Ripped apart by the betrayals of two friends and ensnared by Celestial captors, Julia and Cayne are poised to fulfill their sacrificial role in The Three’s return to power. Their Chosen friends will move Hell and Earth to win their freedom, but how will they fight fate when a powerful deity gets the upper hand?
The net will come down.
Someone will be sacrificed.
A dear friend will die.
And a Celestial battle will play out on Earth, with everything—and everyone—at stake.
So it all came down to this book, the fourth and last book in the Stained series: Exalted. Let’s just say I had high expectations and they were not really met, unfortunately.
Exalted started off with high stress right off the bat. Chosen (Stained #3) ended with Julia and the gang being betrayed AGAIN and taken off into the unknown by Edan and crew. Needless to say, this was one cliff hanger that I was SO ready to see through into this book! So with an ending like that, Exalted began with some intense and brutal scenes of Julia and Cayne in their own separate versions of torture as they are both held against their will by both Methuselah and The Adversary (No, I won’t say who that is). Which means both of them are separated from one another yet again, which was agonizing as the reader. However, Ella James did not waste time keeping them apart and dragging out any romantic conflicts,which is what I love about this author! She gets things right down to business at least when it comes to the romance.
Though Exalted began wonderfully, with plenty of suspense and answers to my many questions as to who or what both Julia and Cayne really are, it lulled in the middle. It seemed like there was so much happening in the beginning that it was very noticeable when the action petered off in the middle of the story. I was expecting constant collisions between enemies, but it seemed like most of the content was being described from afar rather than from an eye witness point of view. There was so much potential for additional action scenes throughout the book that just didn’t happen. And yes there were some good romantic moments thrown in between to provide filler but not enough to satisfy the slower parts of the book.
By the time the ending rolled around, however, I was super excited, I thought this is the moment I’ve been waiting for, sh** is about to go down right now, I can’t wait to see this epic battle…and it was over in the blink of an eye. -_- There was such a large build up for this final confrontation with the enemy and when it finally came around it ended waaay too quickly, and half of it went unexplained. The first half of it started off awesome and had me hooked and then all of sudden it’s like someone hit fast forward and THE END. I felt soo confused by what transpired between the characters and by how the enemy actually was defeated, many aspects of the resolution were just very unclear and I felt so cheated out of a satisfying ending because of how rushed and uncertain it all felt. One good thing about the ending of Exalted was the epilogue, it was pretty freaking adorable, I really must say, though that too I wish had been a little longer.
Overall, Exalted was good and disappointing at the same time, if you have already committed to reading the first three books in the Stained Series, I would still recommend you read Exalted but just prepare yourself for an unsatisfying and confusing ending.
You can buy Exalted (Stained #4) by Ella James on Amazon here!