I enjoyed this!
The start of the book has is gripping and we are immediately immersed in a new world without any hesitation. The characters are fierce, interesting, and well brought into imagination. I found this particular read interesting and very amusing. The plot is simple but the twists are well in use and unsuspecting that I can't help but be wowed. The flow overall is very good and the descriptions are also good. The POVs from all the characters give a wide overview of the whole story and it makes the background to the story wide.
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However, at some point, the grammar was getting really distracting and just made the story look unstructured. Also, some of the points that you outlined of the characters weren't really revealed, especially Lincoln's, when you said he was a monster. we didn't get much of that and it made it seem as if it was just put there for the sake that this was a mafia story.
Also, there was that part that Layah's father was willing to give Alaiyah to Santiago, I mean, that was why Arturo was working with the Russians. But over at the end, in the letter Layah got, it stated that Lincoln was the one who was chosen. I think that was something that was just out of place in the story.
At first, I liked Layah's character and I did have to say she was my favorite, but then she became spoiled and rude but the character development on her was impeccable and it was well done! Same to her relationship with Lincoln. They really need to work with each other and besides being very unbearable from time to time, it was good to see their improvement.
There was a burst of character from this uncle with who Amelia had an affair with and he wasn't mentioned previously. He is actually very 'on the spur of the moment' and I do hope that in the sequel we actually get to know more about him, instead of him being that uncle from nowhere.
Overall, the book can keep its air of mystery and it was actually worth the read. with few editing here and there it will be a masterpiece. Best of all, it lives up to it's title!