous mantle and planted her feet firmly on the holy and righteous path of a Crusader-in-training. Or, at least, she’s willing to give it a shot. It helps that the Crusaders are the only thing standing between her and the demon hordes who want her dead.

The problem is, the only people less convinced than Meda of her new-found role as Good Girl are the very Crusaders she’s trying to join. So when a devilishly handsome half-demon boy offers escape, how’s a girl supposed to say “no?”

After all, everyone knows a good girl’s greatest weakness is a bad boy.

I won’t reiterate my praise for the writing and the plot – it has already been established in my mind that Crewe is an excellent writer who knows how to construct plot and characters artfully. If you go to my review of Cracked, you will know how much I had enjoyed the first book – the introduction to Meda and her eternal war with her two conflicting natures. The book opens on a similar note – she still does her Dexter-like activities, this time for Annabel, and because she is hungry. Never say that Meda became entirely good! Even though she decides to live with the Crusaders because of her Beacon-ness, she chafes against their rules and the fact that they are not willing to understand or cater to her nature. When she meets Armand again, she is initially reluctant (well, who wouldn’t be when invited by a minion of Hell) but goes along because he truly understands her ‘Undisclosed Desires’ (see what I did there?). Both being Halflings, there is an understanding between them that transcends any loyalty she has to the Crusaders.

When the rules of the Crusaders get harsher and even her BFF Jo (love their bromance) starts to get all preachy on her, she wants to get out. She can’t even be blamed, considering they basically possess her by force to get info from her – that part really enraged me, since they were supposed to be protecting her. The inherent problem with the Crusaders was that they valued only the life of the Beacons, and more importantly the human ones. While Meda runs off with Armand, the Crusaders start a manhunt against her since they think she stole the Beacon map too. When shit hits the fan, Meda decides that to clear her name, she has to retrieve the Map. Unfortunately, even the best laid plans can go awry and even the most unusual people can betray you.

The strength of Meda’s will is really something to behold. She won’t take containment or chains, the literal or the metaphorical ones. Her relationship with Armand is also not heavily romantic – they both have the best understanding of the other and that is what makes them tick. I had mentioned in the review for Cracked how it was a relief that there was no romantic interests for Meda, and while I still stand by that statement I was partly glad for Armand. She doesn’t fall head over heels and keeps her head about her – something I really appreciated. The ending, while I wouldn’t want to spoil it, was a bit vague about them and more invested in the role of Meda as a Beacon. The last line of the epilogue particularly gives me much hope about the next book.

Received an ARC from Strange Chemistry via Netgalley, for review purposes. The views expressed are my own honest ones and in no way related to receiving the book.

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