Cover Image: The Wicked Remain

The Wicked Remain

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Overall, I think this was a good ending to this dark fairytale series. I enjoyed the relationships between the girls. The first half of the book is extremely slow. I almost stopped reading because it was so slow. That being said the last 100 pages or so are extremely action packed. Some of the reveals didn't make sense to me but overall it's a good book for people who are fans of fairytale retellings.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC in exchange for an honest review! I recently finished (and loved!) The Grimrose Girls, so I was very excited to have the opportunity to read the conclusion to this duology. In The Wicked Remain, Ella, Yuki, Nani, and Rory are back and delve into figuring out how to break the curse that's upon them and many of their classmates. Each girl's life seems to be foretold by a magical book of fairy tales- and it's predicting their deaths. 

I loved the furthering of the themes that we were introduced to in the first book- friendship, found family, and making one's own identity. Although both stories took pace over the course of a year, the students seemed to experience a lot of growth throughout the novel. Romance and friendships both blossomed but there were many thorns along the way. Despite the maturing of our protagonists, the ending felt a bit flat. The Wicked Remain fell into overdone happy endings of fairy tales. It was full of tears, cheers, and the reinforcement of found families and the importance of friendship.
Was this review helpful?

Thank you to SourceBooks Fire and Netgalley for an arc of this book.

In the sequel to The Grimrose Girls, things are even more tense at Grimrose Academie as Yuki, Ella, Rory, and Nani deal with the fallout of Penelope's death and try to solve the mystery of the curse that is trapping them in fairytale retellings and killing off girls left and right.

This was so good! I loved everything about it. The entire time I was thinking about Midnights by Taylor Swift and trying to figure out which song works for each. I got one for every girl but the two that felt the most right to me was Anti-Hero for Yuki and You're on Your Own, Kid for Ella. They feel so right for both these girls and their character arcs.

This was great! I'm glad we got some more of Rory and Nani in this one. Such a great duology and definitely recommend for those Dark Academia vibes!
 Content Warnings
Graphic: Blood, Child abuse, Child death, and Death

Moderate: Physical abuse and Cancer

Minor: Transphobia, Ableism, and Fatphobia
Was this review helpful?
This book has the same ability to entrance and entice the reader as the first in the series. While we began to touch the surface of the secrets and sacrifices each character has made previously, as a reader we begin to future in the fairytale connections. Great book for someone looking for a touch of fantasy while they explore the mystery of the curse.
Was this review helpful?
4.00 Stars. A good ending to this fairytale duology. If you like the feel of books like The School for Good and Evil or shows like Disney’s The Descendants or Once Upon a Time, but want something darker, grittier and wonderfully queer, than The Grimrose Girls is just the duology you are looking for. I’m a huge fairytale retelling fan, especially when they get a queer spin, so this underrated YA dark duology was right up my alley. Imagine going to an academia in a castle where there are certain girls who live out fairytale stories but are cursed to die before they ever get their happily ever after. And now imagine what would you do if you found out you were one of those girls, one of those living breathing fairytales come to life. Could you write your happy ending before it was too late?

While I do have to admit that I liked book one a little bit more than this book, I still thought that this was a good and fun ending. I just enjoyed the whole premise and while this is a darker fantasy series with the premise of girls dying, for one most fairytales are dark, and two there are plenty of moments of friendship and love between best friends, and some romance, that give this duology the lighter moments it needs to balance things out nicely.

As a character driven reader, this is where the book really shined for me. With a cast of four main characters, it is not easy to give them all such distinct voices, but here they all had them. Each chapter starts with the name of the character, but they are so well written that I could always tell whose POV I was in without even reading the name. How impressive is that?! Not only were they all unique, but I found that I enjoyed them all and while I had my favorites, I enjoyed reading every POV and never felt bored or wished I could jump to the next character. I can’t tell you how rare that is when it comes to me reading character ensemble books.

I don’t know if I was the biggest fan with how everything wrapped up. One of the characters said something like “I don’t know if I understand everything that just happened” after the big climax ending scene and I could not help but LOL since I felt a little bit the same. I really liked how one of the characters storylines tied-in to play a big role in the ending, I thought it was well done, but I wish there were some better clues thrown in on who the “bad person/s” was as it wasn’t as much as a solvable mystery as I would have liked. I liked the feel of the mystery in book one better, but overall, it didn’t take away my reading enjoyment and it was a satisfying ending to the series. Last small complaint, I also would have shaved a chapter or two off the book’s length, it felt a little long overall, but that might be more of a personal preference.

TLDR: An underrated YA queer dark fantasy series. I would recommend this duology for fans of fairytale retellings, especially if you don’t mind your stories a little on the grittier side. This was an entertaining series and I’m really going to miss the well written characters the most. I’m excited to see what Pohl will write next.
Was this review helpful?
This was just not the book for me. Sometimes YA just doesn't work out and this was one of those times. 

I found it hard to connect with the main characters and didn't really enjoy any of their page time.
Was this review helpful?
Firstly, I would like to thank Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an e-arc of this title for review. 

I made a joke on my Instagram last month that Netgalley was very ambitious to grant me an arc of the title when, at the time, I hadn't even started reading the first book in this duology. But I made the time to read book 1 over the summer and then jumped onto book 2. 

What attracted me to this book originally was the fairytale reimaging and inspiration. I love classic fairytales and I love when they are reimagined. And this book had such a unique way of reimaging the original stories. 

 My only real criticism of this book was the villain reveal. While I enjoyed Act 3 and the climax and reveal - the only issue was that we didn't get enough information or backstory on the true villain of the story. It sprung on the readers quite suddenly and without any real lead-up. I feel that retrospectively readers should be able to look back after the villian reveal and pick out the clues which were subtly placed to indicate the true nature of the villain. However, while they were characters we had been introduced to and followed throughout the two books - it felt like too much of a surprise that these were the true villains of the piece. 

But overall, I did really enjoy this duology. I loved the story, the reimagining, and the diversity. Such a thrilling read.
Was this review helpful?
This is the second part of an intriguing and entertaining duology: a dark fantasy featuring a group of girls who discover their potential, love, and who they are.
The book starts just after The Grimrose Girls and it's a well plotted story. I loved how the author developed the characters and world building.
The story is well plotted and it kept me hooked.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed the first in this series with the students discovering the curse and the journey they went through albeit some were gruesome. Though this time as they are trying to break the curse. Their relationships are continuing as their stories are playing out. The romances between the characters are sweet and all the first love/crush type.

I love fairy tales though we get the Disney versions the original versions were pretty brutal especially to the females of the story. These girls all are well developed and very strong characters. Loved the representation within the LGBTQ. The multiple POV helps understand each of the girls motivations and know their secrets.

Definitely recommend if you like boarding schools, mysteries, fairytales and fighting to save your friends!

Thank you sourcebooksfire and netgalley for the e-ARC for my honest and voluntary review.
Was this review helpful?
4 stars

You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books.

This was a satisfying conclusion to a good YA Fantasy duology. The events pick up a few months after the first book. The girls continue to search for a way to break the curse, but are waylaid by personal issues that distract them from their goal. As they make progress on finding out the origin of the curse, more girls start dying.

This book delves deeper into the girls lives and stories. We find out more about their curse, and how the girls try to come to terms with it. Nani continues to search for her father and gets closer to finding answers. Yuki starts learning to control her new powers as she struggles with the relationship she has with her stepmother. Ella races to find answers as she quickly races toward her 18th birthday. Once believing that it would spell her freedom, now she realizes it could actually be her end. Rory continues to fight against the confines of her future as the ruler of her country, as well as her growing feelings for her fencing nemesis.

I enjoyed this book more than the first one, perhaps because we got to learn more about the girls and their individual stories. I liked the ending, although the way the author got there was a bit convoluted and confusing. However, it didn't deter from my enjoyment of the book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This was a lot darker than the first one, but I loved every second of it. The story and the mystery kept me turning pages, just like in the first book. Will definitely be interested to read whatever else this author puts out. This book and it's story were so unique and the execution was awesome.
Was this review helpful?
The Grimrose Girls flipped the script on what you may expect from fairy tale retellings with a dash of murder, mystery and the power of female friendships. The Wicked Remain takes it a step further, drenching the book in even more blood and darkness.

I liked how we delved more into the origin of the curse and the differing impact it has on each of our characters. After the initial mystery of the first book, there is still plenty more to discover and Pohl does not lay it out on the table immediately. Instead, we learn through glimpses and flashes, with a few horrible surprises lurking in there as well. 

Again Pohl captures the essence of the original tales and weaves something entirely new and wonderful out of it. I liked how much this book leaned into the romances established in the first book. There is still a lot to be said for how damn sapphic it is. Seeing that representation in the kind of tales that have been portrayed to embody the cisheteronormative standards of society is still amazing. These dynamics grew fairly naturally from their previous iterations, with plenty of drama and curveballs thrown in. It adds that extra layer of messy complications and also a sense of something else to fight for; that glimmer of hope and happiness in the world. However, there is still an extremely prominent focus on the power of female friendships. These are not straightforward, they are as complicated and fragile as the characters themselves but they are important sources of connection and understanding between one another. I loved all of their arcs of realisation and development, which are so well-executed over the course of the book. 

The Wicked Remain is a brilliant conclusion to an original and exciting duology.
Was this review helpful?
Nami, Ella, Rory, and Yuki are back, and this time they are out to break a curse, a curse that could be deadly for one of all of the girls.

I really enjoyed the character development in this second Grimrose girls. I think each of the girls got fleshed out a lot more compared to the first book. I think the character I enjoyed the most was Yuki, but apparently I'm not the only one there. I found myself somewhat disinterested in Ella's story, though I did feel for her for what she suffered at the hands of her stepmother. Rory was also kind of boring in this book. I enjoyed the way Nami's story played out. I think if any of the girls would be considered the main character, it's probably Nami.

All in all it was a satisfying conclusion to this duology. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
The girls are back to find a way to stop the fairytale style deaths from happening!

If you loved book one get to reading this right away. The friendships and relationships motivate the girls in to solving the problem and saving the lives of friends and loved ones! 

Definitely recommend and if you haven’t read book one for sure read that one first!!

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read/review this book.
Was this review helpful?
I LOVED book one of the series and was so excited when I heard book two was coming. The book picks up following the same core four of Nani, Rory, Ella, and Yuki. The curse of the fairytale death was still very much present and the reveal of who did it was a bit shocking. 

I loved the twist and turns throughout the book, the LGBT+ representation, the boarding school setting, and the multiple points of view (I wish more books did this). While not a major aspect, I really enjoyed the romances that happened between the characters. It gave a needed break in the story and provided some positive vibes.
Was this review helpful?
Hi everyone! Today I'll be reviewing The Wicked Remain, the sequel to The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl.
Well, this one was a real page-turner.
In this book we meet Ella, Yuki, Rory and Nani once again as they try to fight the curse that haunts the girls studying at Grimrose Académie.
I really liked the story and the characters —Ella is still my favorite— and it was really interesting to see how they delved deeper into their relationships. Also, I absolutely loved how the author entwined all of those fairy tales together and made them fit so seamlessly into the plot.
I think this book is a great follow-up to the first book and an amazing conclusion to the duology.
If you liked the first book, I would definitely recommend you to read this one.
I’d like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This was a really solid sequel. It did a great job of incorporating different fairy tales and retelling them in a unique way.
Was this review helpful?
Although a really cool story idea I had a difficult time getting into this story. I loved the diversity but kept getting Ella and Rory mixed up. The book has its parts that were interesting but seemed to move slowly for the most part. It was a decent read but maybe I’m not the target audience. Definitely still recommend others read it but it was just ok. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Lauren Pohl continues to weave a modern fairytale in the conclusion to this duology. The Wicked Remain picks back up at Grimrose Academie with the girls working to try and break a curse. Because, of course, there's a curse. We finally get some answers and a pretty satisfying conclusion. My favorite part of Lauren Pohl's stories are the diversity and rep that are included. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy of The Wicked Remain.
Was this review helpful?
In this riveting conclusion to the Grimrose Girls duology, Laura Pohl promises a great story and delivers a marvelous edge-of-your-seat conclusion with loads of plot twists. The Wicked Remain will surely please those who have been hooked by the first book. 

The Wicked Remain picks up the storyline where The Grimrose Girls left us, with Ella, Nani, Rory and Yuki committed to breaking the curse which can kill them and their colleagues at Grimrose Acadèmie. But, even though the four of them are so keen on solving it, they seem to be stuck at the same point and with no clear way ahead. 

At the same time, we also get a deeper understanding of the four friends' stories, their own psychological traits. Ella’s relationship with Frederick gets kinda interesting but what really caught my attention was Yuki’s feelings development and how that affects her own ties with Ella. Also, Rory has some really fascinating action taking place in her love life and getting to terms with her feelings. Last, but never least, one of my favorites, Nani keeps her search for acceptance and a place in the World, her relation with Svenja, while still looking for clues on her father’s whereabouts.

With a great number of plot twists, romance and suspenseful moments, The Wicked Remain has an amazingly woven story which hooks the reader from the first pages. Every new discovery made by the girls gives the one reading it a boost to go forward and uncover a bit more of the mystery revolving around Grimrose Acadèmie, all the way leading to such a wonderful last battle scene that makes you breathless.

The way Pohl rebuilt these fairy tales with more of a modern and empowering takes gives it all the interestingness it needs to attract readers of various ages. It is a compelling reading and greatly entertaining.
Was this review helpful?