Series: The Grimm Cases, Book 4
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Reverse Harem, (Light) Horror
Publication date: January 24, 2020
Bianca finally found the place she belonged, only to be ripped away from the only people that every really got her and helped her feel normal. Her greatest fear becomes her reality when she’s once again locked up with people who would call her crazy. Everyone keeps telling her that she’s broken and is there to get help, but this time Bianca isn’t going to roll over and let others decide her truth for her.
“Bianca cannot be the Xing.”
I moved to stand up, wanting nothing more than to break his neck. “What are you -“
Damen held me back with his hand on my arm. Even now, he didn’t want me to hurt his brother.
“She is,” he said, his voice strained. “We’ve already seen her use her abilities. She has the mark.”
“Hold on!” Hanah moved in between the two of us. “You’re misunderstanding. Finn doesn’t mean she can’t be Mu!”Chapter Two, Julian
While I was gifted the first 3 books in this series (in Mu: The Grimm Cases) in exchange for an honest review on it, I jumped at the chance to continue this series as soon as I could. I’m not kidding when I say I couldn’t get enough of this story.
The characters and their situations are truly engaging to me. The decisions they make and the way they think about things is fascinating. While I’ve always had a habit of devouring worlds that I enjoy being in, I can honestly say this is the fastest I’ve flown through a series in a long time. As in, I read the first 5 books – plus the side story Home – in four days total. The only reason I stopped was because I’d caught up to what’s been published.
Bianca and the guys go through a ridiculous amount in this series, but especially in this novel. At almost 500 pages long, that makes sense. But even for a novel this long it’s extremely action packed. A lot of clues are given to the reader, a lot of trickery goes on behind the scenes. If I hadn’t already devoured the next book in the series it would be my next read.
While I absolutely despised the fact that Bianca got forced back to the mental hospital, I do appreciate that Dr. Kholer did everything she could to make sure that Bianca’s stay was a comfortable one. Not that her attempts were successful as the nurses there were despicable – come on, did you really have to waterboard a patient!? – but at least she tried. She thought she was helping.
Heck, in some minor ways she actually did manage to help. She assigned Julian as her assistant so that he could be around Bianca while she was stuck in the hospital. She tried to give Bianca things to do – like her homework so she didn’t fall behind in school – but the nurses prevented her attempts from being fruitful.
It also becomes clear that Dr. Kholer has been helping Bianca for a lot longer than they realized. Yes she was the one who’d been prescribing Bianca her medication – under her married name Dr. Reed – but she was doing it in order to help Bianca. When Bianca was rescued from the human trafficking ring by the Geiers Bianca she was dying. No one can survive what she did without help, let alone someone who had insanely strong powers that were going to drive her crazy if she didn’t learn how to control them. Sure the medication never really helped, but Bianca didn’t share that tidbit with anyone so how was Dr. Kholer supposed to know?
Speaking of human trafficking, can we just… not? That’s disgusting. People are not objects to be owned and sold. Especially not to be hunted for sport like in Bianca’s case. (Because, let’s face it, remove the magical element from her situation and it’s something that happens in the real world.) The guys reacted just strongly enough enough here – tear down the organization and then kill the abominations that think this practice is acceptable. They have my full support on their hunt here.
On a much happier note, I adore the way Oweds explains the magic system of this world. She continues to impart magical know-how on the reader through Bianca’s own lessons about her past – both in this life and all her other ones. I adored getting to learn more about the Xings and what they meant to each other. While it’s obvious (once it was said) that the Xings original incarnation lived in China, this fact explains why the magical humans use the Chinese terms for their abilities and classifications.
Getting to learn the way each Xing interacts with their officers – and the roles that their officers play to them within the different generations – was really interesting. Being taught that the Xing have a set birth order with Mu always the last one born and the first one to die if it’s of natural causes – fascinating. Learning the different relationships that Mu has always carried with the other Xing – thrilling. (If you want the specifics and haven’t yet read this book, you should! It’s a really good series!)
Of course, Bianca’s relationship with the guys in the present are also all really interesting. I adore that Bianca gets frustrated and kissing Damen then blames his emotions for her lack of control. Until she bonds with Julian and can tell the difference between her empathic abilities and an actual bond, of course. (It’s also really cute that Julian is always the first of the Xing to bond with Mu.) I adore that Shui and Mu made a pact where Shui would never go through Mu’s memories without express permission or unless it was a life or death situation. Titus only ever doing sexual things with Mu in any lifetime is also adorable. It proves that he doesn’t care what gender a person is… he only cares that it’s Mu. That makes it even cuter to know that Bianca is his mate – the strong bond between Mu and Jin has always been there.
Even better than that, it was hilarious to see Bryce – Bianca’s so call arch nemesis – understand Bianca’s reluctance to eat in the hospital while the guys were all stressing about her refusal of any food they brought her. As much as her guys dote on her and adore her, they really don’t understand the way her mind works. Truth be told, I don’t always understand the way Bianca’s mind works. And for that I applaud Oweds – it certainly keeps things interesting and the twists and turns in the plot shocking. Of course, the fae always have a different way of looking at situations. I loved seeing Bianca and Bryce being on the same wavelength about the food even though Bianca didn’t grow up (knowingly) surrounded by her kind.
Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book is the explanation as to how Bailey and Bianca are really one in the same. Bryce and Dr. Stephens worked together to get her out of the house with their mother’s bodyguard, Kieran, in order to keep the first female Xing safe. They faked her death – and tricked Titus and Damen – in order to let her grow into her powers without having to worry about her life.
Sadly, we know things didn’t work out that way. Kieran ended up being killed and Bianca entered into that vile human trafficking ring when she was hunted – and raped – for the fun of her captors. Disgusting.
It’s also heartbreaking to know that while her mother died shortly after giving birth to her, Alyssa stayed around to train Bianca for years after her death. (Finn was cute giving Bianca her mother’s name as her middle name, but it certainly came back to bite him in the ass…) Alyssa’s ultimate sacrifice to the Kappa proved once again that she would do anything for her children, even give up her afterlife. I certainly hope this comes back up later on in the series and Alyssa gets saved. I really want this reunion between them – especially now that Bianca knows that Alyssa is her birth mother.
Speaking of parents, I really do like the way that Declan is staying away from Bianca until she chooses to meet him. It can’t be easy for him to stay away from his little girl, not after she’s been gone from his life for so many years. And especially not for a fae male – even more so in a world where it’s explicitly said that the fae are extremely protective of their females. He truly gets a parenting award for respecting Bianca’s wishing and not forcing himself on her before she’s ready. He’s certainly a better parent to her never having met her than the Geiers are after raising her for years.
On the topic of family – and how awful the Geiers are as parents – I find it hilarious that Bryce and Bianca have to be “married” in order to get her out of the hospital. Finn tried to volunteer, but his marriage to Bianca would be binding as he’s not her brother, and thus he was ultimately rejected. It’s just so entertaining the amount that Bryce continues to underestimate Bianca and the lengths she’ll go to in order to get her way. Like pretending to be awful at shooting games in order to trick him into a contest he’s never going to win. (Come on, a gamer handle like ElvenEdgeLord69? I know her life was sheltered from everything, but come on Bianca! You had to realize something wrong with that username! Also, how did Finn and her parents let her get away with it!?)
While there’s so much more I could talk about in regards to this book, the final thing I want to touch on is Mu himself. I really like the fact that Mu pulls Julian out of Bianca’s memories to talk to him. This was a great tool for the reader – and Julian – to learn information about Mu and Bianca without Bianca herself learning it. I adore the fact that Mu chose to be born as a girl – and that all of the Xing could have made this decision if that’s what they wanted. I adore the fact that Mu comforts Bianca and shows her not only self love (because they’re reincarnations of each other) but also love for Bianca as an individual. I adore that Mu helped Bianca accept her role in the world and accept the fact that she is, in fact, Mu – but also herself.
While I’ve already read on past this point, I can honestly say I can’t wait to read more. About the world itself. About the characters and their interactions and relationships. About Bianca and her powers. About everything.
Other reviews from this series: