Welcome to the Damned

Fiction - Science Fiction
312 Pages
Reviewed on 07/03/2024
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Astraea Long is a young adult author from Boston, Massachusetts. She's lived in the states of Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas, as well as four years spent in school in Sichuan, China. She currently studies astrophysics in college, and she's taking up new language sequences such as Italian and German, rather than focusing on a minor.

She is an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, and her future works will include a variety of urban fantasy, dark academia, and queer themes. As an aromantic asexual, she intends to focus on sibling and platonic relationships in her writing, and to challenge the popular trends of sex and romance.

Outside of writing and reading, she's a devoted dancer who previously trained as a pre-professional and now spends many late nights choreographing for her college dance groups. Her other hobbies include painting, scrolling through Asian streetwear fashion websites, watching cooking videos of things she probably can't make, and spending too much money on boba.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite

Pureland wasn't a paradise but a close second for many people. When the government gradually turned on those it deemed as provocative, it was the lowest of the low, and the indigenous population that suffered. For most of them, their only hope lay in aligning with the Damned, a dark network of notorious criminals with a Robin Hood complex. Rovis leads the Aconites, a faction of the Damned who run the city of Dyvris. When a series of botched operations amongst his underlings points to the possibility of a mole working within their secretive network, he has no choice but to turn to one of his most trusted generals to seek out the traitor. He is about to discover why one must be careful what they wish for in Astraea Long's Welcome To The Damned.

Astraea Long's Welcome To The Damned is a complex story about forbidden love and revenge in a volatile situation where the battle lines are not clearly defined. The world-building is incredibly detailed as Long introduces the different factions and the unique connections between the sub-factions that function within The Damned's network, such as the Reapers, the Menders, and the Clockworks. The character development is rich, with intriguing origin stories that cleverly conceal motivations through well-placed gaps. The characters' dialogues gradually reveal details as the plot progresses, giving readers an enjoyable exercise in deciphering the novel through clues. The narrative style deftly and simultaneously reflects the various facets of the main characters and makes Welcome To The Damned so remarkable. It's a realistic story that readers can immediately relate to. Rovis and his generals playing cards with a guest is one example. Long's distinctive storytelling style and intricate plot will enthrall science fiction enthusiasts in this unique adventure that perfectly balances drama and action.