Initial reaction:I enjoyed "The Eternity Cure" for what it offered. Dude, this book was a roller coaster ride. Though I kind of missed some of Allie's swordwielding scenes in this one (she had a few, but not as many as in "The Immortal Rules").
Yeah, it's official. As much as I may grow attached or grow to loathe characters in Julie Kagawa's novels, I still find myself compulsively reading them and drawn to the narratives. She has a way of setting place details and conflicts that knock you off your feet when you least expect it, and "The Eternity Cure" isn't an exception.
To be succinct, I liked "The Eternity Cure" around the same level as the previous book. But there were characters in this book that stepped up to the plate in a big way compared to the former. I didn't expect Kanin or Jackal to be as much in this book, but being able to see their characters more really shone more light on their respective versatility.
On the other hand, Zeke was kind of too much of a TCO for me in this book. What's a TCO? It stands for "the Chosen One." I'll explain this more as I get into the heart of the narrative.
So this book picks up exactly where the last book left off. Allie's left Eden and Zeke behind, goes off to find Kanin, who's being tortured by Sarren. Sarren is one messed up, sadistic dude (if his actions in the last book weren't any indication). In her journey, she happens upon her evil vampiric brother Jackal by chance. Both of them are looking for Kanin, as his calls to them are irresistible. I'll admit I had to think a bit to remember who Jackal was, but when I did, I was like "Ohhhh. Well, that's a conflict of interest."
But it surprised me just how alluring Jackal's character was even for an "evil" character. His snark was hilarious, probably reminded me a lot of other anti-hero characters from other narratives that while I hated them for their actions, somehow the character ends up being endearing anyway. So I followed their journey to where the Molemen were, and guess who shows up there that Allie wasn't expecting.
Zeke, dude, you have a way of showing up at the most random times.
I'm not going to say that I didn't think Zeke's character had palpable chemistry with Allie, because he does. I liked that, but to be honest, his role in this narrative is a little too convenient. What with his role in finding the cure, showing up in a key, convenient battle with little repercussions, etc. It's too much of a TCO for me to suspend disbelief at his role in events and such. The conflicts felt a bit abbreviated because of that, maybe more than I was expecting. I don't think his role was as strong as in the original novel, tbqh. He also didn't really show that much character growth in comparison.
Kanin actually had more standing in this novel as well (which I liked), once Allie, Zeke, and Jackal reluctantly team up to find him in Allie's old city. Of course, they run into not so savory parties trying to get the vampire sire out. I saw he hadn't lost his humor despite being put through a lot in this novel, what with him saying at one point that "good news" was getting the jeep running again, and bad news was that he lost his fuzzy dice in the dashboard.
I laughed. ^___^
The character that really annoyed me most in this novel was Stick. I hated the guy (he was giving Sarren a run for his money in terms of unlikable characters). No kind of redemption whatsoever. He was such a spoiled brat, and when Allie finally had enough of his putdowns, I was rooting for her to give him a swift kick in the bum for it all. Didn't quite turn out that way, but I'll admit it did well for the emotional conflict and turmoil that Allie was put through when having to confront issues and people from her past.
There were enough respective twists in this narrative to hold my attention. Not enough harrowing battle scenes like the last novel, but still a few that were tense enough to have me at the edge of my seat and reading on.
But Kagawa kills me with her twist endings (in a good way). I didn't see that one coming. And while it was somewhat satisfying to see one character get his just desserts for all the things they did in the novel, I'll admit I kind of felt removed from that whole measure, and I'm not sure why. Maybe it was the nature of the twist, maybe it was the very last sentence of the novel that kind of told me what to expect. I don't know. But I know one thing, I'm waiting on my hands to see what Kagawa does in the next installment.
Overall score: 4/5 stars
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Harlequin TEEN.