Her name is unimportant.
All you must know is that today she will become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain–an evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men. She will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow her. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls she saw kissing in the elm grove.
Today she will be a saint of Haven. She will rid her family of her mother’s shame at last and save her people from destruction. She is not afraid. Are you?
Note: I was sent an e-arc of this book in exchange for a review. All my opinions are honest and unbiased.
Reviewing Extasia: An Eerie Cult Horror Novel
Let me just start off by saying that I was hooked by the premise of this book. A religious cult, women trying to gain power and sapphics?? What’s not to love?
Unfortunately, I think the idea of this book was better than the execution. I’ve been looking at the Goodreads page for this book and a lot of people either loved it or were very disappointed. So let me tell you what exactly worked for me and what didn’t to help you make a decision whether you would like to pick Extasia up or not.
WHAT WORKED FOR ME…
- I really liked the absolutely eerie, under your skin atmosphere that was built up. I think the author did a good job of establishing the cult, its working and the sort of digusted feeling you get as you see everyone being brainwashed about the world and women in general.
- The introduction of the magic system of Extasia was much needed. I don’t think the book would have held up just on the cult dytopian aspect and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to explore extasia and its dark origins.
- Some of the side characters like Blessing and Mercy were the ones that kept me reading because I quite liked their character arcs, emotions and storylines in general. I liked the different aspects of Blessing’s personality and it was interesting to see Mercy’s journey and her rage and desire for vengeance.
- I don’t know whether to put this in what worked for me or what didn’t section but here we go. I was kind of taken aback but at the same time I enjoyed the pot twist that came towards the end. But once I put the book down I just wished there had been some foreshadowing or crumbs left for this throughout the story because it comes at you from nowhere. It just made me feel a bit cheated even though I loved the direction the book took from thereon.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK…
- I really couldn’t get over the way the plot was executed. A lot of things didn’t make sense and I don’t think I can explain this without spoiling the plot. Many points were underwhelming and predictable or just seemed to make things very convenient for the main character.
- I couldn’t get a sense of Amity, the main character. Amity was just very muddled in her motivations and her narration dragged the whole story. Her thoughts led to a repetitive and rather boring narrative and there were so many points in the book, especially thefirst 25% where I just wanted to give up.
- Both of the sapphic romances fell flat for me and the one that appears later in the book literally came out of nowhere. It just felt like the two got together because the author said so which is such a bummer cause I always adore well-written sapphic romances.
- I also picked up this book to go on the journey of unraveling the mystery of the disappearing men but it becomes quite obvious as to what’s happening and there’s really no mystery left.
- I wish that the characters in the coven and certain other female side characters were more fleshed out. Since this book is inherently about female power and rage, many times it felt like those were the only attributes these female characters had. It became hard to get to know them and really connect with their characters.
So that’s what I thought about this book. I ended up giving it three stars which for me is on the lower side. I can’t say I enjoyed it a lot but at the same time, I do see why so many people did. I don’t think I’m a target audience for Christian religious cults because I have a deep disinterest in that area. I guess you could say that it’s partly my fault for picking up this book but then I was hoping I would enjoy the magic, feminist and sapphic aspects of the book. Hopefully, this review can help you figure out whether you might enjoy this book or not!
Have you read Extasia or is it on your TBR? If yes, what are your thoughts on it?
After reading my review do you think you’ll pick this book up?
Do you generally enjoy horror or cult books?