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Jojo’s Bookshelf

Book Review: Divine Rivals
Addison Koch
Jojo looking hateful with the book of the week.

Iris Winnow is a journalist in the (small town? Big city? No clue) of Oath. Her rival, Roman Kitt, is also there. She has some crisis and runs out into the middle of the war to find her missing brother. 

Divine Rivals was hyped up so much: 4.27 stars on goodreads, endless recommendations on social media. Unfortunately, this has been the biggest disappointment of 2024. I dare say this is one the worst books I’ve ever read, so put your seatbelt on for this review.

The writing is absolutely abominable. It feels like she read actual good books and tried to mimic them, but it didn’t work out. “The moon hung like a fingernail ” girl, what are we doing?  I couldn’t count on both hands how many times they talked about how they were soooo many kilometers away. There are better ways to describe long distances, you know.

I can tell that she’s really trying, but the amateaur writing is just all the more noticeable when they constantly talk about how both main characters are such awe-inspiring journalists.  

The dialogue is so embarrassing. It’s cheesy, and not in a cute way.

“Where is Enva?” “She can be found in the last place you would think she’d be”  Are you trying to reach your word count minimum?

There was a scene where they were choosing their rooms and Attie goes “I want this room because it’s blue and it suits me.” We’re in the middle of a WAR, Attie. 

There was no flow to this story, it was choppy and noticeably unstructured. I could see how she obviously outlined very specific things that had to happen and we needed to hit these plot points here, but none of it felt organic. I believe Rebecca Ross had zero fun writing this book. 

Whatever I said about the fourth wing, I take it back. I was SPOILED by Rebecca Yarros. The Divine Rivals realm? Pitiful. 

I’ll set the stage: She missed the train, broke a heel, works in an office, IN A CUBICLE, so you assume it’s modern times, right? WRONG. I have no clue when it is because sometimes we go full on Hobbit and then switch over to World War II core. The whole concept of this fantasy kingdom is uninteresting and unfinished, the history stiff and predictable.

This author clearly didn’t do any amount of research for this book, which is disappointing, especially for a war-based book. She couldn’t even keep track of her own made up fantasy baloney. The magic has literally no rules; She just does whatever she wants.

Ethierials… Why are they straight up dropping BOMBS on people? They’re giant otherworldly creatures with immense power, don’t they have some other magic nonsense they can use?

Don’t worry, it gets worse: The building part of the world building. “Tell me about Enva and Dacre.” “Ok I’ll explain everything to you.” They probably did that six different times, followed by pages of uninterrupted dialogue of just explaining all the mumbo jumbo to iris.


Now with that aside, we can finally get to the plot. Classic enemies to lovers, plus secret identity trope. It’s kinda cute… if there weren’t so many PLOT HOLES. We’re just adding random dramatic bits into the book without any context and calling it good.

The romance storyline was pathetic. Personally, I was not rooting for them, I actually found myself actively rooting AGAINST them. The banter was so unsatisfactory and their love felt plastic. 

I hate when books do this: We were not introduced to our hunky love interest; she had already known him for five months. This is the easiest fix an author can make – A few intro paragraphs and a time skip. I want to know Iris’ first impression of Kitt.

Every character in this book is an NPC. They all either had the same personality, or were straight up evil. Somehow I still managed to hate Iris, in all her two dimensional glory. 


Some books are simply so beautiful that they make me want to become a writer. This one makes me want to be an editor, that’s how bad it is. I can tell she thinks she ate this one up, but girl you forgot to cook it. This book is raw meat.

Divine Rivals leaves off on a cliffhanger. I don’t care to read the next one. 1 star.




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About the Contributors
Jolie Damer-Daigle
Jolie Damer-Daigle, Editor / Book Critic
Jolie Damer-Daigle is a junior and the one and only Book Critic on the Pipeline. In her free time, she enjoys reading (duh) and is somewhat of a fiber artist. Jolie is passionate about performance arts and maintaining long lasting friendships. She was drawn to the newspaper because of her interests in creative writing and voicing her opinions on books.
Addison Koch
Addison Koch, Former Editor
Addison Koch is a junior and first year journalist for the pipeline. She was drawn to the newspaper from her interest in photography and writing. She is the News Editor and runs The Pipelines Social Media. When Addison isn't working on the newspaper, you can find her swimming, playing tennis, and doing performing arts.
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