A review by bookedbymadeline
Masquerade by O.O. Sangoyomi

  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


Thank you netgalley and Tor for the eARC!

Loose retelling of Persephone with some Cinderella vibes too. I did not know this when I requested it, otherwise I would’ve waited/not requested at all. Hating that this is basically “Persephone and hades are in love and the mom is evil” 😭 based on synopsis I thought she’d be a badass independent woman knowing her worth and taking power but instead she’s a naive, one-dimensional 19 year old child with Stockholm syndrome 🫣

Love the atmospheric setting descriptions! Set in 15th century Yorubaland (which would be modern day Nigeria) and infused with West African Folklore. I love how unique this story/setting is, I’ve never read anything like it!! Also the food descriptions had me drooling. But that’s where my positives end 🫠

I was pulled in right away but it did drag a bit at times. There were some exciting moments but the pacing was so off. After one climactic moment, it begins to drag and have overly descriptive telling over showing inconsequential details. I started skimming toward the end. The ending also felt rushed and unrealistic, you really have to suspend a lot of belief for this book.

How can you be falling for this man that KIDNAPPED YOU and be blushing and shy and teheehee giggling so quickly?! Stockholm syndrome is strong with this one. Maybe my dark romance girlies will enjoy this but I’m sitting here thinking this girl is insane and wanting to gag. This book has me fuming, I’ve never felt so angry and annoyed while reading!

Repetitive-if I never hear “I tuck his braids behind his ear. They always come loose from his buns. He never notices” it’ll be too soon 🙃

Love Kolo, she’s the only sane and complex/dimensional character in this book. The others are all flat and not as well developed. The FMC Ododo is contradictory, she’s naive and innocent but she’s also viewed as this brilliant military strategist and cunning at court politics?!

It had so much promise but the execution didn’t work for me. I’m very much in the minority opinion on this and it’s mostly because of a personal preference of not enjoying dark romance type stories!

Expand filter menu Content Warnings