4 STARSAny Bryan Singer fans here? No? Just me?Reading the last two chapters and that sneaky epilogue, this book brought me back to that first time I watched one of my favorite movies ever, The Usual Suspects… in that I had to be kind, rewind then press play all over again after not being able to process who Keyser Soze is. Binds' blurb is pretty straightforward but the plot, for me, was pretty intricate. I think this was served best by the underlying mystery to the characters, in that not everything is revealed at first glance and you won't be spoon-fed. It's like being given the barest, deceptively light and fluffy essentials in your voyage, enough to be immersed and engaged at certain plot points but not enough to see the bigger picture. And boy, that's some big-ass picture. I'm not gonna lie, I had a bit of trouble keeping up especially towards the end and I'm still fuzzy with the Mages' logic as a race I can't figure out how they could collectively trust Oberon about the reform policy after witnessing the reaping.This frustrated me for a while because our author was leaving off a lot of loose ends as we went along (seriously I wanted to PM her and nagger). But for a book meant to be part of a bigger story, I think the loose ends that needed to be tied were neatly dealt with by the end, while the rest that were left alone sets me up quite nicely for the next one.Ophelia was a slow burner of a heroine for me. She didn't come off annoying in the beginning but I felt a little detached, mostly because she was just reactive to everything that's happening to her and not volleying anything back. She slowly made her voice heard when Spencer went all Kilgore on the construction site and became stronger still until her facing-off with Donovan towards the end. Her nonchalant narration of Donovan's abuse I think tipped the likability scale for me. It was almost like she's defiantly daring you to pity her.I liked how the Reece-Spencer dilemma was handled in Ophelia's mind being relative to her insecurities of her strength. It echoes the very real feminine struggle of yearning to be cared for but at the same time wanting to be respected as an equal."I told you before and I will say it as many times as I have to. I'm going to be the one that saves you… everytime."versus"You want a hero, right? Someone who will come around and give you everything you've dreamt of, take you and show you the way so you don't have to find it on your own, hero to worship at your feet and blow smoke up your ass? You're looking for those things in the wrong person. I'm neither and don't ever wish to be. What I can offer you is a place to call home, a confidant who doesn't turn out to be an enemy, and a place in history that shows you were on the right side of the fight."A chatty Cathy, that Spencer.I really, REALLY look forward to Reece in the next book. Partly because that guy put me through the wringer trying to figure out WTF he really is and another part because there's a whole stretch of time in his past that deserves some telling. Though I've already picked out my team pretty early on and went with what George Lucas taught me: In case of love triangles, always go for the douchier guy, the obvious choice might just be her brother (or in this case, has a terrible secret)So who is Keyser Soze? I think every man in this book had a little bit of him in them... and its gonna be a joy watching Phee deal with each.