Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Review: Jackal - Fisher & Aster

Jackal (End of Men #2)
by Fisher & Aster
Published: June 26, 2018
Genre: Contemporary, Dystopian, Romance

Jackal Emerson has never taken himself seriously. Dubbed the “orgy king,” he’s renowned for his reputation as the wild End Man. But with the uprising on the horizon and his best friend missing, Jackal is having a hard time living the same carefree existence.

And then he meets a thief and everything changes.

Phoenix Moyo, principal dancer of a notorious ballet company, lives a life of rigidity. When her world collides with Jackal’s, their chemistry is evident to everyone except her. Forced to work with him to steal the most precious commodity of the Regions, she realizes too late that there is no escaping Jackal’s charisma.

When unimaginable crimes come to light, the Regions begin to crumble. No one is safe. Families divide and secrets are exposed, danger running rampant on every side. For some, sacrifice costs everything.

Book 2 in the End of Men Series

5 Stars

You must read Folsom prior to reading Jackal in The End of Men series, do not read on without having read Folsom first. I thought I loved Folsom, but Jackal was better. Fisher and Aster bring us back down to earth a bit, removing some of the dystopian elements in favor of giving us a glimpse at how another district acts. The thoughts of the citizens are far more progressive since Gwen's reveal of the truth, that End Men are slaves and the male babies you produce aren't like your female children, you don't get to keep them forever. They belong to the Regions. The uprising is bringing out the good, the bad, and the ugly in the Regions, revealing that the leaders are willing to commit unthinkable crimes in order to have more male children, but also to stay in control.

"I am a god without power. I belong not to myself, but to everyone in this room, everyone in the Regions."

Like Folsom, Jackal begins to look at his own humanity differently, realizing that while his life is lavish it isn't necessarily his own. He initially seems content to keep up his usual persona, being the orgy king, but an endearing women grabs his attention one evening and shortly after he too realizes he is not given the opportunity to love another. Phoenix is a beloved ballerina, though she's jaded by the fame and fortune. Jackal describes her as "hard and soft," which is so very accurate for the real life she leads once the tutus come off. Additionally, these two have some of the greatest dialogue in a book, with constant bickering and these really unique moments where they reveal parts of themselves that even they didn't know themselves. How them come together is unexpected, but it's nice to see how another couple, a very different couple, could work in this Dystopian world. I especially enjoyed the secondary characters in this book. They bring a new perspective to the story, revealing to us the rich, the poor, and those willing to bend the rules in order to preserve life. There is a lot of darkness in this book and heavy topics discussed that ache, because not only are they easy to picture, many of them are real events happening today.

”I want something just for me. I don’t want to share you with anyone else.”

The story does continue shortly after the events that take place in Folsom, so don't think that just because the story features two new main characters that everything prior is forgotten. The unease in the regions is so apparent and I really appreciated how Fisher and Aster bring to life the quiet murmuring that soon crescendos into rebellion. We watch the women realize the truth, soon we see that men have fought the system far longer than we once knew, and we see that Gwen's battle is not yet over, it's only just begun. Folsom was just one tiny part of the story and Jackal only scratches the surface of how Gwen's voice has changed everything in every region, I can only imagine what is to come from Kasper.

Free the truth teller! You can't keep us quiet."

The End of Men series is fiction, but it makes you think. What would life be like if men's lives were numbered and women ruled the show? Would we forget our humanity? Jackal introduces us to two strong-willed, beautiful characters and the power of perspective as they help lead the resistance. I love this series, it's absolutely guilty-pleasure reading material, but I can't put it down. Fisher and Aster have done something unique and if you've not yet read Folsom, get on it, because you will want to meet Jackal.

and my favorite quote...
"'Armor up,' my mother would say. 'Hurt is something you allow.'"

About the Authors
Tarryn Fisher is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of nine novels. Born a sun hater, she currently makes her home in Seattle, Washington with her children, husband, and psychotic husky. Tarryn writes about villains.

Willow Aster is the author of True Love Story, In the Fields, Maybe Maby, Fade to Red, and Lilith. She’s also the co-author of Folsom, The End of Men series with Tarryn Fisher. Willow loves nothing more than writing the day away—anywhere will do. Her husband and two children graciously put up with her endless daydreaming and make fun of her for reading while cooking.

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