I have been seeing Amo Jones’ name around a lot lately. I didn’t know anything about her writing until I read a review for the Elite Kings Club series on DG Book Blog. Daisy Gal’s review made me wonder if this would be a series I would like. When she told me it was like Erin Watt’s The Royals on crack, I was sold. I bought the entire series and set in for a crazy ride.
What’s it all about?
The Elite Kings Club series is a this dramatic, violent, almost thriller-like dark romance. Set at an élite private high school in The Hamptons. Madison Montgomery is the new girl. She’s just recently moved there with her dad, his new wife, and an unexpected step-brother. Madison’s new school is similar to her old one with one exception: at Riverside Prep, the Elite Kings Club rules. This group of rich pricks, including Madison’s own step-brother, is a secret club led by Bishop Vincent Hayes. Bishop and the rest of the guys seemed to have decided that Madison is their new play thing. They like to torment her with the secrets they hold. Madison can’t tell if they love or hate her. Bishop is the hardest to read of them all. He swears to hate Madison, but his actions tell a different story. Soon, Madison is navigating a tumultuous with relationship with Bishop that involves everything but feelings. She’s also trying to figure out what the guys are hiding and how she plays a part in it all. Madison is determined to learn the Elite Kings Club’s secrets at any cost.
I’m going to go one step further with the whole The Royals comparison. If I had to describe this series to another reader, I would say it’s a mixture of The Royals, Fallen Crest High (Tijan), and Broken Love (B.B. Reid). It’s got the whole élite private school with a group of guys who run it vibe mixed with an enemies to abusive lovers thing going on. It’s a very dark romance set in high school. In my opinion, it’s not YA even with the setting. The maturity needed for the amount of sex and violence firmly places it in the NA category.
Did I like the Elite Kings Club series. Yes…and no.The books were utterly addictive. I loved the writing style, how the story progressed, and how dramatic it all was. That being said, I had some issues with some of the relationships and actions by some characters. I wasn’t a fan of some of the darker elements at work. I guess they fit the story, but weren’t all that fun to read. I’ll explain as I go on.
Madison Montgomery is a badass chick. She’s confident in herself and takes no crap. She doesn’t let anyone dictate her life. Heck, she’s even into shooting guns (in a safe way, of course.) I loved that she went with her gut on who was trustworthy and who wasn’t. She’s the perfect main character for all the incredibly crazy stuff that’s to come in this series. My only issue with her is her relationship with Bishop. I got the love-hate aspect of it. I even understood some of their nasty parts of their relationship. What I couldn’t stomach was the abusive parts of it.
Bishop… Well, it takes a LONG time to understand Bishop. I couldn’t believe for the first couple of books that Bishop deserved Madison’s trust or anything she gave him. It’s not really until the third book that I was given a glimpse into the thoughts behind his actions. I was grateful for his point of view in that book. It challenged my mostly negative thoughts about him.
The rest of the Kings were…interesting. I didn’t really enjoy Madison’s interactions with them all that much. Rather than being moments to make me fall in love with them, they were moments that made me think what an idiot Madison was. To be honest, everything involving Nate or Brantley felt like it was added for shock value. Not that I didn’t find myself wanting to know more about the boys. I did. When I actually got to know some of their truths, I liked being able to understand them.
What went down:
Elite Kings Club was messed up in so many ways. There are all these secrets, and I was as addicted to discovering what they were as Madison was. Some of the reveals I could easily guess. Others were shocking. What plagued me the most was I couldn’t guess the WHY behind everything. I got to the end of The Silver Swan and I was like WHAT? Thank goodness I purchased the series box set, because I had to immediately jump into the next book.
The Broken Puppet is where things started coming together and I started getting my answers. Well kind of, but not really. The answers I wanted morphed into more questions. Things got more convoluted and strange. The Broken Puppet is where I started to question if I was going to like where this series was headed. It started to be way more about the shock and awe than about where Madison and Bishop’s relationship was headed. Their relationship was part of the shock and awe, though, so I guess it makes sense. All I know is that when I got to the cliffhanger at the end of this book, I was truly shocked. I still needed answers.
Tacet a Mortuis was where things really got crazy. I found myself thinking, “What did I just read???” I don’t even know how to explain it except to say that the world of the Elite Kings Club became an entirely different place than I expected. There’s this island and new people and…Well, I’m not going to give anything away. Things were just way more complex in a way I had a hard time buying into. The story had branched so far off from being just about Madison and Bishop’s relationship into what almost reminded me of a dystopian novel. Not that it was a dystopian novel. It wasn’t. I guess this book was just weirder than I expected.
Anyways. I thought Tacet a Mortuis was going to make me fall in love with Madison and Bishop’s relationship. It didn’t. Madison and Bishop were still a big mess. Their relationship was both easier and harder to read. I hated what was going on between them, but I loved being able to know what Bishop was thinking about everything. I guess I was happy for Madison in where things ended up for her. My biggest takeaway from this book was that I still didn’t have all of the answers.
Oh! I also have to mention that extra deleted scene at the end of Tacet a Mortuis. It was basically erotica that wasn’t I needed or wanted. It was pretty much the dream Madison had in the story taken a step further. It was something I wish I hadn’t read.
I thought Tacet a Mortuis would be the end of Madison and Bishop’s story. It was, but it wasn’t. Like I said above, I didn’t get all of the answers. Some stuff went down, which leads me to book 4…
Malum: Part 1
I almost took a break before reading Malum: Part 1. I don’t know. I was just a little burnt out from Madison and Bishop and that third book. Something kept me going, and I’m happy it did. Malum: Part 1 is my favorite book in the series so far. I think that’s because it felt like it was more about the relationship between Nate and Tillie than all of the secrets. I don’t mean for it to sound like there wasn’t darkness and drama. There are still secrets, reveals, drama, and darkness, but the relationship is really the focal point.
The thing that kept this book from being a 5 star read was a tragedy I wasn’t expecting. It upset me and the balance of the last 20% of the book. It sent things back to the way they were in the first three books and I wasn’t a huge fan of some of it. Then, of course, it ended in a major cliffhanger and now I’m stuck waiting for Malum: Part 2 so I can have some dang closure!
My ratings for each book:
The Silver Swan – ★ ★ ★ ★
The Broken Puppet – ★ ★ ★ ½
Tacet a Mortuis – ★ ★ ★
Malum: Part 1 – ★ ★ ★ ★