Havoc can be read as a standalone (though I have no idea why anyone would do that, because Mercy was GREAT), but if you haven’t read Mercy, you might have to pay more attention to the timeline than a reader who is foreign to the series. (It’s a little complicated)
Animal and T have a tragic but rich history together. They protected each other through their brutal childhoods and grew up way faster than they should have. Their friendship was truly beautiful. If it had STAYED a platonic friendship, I would’ve rated this book a 5. But because T fairly early on admitted her love to Animal, and Animal carelessly kept flaunting his casual sex relationships in front of her, I had to deduct a star.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand that Animal is a damaged soul and that the casual affairs are a symptom of that damage. He screws around because he’s afraid to love, basically. That’d all be fine and good IF this wasn’t a romance. But seeing the romantic hero of the story screw around with women who AREN’T the romantic heroine of the story kind of pisses me off. The whole thing made me not like Animal very much at times, which is sad because I straight-up adored him in Mercy.
T, on the other hand, was all kinds of awesome. She was tough and street smart and kind of murder-y when it came to protecting those she loved. She only loves once, which is something she says and proves multiple times throughout the story. If this book had been released sooner, T DEFINITELY would’ve made our badass heroines list. In fact, she probably would’ve made our zombie apocalypse team, as well. She was also a woman of few words, but when she did speak, it was always something important and profound. There wasn’t anything I’d change about her in this story.
There were a couple of other random things that irked me, too:
But all in all, if you’re looking for a fast-paced, dark and twisty story of an anti-hero and a kick-ass heroine saving each other, this one’s for you. If you’re looking for sweet romance and a hero who sweeps the heroine off her feet...well, you might want to skip this one.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
It’s clean and sober. It’s just not much of a romance.
Other reading suggestions
Read Mercy, for sure. And for other tales of kick-ass heroines like T, you’ll want to check out this list.