Title: Empire Author: Lili St. Germain Series: Cartel Trilogy Genre: Adult, Crime, Thriller Rating: 5 Stars
WARNING – THIS REVIEW DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS
Okay so I’ve you’ve been staying tuned in my blog posts you’ll know I have a love hate relationship with this series. I cannot make up my mind with this. I LOVE IT and I hate it fiercely.
I have come to one conclusion though. You could easily read each of these books as a stand alone novel.
I begrudgingly gave this book a five stars and it’s not because I liked it. It’s because Germain really deserves it, Empire truly was an amazing book. I just hated every aching second of it. Now if your a follower of mine you’ll know that I loved book one, book two was okay but I wasn’t happy with the turn of events and book three has destroyed me. You see my main issue was that I was prepared for a true love story with sex, passion and happy endings. I AM NOT GETTING THIS.
Now the reason this book gets five stars is because it was brutal, it was honest and it was just plain freaky. I thought that book one was a little soft and perhaps didn’t show the cartel very realistically. I wanted it to be more scary and real and I got my wish ten times over and I wish I could take it back. This book was so messed up.
The human trafficking was told in more detail this time and it was heartbreaking to know that Dornan did what he did for Marianna. To know that his destruction was because of the family he was born into and the woman he was trying to protect. This really upsets me because I loved Dornan’s character and really thought this series would be about them combating the cartel together. I honestly have never ever seen a character get so thoroughly destroyed, torn to shreds, become completely unrecognizable in my entire reading life. It was so sad. I couldn’t believe it, with every page I was wiping tears away. He became a monster and Marianna’s actions were understandable. But that didn’t stop me from wishing their ending was happy together, that somehow they’d over come it.
I was so annoyed that Marianna didn’t get a happy ending with either man in the end. I know I didn’t really like John as much as Dornan but if she wasn’t going to end up with Dornan, Germain could have at least given my heart a break and give Marianna, John damn it. My heart was a bleeding mess this entire book and I was so under prepared for it.
Finally – because I guess I should talk about something other than love interests which you can tell I’m clearly hung up on – I could not believe the last few scene’s of Empire. I’ve never read a cartel/criminal book before and I’m not sure if I’m even classifying this in the right genre but like honestly. What was Germain thinking letting Dornan’s sons gang rape John’s daughter? A girl they’d grown up with, practically a sister? WHAT WAS DORNAN THINKING WHEN HE DID IT?!?!?!?!?! It took some serious tea and biscuits to get me out of the morose mood this scene put me in. I had to get in the bath and scrub at my body because I was feeling dirty just from reading it. John did wrong by Dornan but who the hell shoots a guy in the balls and rapes his daughter.
Okay last point.
I don’t know if Germain thought she was doing her audience a favor by giving the novel the ending she did but it definitely did not work in my books. The last chapter we find that Marianna has managed to escape and she is with her son, also she is with her young daughter, John’s daughter. I thought this was so sweet. It was touching to at least have that last bit of John after watching him get cut up like cattle. BUT I was not happy to find out that John’s older daughter, Marianna’s daughters half sister was still alive. I would have rather she remained dead. It had been six years and they thought she was dead all this time but really she has most likely been a sex slave to Dornan and his boys. I don’t know who thought it was a sweet way to end the book, act like her being alive was a mercy, me, I’d rather be dead than have to live like that for six years.
What am I even supposed to do with that information?!?!
Okay so as you can see my hate for this book is personal and preperational. I just was not ready for this. But it was well written, it was executed perfectly, it was thorough and it was realistic. It deserves a five because of all those things and more. I just don’t know if I’ll be reading a Germain book any time soon.
I also have a YouTube channel if you’d like to check it out because of course, every little bit helps!
Thank you for reading!
Till next time,