Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Forever Song

17883441Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: April 15th, 2014
Publisher  Harlequin Teen
Genre(s): YA Paranormal/Science Fiction
Pages: 393
*3rd (final) book of series*



Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions - her creator Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost - the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. 

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, her triumph will be short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.


When I first finished the book, I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t form a proper thought. Now… I wish the overwhelming feels hadn’t stopped. >.<

I honestly wish I could say this was an epic conclusion, but it fell short, and I was a bit disappointed.

Let’s start from the beginning.  Now, I understand that Allison had just witnessed the love of her life supposedly die (not a spoiler if you read the first two books!), so her personality change, though extreme, was justifiable.  It was just… I couldn’t buy into it.  That wasn’t who she was; this new personality felt so… fake (?) and forced (?).  I’m not sure if those are the right words to use because it was real, to her, but at the same time, as I was reading the book, it felt like the author was forcing this personality onto her until that turning point where we knew she’d come to her own self. When that finally happened, I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking we were going to get back that strong girl, who, even though didn’t have everything figured out, was always fighting to choose her own path.  I, however, breathed too soon (is that even an expression? Lol), and I was wrong. So wrong.  Allie didn’t really do anything in this book; in fact, really looking back and thinking about this book, the majority of it was spent with her bickering with Jackal ( with Kanin pulling the “don’t make me turn this car around”) and, when they found Zeke, her and Zeke constantly going back and forth on the vampire thing (more on that later).  She hardly kicked any butts, and it was mostly towards the end where she actually started to do something.

I don’t know how to even start with Zeke. So, that beginning where he had that 360 character change because he was brain-washed was justifiable- I didn’t like it, but justifiable.   But that also felt a bit forced upon, like he HAD to have a personality change, so the best way to go about it was brain washing. Ummm… okay.   After that was over,  he was very angsty about his situation, and that I could totally and completely understand; it was exactly intune with his personality, and it made sense.  It was also really emotional; you felt so bad for him, and you didn’t want him dead, but you knew it would be torture for him to be alive.  But what came after just irked me. Zeke was not Zeke of the previous book; being a vampire changed him, but instead of focusing the darker side of him and how he changed, the book was more focused on his CONSTANT angsty and wishy-washiness between yes vampire and no vampire.  Once or twice, I get it, but this was just drilled into our heads.  It doesn’t help that every time he began on his wishy-washiness, Allie was right there next to him, assuring/comforting him with the SAME words over and over and over again. *face palm* 

Then there was Jackal. Honestly, I thought he’d gotten about 100 times more obnoxious in this book than the first 2; I was really starting to warm up to him, and then this book’s Jackal came along.  (I think I need to start thinking about the characters of the first two books as separate people from this book because seriously, I think all of them had a major personality rehaul.) Yes, he does attempt to set things straight with Allie and Zeke (read: he yells at them to stop being so whiny), which I felt was sorely needed, but right after he went back to being really, really obnoxious.  I guess he was supposed to be the “comic relief,” but I thought he was tastelessly snarky and decidedly cruder.

If there was one character I liked but wished had more of a voice (in the beginning, that is) was Kanin.  I loved Kanin from the start, and he ended up being the only character that I didn’t want to smack by the end.  Yes, I do wish he had more of a presence in the novel, and it would have been nice if he did talk more in this book. But no matter, his personality was steady and his wisdom was moving. And that ending? Gut-wrenching ):  I did go into this book expecting either Jackal or Kanin to die (didn’t even think about Zeke, considering what had happened in the previous book), but even so, it was heartbreaking to see Allie’s ever patient mentor and wise friend get his redemption like that.  But the worst part?  I get the feeling the author killed him just because she felt like she needed to kill a character.  It was too easy, too convenient that the freaking cure would be in him, and that the only way to give it to the rabids was to sacrifice himself.  I know that that was the only way he would have his redemption and his peace, but there was no guarantee that a) the cure would work (the logic was flimsy at best) and b) EVERY SINGLE rabid would get the cure!!!! ARGHHH! BUT at the same time, redemption!! He finally got what he wanted at the end, and this act was Kanin through and through.  This is going to sound so weird, but there was a part of me that was glad that he finally got his peace-even if it was in this way. For hundreds of years, his sole purpose for staying alive was to end what he had started- and he died knowing that he did.  His sacrifice was not only for the sake of the world, but also for himself.  


Besides the characters, the plot too was kinda bad.  About half the book (maybe more. A lot more) felt like filler to me. It was mostly them walking, occasionally getting into small trouble, finding Zeke, and the constant angst. I mean if the filler had been focused on developing their relationships and their characters, then I would have been okay with it (even without the action); but in all honestly, it was just stuff to keep us busy until the real meat.  The real action started happening towards the end.

Even though I made this book out to be a total monster (see what I did there :D), it was actually okay overall.  The book did have its good moments too, even if a lot of those good moments were towards the end.  And despite my qualms about the characters and plot, the description/imagery and sheer intensity of the world itself sucked me into the novel. (The author has a wonderful gift for world-building and details.)  But also, I can’t deny that maybe the delusional fangirl within me (along with Kanin’s redemption scene and all the great quotes and themes scattered throughout the book), who just adored the previous books too much, was reluctant to rate this book any lower.

One last thing: the book wasn't exactly satisfying as a whole (just okay), but the ending (the very last scene and one of the "good moments") sort of (with a BIG emphasis on the sort of) pulled the book back up by its boot straps.  The thing about that last scene was that it had this irrepressible feeling of hope and purpose.  After all they’ve gone through and done, finally there was hope.  Sure, it was there in the scenes with Zeke and Allie’s times with the group going to Eden, but even then it was a wary type of hope.  But this last scene, the author allowed us to feel that hope in full bloom- and gosh darn it, have I missed it so much.  

Thanks for reading!:)

Rating: 3 out of 5

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