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Docia Departed (The Wayward and the Wicked Book 1) – Angela Kulig

Synopsis

What if everything you died for was a lie?

Seventeen-year-old Docia Gutierrez willingly trades what’s left of her life for that of another: a boy who told her lies, and a love that doesn’t exist.

Now she is paying for sins she can’t even grasp, while being brutalized by a broken heart and a bargain she’s only beginning to understand—left to rot in a harsh otherworld of nightmares and ruin. In her darkest moments, Docia wishes for an end that is already upon her—and it’s in one of those moments, he finds her.

Fallen Angel, Fox, knows all about paying for crimes you didn’t commit—they say—he’s the Patron Saint of them. It’s a title he wishes he could shake, just like his gray wings and half-moon eyes. It marks him for what he is and what he isn’t, just like every other cold truth.

Fox isn’t dark or light, nor is he hopeless—not yet—but after an eternity of chasing atonement, he is jaded, and now he’s Docia’s only chance out of the otherworld. The road in and out of hell is paved with good intentions, but at the end of that road, Docia must choose who or what she wants more than life itself.

Review

One thing you need to know about me is that I don’t read synopsis before starting a book (of course I read them when I decide to add it to my TBR list, but I always forget them). This means I never truly know what a book is about until I’ve read a little of it, so I tend to be completely lost in the firsts pages. Should I change this? Yes. But I keep forgetting to do it 🤷‍♀️.

This lack of knowledge about the book made it quite hard for me at the beginning to understand what was going on. But it was my problem, not the book’s. Anyway, this made it even more interesting.

Docia is dead… Or at least sort of. She was tricked by her boyfriend to give her life in exchange of his. Even worse, it seems she wasn’t the first one.

Since her death she has been locked in a sort of coffin and only taken out once in a while to be psychologically tortured by a winged “woman” she named Red.

Perhaps the only real battleground was in my mind. That, of course, was a war I’d lost some time ago, long before I landed myself here in the place of someone else.

Red enjoys playing with her and making her relive the moment of her death again and again. She could read feelings, all the “black-winged devils” could.

“Thoughts lie, Docia, hearts don’t.”

When Docia couldn’t resist anymore, a new devil appears and takes her out of her prison. Fox is not like the others and seems to have saved her from Red, but she still can’t trust him, he could be even worse.

He appeared like a monochrome portrait in his striking shades of gray, all shaded and washed out. He looked like despair, and that was like looking in a mirror.

The thing is now she’s in the middle of a new game where she doesn’t know the rules, and she already knows death is not the worst that could happen.

Docia’s story is told by herself in past tense. She even adds a lot of comments like “I didn’t notice it back then, but…”. This makes me picture her as an old woman telling her story to her grandsons 😂.

Docia jumps between what she “lived” in hell and memories of her real life, bad memories. She seems to have a lot of regrets. I actually enjoyed more her experience in the otherworld, because it seems she was a good girl when she was alive, but she was in love with her best friend, and he ended up being a complete asshole. I truly hate people that make fun of another for being good, but is even worse when you fail or even betray a friend just for looking good in front somebody else.

Some people talked about first loves as being the one that stuck with you. The one you told your grandkids about in a joking way while flashing old photographs and scars. No one ever mentioned what could happen to you when that kind of love died.

Red is an interesting character, evil but interesting. I didn’t expect she to be as important as she will clearly be to the story. Also, I understand there’s nothing Docia can do about it, but it’s so frustrating that they can read her thoughts. They laugh at everything she thinks.

I haven’t read Inferno by Dante, but I believe the hell in this book is based on that one. Docia even mentions a book about places the author called circles. Another interesting thing about this book is that before each chapter there’s a quote of a different book.

I’m confused about my opinion. I really enjoyed it but… We accompany Docia in her “challenge” in hell and understand just what she gets to understand, which is basically nothing 🤣.

I was allowed to swallow my pride if it kept me from discovering whether or not I could die twice. For sure, I’d be the one to manage it.

Descriptions and world-building are amazing, and the characters are nice. We only get to deeply know Docia, but she’s a nice lead. She is absolutely broken, but she doesn’t complain. She is mad at herself but just assumed her situation and try to make the best of it. It’s really easy to fell identified with her.

Where was the girl who decided she wanted to go away to college? Where was the girl who believed she could do anything? Be anyone? Where was the girl I’d become when everyone thought I would become nothing at all?

Fox is a fallen angel that doesn’t fit in hell. He tries to make Docia understand he’s a monster, but doesn’t seem like one. He’s full of secrets and pains. I actually felt really bad for him.

“Because,” he said, his voice as bright as the rest of him then, “there’s light in me yet.”

Basically I feel empty because it ends as abruptly as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie part 1, but I truly recommend this book anyway.

Bye bye 💕

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