Title: Majesty (American Royals #2)
Author: Katharine McGee
ARC provided by Random House Children’s through NetGalley.
Buckle up kids, you’re in for one hell of a review.
If I was going to predict my biggest disappointment of the year, Majesty would never have even crossed my mind. I’m a huge fan of Katherine McGee’s books: they’re full of delicious drama, juicy secrets, complex characters, and angsty romance. I absolutely adored American Royals and I was really looking forward to reading this sequel. Reading Majesty felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. This book was not anything close to what I had been expecting and I’m still not sure what the fuck I read.
I’m going to try to try to keep this as spoiler free as possible, but I have to divulge some major plot points in order to explain what went so wrong with this book. So if you want to go into Majesty completely blind, I would just skip this review altogether.
The first major issue with the book are the romances. If you, like me, think you are going to go into this book with the expectation that the characters are going to work through the angst and mend the relationships left broken by the end of American Royals, you will be extremely disappointed. The characters basically play roulette with each other’s partners. This is one of the most frustrating things to me when reading a sequel. Why spend the first book developing relationships and building up the reader’s interest in those relationships only to completely dissolve them all? I’ve already become invested in the relationships introduced in the first book, so not only am I going to be upset with the sudden change of heart, but I’m going to spend my entire time reading actively rooting against them.
My second issue was with the characters. I felt like they all had a major personality make-over. As with American Royals, this book is also told through the four POVs of Beatrice, Samantha, Nina, and Daphne.
Beatrice – I really loved her in American Royals. I could not stand her in Majesty. In the first book, a majority of her chapters were focused on her struggle between her desires and the expectations of her. All of her chapters here were dedicated to her swooning over Teddy. I will never enjoy reading about a relationship in which the character suddenly develops feelings for their sibling’s ex. Like, it’s a Big No for me when I read. So reading her chapters and her blooming relationship with Teddy was just nauseating. I skimmed most of them.
Samantha – Opposite of her sister, I actually enjoyed her chapters much more this time. In fact, I would argue that her POV was probably my favorite. I was definitely more sympathetic towards her and began to better understand her as a person. Of all the romances introduced, hers was the only one I enjoyed.
Nina – She honestly felt so, blah. There was nothing to her character in this book. First of all, she barely had any page time. And whatever page time she did have was solely dedicated to her romantic feelings. She was my favorite character in American Royals, but I hardly gave her a second thought her because she was scarcely present.
Daphne – The only character who remained the same. She’s still horrible. I still hate her. I’m still waiting for her conniving, scheming self to be revealed to everyone who holds her in such high esteem. And her last chapter? What the fuck kind of ending is this? Her shenanigans are never addressed and basically she gets everything she ever wanted?
Jefferson was basically nonexistent. You honestly could have replaced him with a doormat and it would have made no difference to the story. And when he did appear, he pulled a complete 180 towards the end of the book. After everything he went through to be with Nina, now all of a sudden he believes himself in love with Daphne. Gag me.
And last but not least: the fact that apparently this is the last book? I was under the impression that this was a trilogy, not a duology, but the author herself stated that this was the final book. If this was only the second book of a trilogy, a lot of my complaints wouldn’t seem so severe. However, as a conclusion to the series Majesty feels grossly incomplete, underwhelming, and lacking. I am shocked that this was written the way it was to be the final book. Nothing has been wrapped up plot-wise. There are multiple loose ends, things left unsaid, broken relationships, and incomplete storylines. The reader is left with so many questions.
2020 really did me dirty with this book. Reading Majesty felt like I had wandered into a parallel universe and read a completely different story. Who are these characters? Who are these romances? While I still encourage anyone who enjoyed American Royals to read this for yourself to form your own opinions, I would caution you to curb your enthusiasm and check your expectations.