Pre-read: The cover colors...they are pretty. =)
Looking forward to this one just the same. Hard to believe this is the last of the three.
Post-read: Review to come. Nice ending to an interesting series, probably one of the more interesting vampire series I've read in this genre. There were just as many moments that were fun in this book as there were harrowing (and maybe on the angst ridden side), but it was still cool.
Julie Kagawa's "The Forever Song" was - collectively speaking - a wonderful conclusion to the "Blood of Eden" series. I'll admit this book sucked me into its respective journey the whole time - with a range of emotions that I usually love having in any book experience. This book picks up almost right where "The Eternity Cure" left off - with Allie, Kanin, and Jackal setting off to look for Sarren before the cunning, unpredictable mastermind reaches Eden and decimates the place that Zeke called home. One of the things I loved about this book was that the action scenes pretty much came back and the familial chemistry between Kanin, Jackal and Allie were such a relief to read - providing comedic value to set against the tension of events and revelations that the story hands down. But there's also a fair share of angst to be had - what with Sarren leaving a few unexpected surprises to torment Allie and her companions. I predicted two of those reveals just from the foreshadowing the ending provided in the last novel, but I'll admit I had no idea which direction Kagawa would take it.
Some of the torments were expected, some were even very good for emotional quality. Others...were a bit repetitive and overdrawn for my liking, I'll admit - which is why I ended up settling around a 4-star rating for the read. I'll admit there were places where it felt like Allie had come to terms with one thing, but then did the thing that she said she wasn't supposed to do. It may coincide with her stubborn nature, but at the same time, I wanted to take out my harisen and way "Bone up, woman - we still have half of this book to go!"
Thankfully, it didn't dwell too long on those factors. Jackal and Kanin both gave me life in this work - not just for their sense of humor, but the way they step up to the plate in key conflicts and knowing some of the things that happen to them in the heat of the moment. I definitely found myself sitting on my hands while reading trying to figure out what was going to happen to them, especially when the conflict escalates and the group gets to Eden. The story only dragged a little at a certain point, not so much when it was showing Allie coming to terms with her grief, but more when Zeke was in the picture and things had to work themselves out from there. (I won't spoil for events, but once you read it, you kind of see what I'm talking about.) Sarren was just as twisted as in previous stories, probably even moreso (and the guy was like a hydra - gah!). The race for Allie and crew to not only prevent Sarren from spreading the mutated virus, but also finding its respective cure was harrowing, and I'll admit that was the part of the novel that really picked up for me, especially with how it impacts the group in places and you're not sure what's going to happen to them once they reach that point. Kagawa's writing, as usual, is very on point to both the setting and character actions/emotional resonance. I even found myself nodding along with Jackal when he gives Allie a good kick in bum (by measure of clever wording, as expected) in one of the times where she's sulking. Zeke's presence - I'm not sure how I felt about it. I got the portrayal but I kept thinking that he was just kind of there in certain places of the novel - I don't think he got the kind of dynamic scene time that Jackal and Kanin (or even Allie) did. There were a few times I definitely felt for him (especially during the fight with Sarren), but I'll admit I had trouble - especially in the more toggle of emotions that had to do with his character and revelations that came to pass surrounding him. I don't know how I felt about the romance, but that might be a give and take for people who pick up the work. I read this mostly for the journey, the humor, the action and wondering if the group would find the cure in time to beat Sarren, and for those notes, I followed it fine.
I was satisfied with the way the story tied up its ends overall, though I'll admit it left me wanting even just a little more. This is one of the stronger offerings of a YA vampire series that I've personally read, and I enjoyed it enough to where I would certainly re-read it again, though this book gave me some feels for what happened to certain characters. (Again, not spoiling. My lips are sealed.) Definitely to the point where I was like "NOOOOO!" but I figured it would happen.
I'll admit I'm going to miss following these guys, but overall - recommended, especially for those who liked the previous books.
Overall score: 4/5 stars.
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Harlequin Teen.