Review: Viper by Bex Hogan

Viper by Bex Hogan
Published by: Hachette Children’s
Released: 18th April 2019
Page Count: 400 Pages
Edition: Kindle
Rating: 3.5/5 
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life – to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles – but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father. A new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas.

He will make me a killer.
Or he will have me killed.
That is my destiny.

Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.

But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.

He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.

She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?

A brave heroine. An impossible dilemma. An epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas.


Marianne is destined to one day become the Viper, the sole defender of the twelve isles and the protector of the king. However, the reigning Viper, her father stands in her way. This Viper is cruel, powerful, amoral and ruthless and Marianne can’t take it anymore. She was born to protect the islands but to do this she must defeat her father at any cost. Even is this means losing her home, family and boy she loves.

When I first read the synopsis for Viper I was instantly intrigued. Having not read any YA Fantasy featuring pirates before I went in to it looking forward to seeing how it was going to be tackled and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. This book was one full of action, suspense and thrills. The tension that builds up throughout the story does have you at times, captivated.

The plot, every now and then, I found was slightly unoriginal (it felt like a plot that I had read many times before in YA Fantasy) and some parts that you thought were going to end up being important ended up being skimmed over quite quickly, making you lose interest. The world building, however, was been done with extreme precision. I really did enjoy finding out about the different islands, and found each one to be extremely detailed with it’s own personality, and I do commend the author for this. I would guess that a lot of time was taken on the building of this unique world and it does certainly show. 

The diversity in Viper is something else that needs to be mentioned. It is great to see a POC as the main character in a YA Fantasy and it’s something that has been seen more and more in current times. It is important for everyone to be represented in fiction and this was definitely done in Viper. Also, kudos to the author for adding some casual LGBTQ+ representation into the story. It is always good when this happens and yet again it is something that is becoming more prominent in YA fiction today.

Marianne, as a main character was strong-willed and determined but I did feel like a lot of her personality was taken from other powerful female characters from other YA Fantasies. Mind you, I did really respect her decisions throughout the story. She didn’t want to be cruel like her father and wanted to choose her own destiny, which in my eyes in highly inspirational. The Viper on the other hand was a cruel, sadistic character whose actions I found difficult to read about every now and then. He was brutal and was a terrifying but terrific villain all at the same time. 

Viper overall, was a suspenseful, action packed read that has set the table in motion for what looks set to be an exciting trilogy. If you want a story that has pirates, assassins and fantastic world building, this is the book for you. 

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