Initial reaction: Rather meandering end for a mediocre series. I think this book's biggest problem was the fact that it had a very weak heroine and convenient plot points to prop her up. I honestly felt underwhelmed by the promises made by this book and the epilogue really did nothing to satisfy any of the fated futures of these characters.
I'm still going to try Fitzpatrick's other series/work for myself (at my own risk, mind you), but I'm not going in with very high expectations for the writing and presentation, if this series is any indication.
I'll start this review by saying that the 1-star for this book is not for Cristin Greer's narration, which I could give 4-stars for throughout this series. It's a well narrated series on audio and the narrator's voice is fitting to the character voices; that was my go to method for getting through this, and I'll probably seek out Greer's narration in other books for future reference.
However, I don't know if I can say the same thing about Becca Fitzpatrick's future works. This was a final book that was all over the place for events and organization. Tons of plot holes, contradictions, and convenient plot points to otherwise prop up a very static, irritating heroine - Nora Grey was pretty much this series' problem from point one and this book confirmed it by leaps and bounds.
This book picks up where the last book left off, in the sense that Nora's in charge of an army of angels, but she's resistant the whole nine yards. I would understand this more if it weren't that Nora's only preoccupation seemed to be with...you guessed it: Patch. Nevermind the stakes in the battle, never mind the effects of Devilcraft, nevermind the invasion of body and mind and enslavement that the war banks upon - all that Nora concerns herself with is how this whole conflict affects her ability to be with Patch. I almost miss the Nora that had her memory wiped from the previous book because at least "Silence's" Nora wasn't nearly as irritating and selfish as she was in this work.
I felt like Fitzpatrick's narrative here was finishing for conflicts to try to work up to the final conflict, and it seemed to take cues from other YA paranormal series to ramp up tension. Nora's Devilcraft addiction? A massive fail in comparison to Richelle Mead's showing of a similar affliction in Vampire Academy. Even Stephenie Meyer did a better job at showing clashes between vampiric races in the Twilight series than this book did with the clashes between the angels and fallen, where loyalties seemed to turn at the drop of a hat with very little to no explanation given.
The romantic scenes and transitions were probably even more awkward here than they were in "Silence." Nora and Patch really have very little to no true chemistry between them, and their reunions seemed quite forced to me throughout this narrative. Fitpatrick doesn't really have the smooth transition to make sexual tension releases between major plot turns, because there really weren't many major plot turns in this narrative, just filler for the most part. Patch and Nora kind of ran together for convenience for certain turns, and it felt like their motivations were less to do with the book's overarching conflict, and more to do with themselves. Which - yes, I get that this is a YA narrative and a purported love story, but you would think that either one of these characters could give a lick about some of the heavy circumstances that surround them. Nope, not a bit.
Nora was pushed around by certain events happening, such as the Devilcraft addiction, the promised duel to affirm her leadership in the oncoming war, the death of someone who protected her just as the final confrontation was taking place. These things pushed her around as statically as levers in a pinball machine, and she fell in step with them mechanically until she somehow conveniently ended up with what she wanted. Nevermind that none of it really made sense.
The epilogue wasn't really necessary either, as it didn't answer very many of the book's lingering questions, and gave certain fates of characters that probably deserved a little more credit than they were given (I didn't like Marcie's character, for example - but darn, that was a ball dropped if I ever saw it for development. Her betrayal and anguish during certain scenes in this book were actually stronger than Nora's respective conflicts in points. Pretty bad if a villainess in a series has more development and gives off greater degrees for sympathy than the purported heroine. And as for Scott's character and his respective fate, that was also a cop-out to me.)
I kind of rolled my eyes at the last line of the book because it sounded like something I would read in New Adult and considering this as a YA series, I was just like "Really?" Ugh, man.
In the end, I feel like the best book in this series was the third book, and for the buildup that book had leading into this one, it went one step forward, and five steps back. I didn't care for this series all that much for all its problematic pretenses and establishments, but at the very least I hoped it would improve over time. Instead, it dropped the ball and made light of a very weak character who pretty much never grew or rose to any challenges in the entire push through the series. I admire characters who grow, change, and get the guy/girl in their sights as a bonus, not conveniently have everything handed to them in their lap only to screw up and make stupid decisions and affirmations just because of their purported "love." And Nora was definitely the latter - the type of heroine, and respective affirmations, that I loathe to see championed and replicated far too often for comfort in this age group.
Overall score: 1/5 stars