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Runebreaker

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Magic is sin Aidan desires only one thing: to rule. Arrogant, headstrong and driven by the element of Fire, he will stop at nothing to bring the evil Howls that destroyed Scotland to their knees. But Fire is a treacherous element, and the very magic that brought him to power could burn his world to ash. Especially with the blood of his fellow Hunters on his hands. Driven by a Magic is sin Aidan desires only one thing: to rule. Arrogant, headstrong and driven by the element of Fire, he will stop at nothing to bring the evil Howls that destroyed Scotland to their knees. But Fire is a treacherous element, and the very magic that brought him to power could burn his world to ash. Especially with the blood of his fellow Hunters on his hands. Driven by a bloodlust he can’t control and dark whispers that may not be entirely in his head, he and his magic-eschewing friend Kianna will do whatever it takes to liberate their broken world. Even at the risk of confronting the Church. Even at the risk of losing his humanity. But power isn’t the only thing on Aidan’s mind. He’s falling for the intoxicating Tomas, an Incubus who offers everything Aidan desires. For a price. And if that price burns the world down, well… Aidan is used to playing with Fire.


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Magic is sin Aidan desires only one thing: to rule. Arrogant, headstrong and driven by the element of Fire, he will stop at nothing to bring the evil Howls that destroyed Scotland to their knees. But Fire is a treacherous element, and the very magic that brought him to power could burn his world to ash. Especially with the blood of his fellow Hunters on his hands. Driven by a Magic is sin Aidan desires only one thing: to rule. Arrogant, headstrong and driven by the element of Fire, he will stop at nothing to bring the evil Howls that destroyed Scotland to their knees. But Fire is a treacherous element, and the very magic that brought him to power could burn his world to ash. Especially with the blood of his fellow Hunters on his hands. Driven by a bloodlust he can’t control and dark whispers that may not be entirely in his head, he and his magic-eschewing friend Kianna will do whatever it takes to liberate their broken world. Even at the risk of confronting the Church. Even at the risk of losing his humanity. But power isn’t the only thing on Aidan’s mind. He’s falling for the intoxicating Tomas, an Incubus who offers everything Aidan desires. For a price. And if that price burns the world down, well… Aidan is used to playing with Fire.

30 review for Runebreaker

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    All right, it’s time for my favorite kind of review, RRH (Rachael’s Rant Hour). This will be a mini-review, seeing as how I only got about 65 pages in, but first I’ll break down what was GOOD in Runebreakers. Good Shit! - Lots of casual diversity! All the main characters are gay, trans, and/or people of color. - That’s it. - No really, that’s it. And you know, I usually can pull through when a book has really good diversity because I love reading books with characters like me in it, even if the bo All right, it’s time for my favorite kind of review, RRH (Rachael’s Rant Hour). This will be a mini-review, seeing as how I only got about 65 pages in, but first I’ll break down what was GOOD in Runebreakers. Good Shit! - Lots of casual diversity! All the main characters are gay, trans, and/or people of color. - That’s it. - No really, that’s it. And you know, I usually can pull through when a book has really good diversity because I love reading books with characters like me in it, even if the book itself sucks. However, Aiden’s whole vibe and his actions just make him utterly unredeemable as a character. Listen, I can stand main character’s who are assholes. I read #FashionVictim. I enjoyed Six of Crows. However, Aiden crosses lines that even Kaz Brekker himself would never think of crossing. Also, he’s just really annoying. So, we start off with Aiden having a nightmare, then killing someone half during his dream and half awake. He, understandably, gets kicked out of the (compound?? It’s been awhile since I read this) he’s living in. He then decides to torture a woman/creature to death until his best friend shows up and is like “wtf dude stop.” Then he calls his best friend a bitch. And that’s when I stopped reading! Listen, you can have characters murder people and still be redeemable. It can be done. But as soon as your main character uses hate speech that isn’t challenged in the narrative… bye! You are no longer valid! I’m not even kidding! His bff, Kianna, literally stops him from being killed, takes him back to her shelter, and then he calls her a bitch?? No thank you. Also Aiden is angsty. Like, really angsty. Like, a-twilight-fanfiction-that’s-a-Bella/Jacob-Hunger-Games-AU-written-by-a-twelve-year-old-going-through-their-emo-phase-and-posted-on-fanfiction-dot-net-in-2012-angsty. Every time he spoke I just kind of sat there like Also his instalove with hot angel/demon boyfriend who literally shows up with his shirt off in Aiden’s dreams was so. weird. So really like, don’t read this? Especially if you’re a woman or close to that? Kianna deserves better. KIANNA DESERVES BETTER.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Devann

    I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley I haven't read the first book in this series, but from what I understand this is more of a standalone set in the same universe with a small cameo by characters from book one towards the end. At any rate, I never felt confused while reading it and was sucked in right from the beginning. I definitely thought the world-building and magic system was very fun and unique, but what really made this book for me was the characters. I think I can probably I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley I haven't read the first book in this series, but from what I understand this is more of a standalone set in the same universe with a small cameo by characters from book one towards the end. At any rate, I never felt confused while reading it and was sucked in right from the beginning. I definitely thought the world-building and magic system was very fun and unique, but what really made this book for me was the characters. I think I can probably explain best with an excerpt from the author's note at the end: "Aidan has been called 'difficult' more times than I can count. Unlikable. Narcissistic. Anger-driven. Over a decade ago, when Runebinder first came to light, I poured a great deal of my own emotions onto the page. As I struggled with what it meant to be gay, as I yearned for a world where I didn't have to constantly explain myself, a world where I could be heroic, so was Tenn born of fear, of sadness and of the great desire to be normal. To be important to someone. And to something. Aidan is more than the opposite end of that spectrum. Aidan is the next step in the narrative." Now I definitely have a soft-spot for 'unlikable' characters no matter what their sexuality, I'm pretty much that person always yelling at the hero in the book when they refuse to kill someone because that would make them ~just as bad~ as the other side, but having angry and unlikable queer character definitely adds another layer of relatability to the narrative for me personally. Anyway, I absolutely love my new gay murder son [and his future demon boyfriend] and also my badass bisexual trans daughter. Rarely do I ever get to read about such unapologetic characters [seriously, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop the whole time and I've never been so glad that it didn't]. I can't wait for the next book in this series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fen'Harel

    This book just felt 'meh' to me. Between the grammatical mistakes and very linear plot (no surprises, no exciting side character motivation) this book was pretty cut and dry. I feel like it had a small improvement to plot compared to the first novel, but not by much. I liked how the author didn't stray from difficult topics such as murder and torture - I enjoyed that in a not weird way! But the protagonist? He was just an angsty teenager. I swear, I was waiting for the whole, "It's not a phase, mu This book just felt 'meh' to me. Between the grammatical mistakes and very linear plot (no surprises, no exciting side character motivation) this book was pretty cut and dry. I feel like it had a small improvement to plot compared to the first novel, but not by much. I liked how the author didn't stray from difficult topics such as murder and torture - I enjoyed that in a not weird way! But the protagonist? He was just an angsty teenager. I swear, I was waiting for the whole, "It's not a phase, mum!" to come out of his mouth. I felt like this book had great potential but lost it with a terrible 'romance' with an incubus who, hilariously, didn't want to do anything with our main character. Imagine being rejected by an incubus! That's really awkward. I understand that the different powers are meant to make people a bit different (aka water makes you emotional, fire makes you a turd etc.) but Aidan is just annoying. He tries too hard to be hardcore and all "feelings don't matter to me you're just tools for me" and it came across as a bit much. I would prefer to see fire use him and then for him to feel guilty or regretful but he can't stop using. Like an addict. This would have made him a far more interesting character for me. Sometimes the plot would go in odd directions and small things would be lost. Like he killed Trevor or Travis or whatever at the beginning and then later in the book he mentioned they used to sleep together?? I went back and reread the first scenes and saw where it briefly mentioned that they had "shagged" (let's not talk about the forced UK slang in this book to constantly remind the reader where they are located). Now I'm reading reviews saying Kianna was trans? I feel like I'm missing vital points of information because it was never properly spoken about - it would get one line and then the reader would be expected to know and remember these things. This causes the pacing to be a bit confusing as I found myself lost and wondering why things were happening or why a character was the way they were. And Aidan? Why was he so 'power hungry'? I understand fire might influence him in that, but not that much. Look at Tenn. He was a water user but didn't cry every five seconds, so why does Aidan have so many fire issues? It was just, "I want it" and that was the only explanation the reader got. The whole "I used to be weak" thing grew old too. So is that why he tortures and murders people? I just don't understand this character and why we're meant to care. Also, the whole issue with the dark lady was actually really good! I liked that he was speaking to the 'big bad', but that was few and far between. Why would he work for her? It doesn't make sense. He kills Howls and other demonic creatures because he wants Scotland/UK free of these things. Then the person who creates them is just fine? Also, he was meant to be in Scotland but pretty much struts to London in a few days? Come on, give me a break. I'm sure with a country that small it's possible to cross it very quickly, however, remember your world author! Things would attack them! Roads would be destroyed and unusable! Your world would NOT allow your characters to cross this easily. You had a great moment to have your characters bond as they crossed Scotland to London where they could fight off enemies together and get closer which would mean the 'lighter scene' (I won't spoil that for you) would have been more emotional for the reader. They would have remembered the good times with those characters and actually be invested in this. Instead, all we remember is Aidan "shagged" one of them and... that's it. That's all their character development and personality in one bowl. Altogether, this could have been a really great book. I think it lacked direction, motivation and an interesting protagonist. Tone down the angst, amp up the regret and addiction, and we'd have ourselves an interesting tale! Strengthen bonds with other characters and really feel free to extend the novel beyond the linear creation it currently is. Give it some meat. Please.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Roger Hyttinen

    This is the second book in the Runebinder chronicles by Alex R. Kahler. I was excited when I received the ARC of this book as I loved the first book in the series, Runebinder. I assumed that this story would be a continuation of the first book, but it wasn't at all. Though it's set in the same world, Runebreaker follows a different main character named Aiden, and the story takes place in Scotland. I have to admit that I was a tad disappointed as I was looking forward to reading more about Tenn's This is the second book in the Runebinder chronicles by Alex R. Kahler. I was excited when I received the ARC of this book as I loved the first book in the series, Runebinder. I assumed that this story would be a continuation of the first book, but it wasn't at all. Though it's set in the same world, Runebreaker follows a different main character named Aiden, and the story takes place in Scotland. I have to admit that I was a tad disappointed as I was looking forward to reading more about Tenn's story, who was the hero in the first book. This book does connect back to Runebinder briefly at the very end but not really in any satisfying sort of way. So Aiden -- the protagonist in this book -- is a Hunter just like Tenn in the first book. Hunters attempt to liberate the world from the evil Howls and Necromancers who have pretty much destroyed the planet. Aiden's magic is ruled by the element of fire so as such, he is hot-headed, arrogant, power-hungry and self-serving. The only thing that matters to Aiden is Aiden, and all he seems to want out of life is to rule, no matter what the cost. And he's ready to burn the world down to achieve his goal and destroy anyone who stands in his way. So I really enjoyed the first book in this series and was super excited about reading this book. Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed. I ended up absolutely hating the main character. He was an unbelievable asshole — murderous, treacherous, loathsome with not one redeeming quality. He wasn't at all an anti-hero who redeems himself by doing the right thing at the end. Nope. That never happened. Aiden is 100% asshole. When he finally ran into a bit of trouble in the story, I couldn't muster up even the tiniest bit of sympathy for him. In fact, I found myself thinking, "Oh my god, would someone just kill him already." This character was neither someone I could root for nor someone that I ended up caring about. It's nearly impossible for me to connect to a story when I hate the main protagonist and that was the case with Runebreaker. The main character wasn't at all relatable and was wholly unlikeable, which caused me not care about the story at all. I honestly had to slug my way through it. It also didn't help that the eBook formatting was problematic which keep yanking me out of the story. This was not the book for me. A big thank you to Netgalley for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book will be out on November 27th.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Schick rivera

    I couldn't. I tried, but this is the first book I have DNF'd in years. Right form the start it felt forced with gratuitous tropes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Harlequin Books

    Miniseries: The Runebinder Chronicles

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately, I could not get into this book at all. I found the writing to be subpar, the plot to be a bit boring and the constant grammatical errors and ebook formatting issues to be distracting. Aidan was not a very intriguing and relatable character to me. As much as I tried to like the story since I tend to gravitate towards this genre, it feel flat for me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jason S Wrench

    So, I had no idea that this was actually book #2 in a series, which to me says that the author did an excellent job ensuring that new readers were able to keep up with what was going on in the book with no prior knowledge. As for the book, it's an urban dystopian fantasy book where there are four basic factions. The Kin (the evil people), The Hunters (most of whom have some kind of magical ability), The Church (self-explanatory), and regular humans stuck in the middle of all of the above. The ma So, I had no idea that this was actually book #2 in a series, which to me says that the author did an excellent job ensuring that new readers were able to keep up with what was going on in the book with no prior knowledge. As for the book, it's an urban dystopian fantasy book where there are four basic factions. The Kin (the evil people), The Hunters (most of whom have some kind of magical ability), The Church (self-explanatory), and regular humans stuck in the middle of all of the above. The main character is an anti-hero named Aiden who starts the book off by killing someone (not too much of a spoiler), but then it kind of all goes downhill from there. You end up rooting for the hero even though you realize he's a huge asshole and has some real baggage he needs to deal with. You're never quite sure if Aiden is evil now or going to be evil in the near future. He definitely has reasons for all of his actions, as misguided as those often are. Overall, I found the entire book a fun read and I would definitely enjoy seeing the rest of the series when it comes out. Just as an FYI - I read an advanced copy of the book for the purpose of providing an honest review. I do not know the author, editor, or publisher, so my review is totally mine.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan Houde

    I won an early arc from goodreads and let me tell you I was so excited. I really loved Runebinder and the world Alex built. A world in which the apocalypse has come and all that was left behind were empty souls called the howls(once-human beasts spawned by magic) and people who were intuned with the elemental magic. This book was completely different than Runebinder. Set in the same magically system world, but with the backdrop of Scotland, we no longer follow Tenn but Aiden. Aiden is an outcast I won an early arc from goodreads and let me tell you I was so excited. I really loved Runebinder and the world Alex built. A world in which the apocalypse has come and all that was left behind were empty souls called the howls(once-human beasts spawned by magic) and people who were intuned with the elemental magic. This book was completely different than Runebinder. Set in the same magically system world, but with the backdrop of Scotland, we no longer follow Tenn but Aiden. Aiden is an outcast and burning with the fire magic that he can’t seem to control or is completely controlling him. He’s set it upon himself to take down Calum, the Howl King of Britain, alongside his only friend Kianna. I love how complex but real the characters are. I also love that Alex isn’t afraid to explore sexuality within his characters; Aiden’s gay and reading from a gay mans perspective was very enlightening. Though I can’t lie, I did miss continuing with Tenn and his story from the first book. You grow so in love with a character that it kind of takes a step back when it’s someone else’s story you’re reading and the last is left unfinished.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Crazy4Books

    This sequels follows a different character on a completely different continent. I usually enjoy villain stories, but I had a difficult time connecting with the main character. Aidan was power hungry without ever giving us any real reason why. The trick with a good villain story is to make the reader care about them in spite of their flaws and that didnt happen here. Aidans fire urges and whiny internal monologue got annoyingly repetitive. His partner in crime Kianna was a fierce no none sense tr This sequels follows a different character on a completely different continent. I usually enjoy villain stories, but I had a difficult time connecting with the main character. Aidan was power hungry without ever giving us any real reason why. The trick with a good villain story is to make the reader care about them in spite of their flaws and that didnt happen here. Aidans fire urges and whiny internal monologue got annoyingly repetitive. His partner in crime Kianna was a fierce no none sense transwoman and I loved her. Her loyalty was admirable, but I honestly wish she wasnt so delusional where Aidan was concerned. He's selfish and doesnt seem to have a problem calling her names. I was happy to see Tomas show up. I liked the world with its monsters and elemental magic. The creatures could definitely leave you with nightmares, especially the Kravens. The book is set in Scottland which was nice, but I wasnt a big fan of the way Aidan kept complaining about it. Im glad the world building was reexplained in a way that didnt seem too obvious. There were some other things I didnt understand though. Even if someone is immune to magic you could still use it to hurt them. We also get dreams meant to show us the past, but dreams arent usually reliable or in chronological order. Plus we get a prophetic type dream at the beginning that was never addressed. I just feel like there were quite a few things that could have been explained better. I was disapointed to find out this wasnt a continuation of the first book. I was hoping to discover what happened after the events in Runebinder. However my main issue was the amount of repetition and filler. It just slowed down the pace and made me unmotivated to keep reading, even in the middle of a battle scene. Twenty pages to get from the wall to the castle was a bit excessive and this was a constant problem. Ive come to realize both books had main characters that just complained too much for me to connect to. I think Im done with the series and it makes me sad because I want more awesome LGBT+ YA Fantasy in my life, especially ones that are own voices. *This book was received for an honest review

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    Thanks to Netgalley for the electronic advanced reading copy to read and review early. This is the second book in the Runebinder series, and even though it takes place in the same world as Runebinder and Tenn's story, Aiden's story is much different. Tomás is a common character in both stories. Aiden's attuned to Fire and a much different Hunter than Tenn. He's passionate, arrogant, selfish, and everything else you'd expect a fire user to be. He lets his fire sphere burn away his doubts and regr Thanks to Netgalley for the electronic advanced reading copy to read and review early. This is the second book in the Runebinder series, and even though it takes place in the same world as Runebinder and Tenn's story, Aiden's story is much different. Tomás is a common character in both stories. Aiden's attuned to Fire and a much different Hunter than Tenn. He's passionate, arrogant, selfish, and everything else you'd expect a fire user to be. He lets his fire sphere burn away his doubts and regrets. He's done many unforgivable things, and is in no way likable, so I see why some people who liked the first story will not like this one. But I liked it. It felt like a strong second story in this series and I can see how things are setting up for the next one, especially with the ending, bringing all the characters together. I can't wait to see where this series goes.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    This was a pretty fantastic book. I'm a little disappointed in myself because when I started reading it, I didn't initially b register that it was a sequel and I hadn't read the original. But as a standalone, it was awesome. And I'm sure it would be even more so if you read Runebinder first. It is wonderfully written and the story readily draws you in. This book will appeal to anyone who enjoys fantasy, dystopian fiction, LGBTQ themes and magic. *I received a copy of this book for free. The opini This was a pretty fantastic book. I'm a little disappointed in myself because when I started reading it, I didn't initially b register that it was a sequel and I hadn't read the original. But as a standalone, it was awesome. And I'm sure it would be even more so if you read Runebinder first. It is wonderfully written and the story readily draws you in. This book will appeal to anyone who enjoys fantasy, dystopian fiction, LGBTQ themes and magic. *I received a copy of this book for free. The opinions are my own, honest and unsolicited.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mari

    This book took a while for me to get into, as I have loved all of this author's previous books. Once I figured this is different characters from the first book, it made more sense. Aiden wants to rule Scotland and he will do whatever it takes to make this happen, even destroying friends, lovers and foe. His power of fire consumes him and eventually will destroy him.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Teeka

    There is something about this series that I just really enjoy. Maybe it's the internal struggles, maybe it's the apocalyptic world or maybe it's just the magic.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dave Sloan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Frank Miceli

  17. 4 out of 5

    Annika Lehr-Bryant

    Wait I’m confused do we not get any resolution on the ending of book one? Or is this book going to be a different character, but then in book three this character and Tenn will meet up and everything will come together. Cuz there were still some things that I want answers for 🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀. Wait I’m confused do we not get any resolution on the ending of book one? Or is this book going to be a different character, but then in book three this character and Tenn will meet up and everything will come together. Cuz there were still some things that I want answers for 🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Staller

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  20. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    3.25/5 stars I'd like to start off by saying I have never read the first book in the series, so there may be some things that I didn't understand because of this. I tried hard to get into this book, but it just isn't for me. I found it to be alright, but nothing worth going crazy about. I LOVE books that involve magic or any paranormal/supernatural elements in it, but this just wasn't for me. The writing style wasn't anything that made me get sucked into the world, and it didn't get me attacthed t 3.25/5 stars I'd like to start off by saying I have never read the first book in the series, so there may be some things that I didn't understand because of this. I tried hard to get into this book, but it just isn't for me. I found it to be alright, but nothing worth going crazy about. I LOVE books that involve magic or any paranormal/supernatural elements in it, but this just wasn't for me. The writing style wasn't anything that made me get sucked into the world, and it didn't get me attacthed to characters either. I thought Aidan was interesting, but I found him to just be a dick, for lack of words, most of the time. I didn't find him reedemable at all, even though the author probably wanted him to be. I found myself trying to drag myself through this, and I almost stopped reading entirely at one point. This just wasn't for me, but I don't doubt that there are people who would love this. Overall, it was alright, just not for me.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Good Book!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kendra Lawrence

  23. 4 out of 5

    Camille

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Watson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  26. 4 out of 5

    Layla Bennett

  27. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jaime

    If this is about a different mc and just takes place in the same universe, I'm down

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amber Griffith

  30. 4 out of 5

    Femke

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