Andrea Cremer writes a compelling book, one which is difficult to put down, and yet each one is so very different. If I had to classify this novel, I'd put it in the category of 'adventure story' - the main characters spend the novel chasing from A to B to C... collecting objects which will help them 'win' the war that's been raging for centuries. It was all rather exciting, but the emotional drama was squeezed into finite moments around this action, in the hours when the main characters should have been sleeping or eating. You read this book compulsively, because the storyline creates such an atmosphere of anxiety and while it's characters are in a race against time, you feel as though at any moment the next great disaster might strike. So you have to keep reading.
I can't say that I was particularly happy with the ending of this book. Calla didn't have to make the choice I was waiting for (I'll say no more for fear of spoilers), and I felt that the ending was the result of a lack of real options. I love a happily ever after, but this one felt forced upon the characters, not chosen. Maybe I'm just sour, because one particular character I'd been routing for didn't fare so well - should have know, Ms Cremer's true intentions had been fairly obvious all along - I'd just been too stubborn to see it.
After three books I still like Calla as a main character. She's independent, intelligent, fair, brave and kind. It's the pack as a whole and now the Searchers too, that make this book stand out however. The characterisations are strong, you can visualise each person, predict their next sentence even, because they are so distinctive in their voices, and they play off one another in such a great way. Even in an action scene the dialogue in this novel is snappy and entertaining. This novel works so well because these characters feel familiar and so its easy to empathise with their plight.
This book is filled with wonderful ideas for settings and 'beings' and kept me on my toes. I enjoyed that about it. Luckily, Shay also annoyed me less in this book - previously I'd felt he was whinny, and used emotional blackmail to wind Calla around his little finger. Punk. But he seemed to mature in this book, which was great. Ren too, was well written, if a little too perfect after all of his past mistakes and 'ego' moments. As always though, the love interests in this book are a real crowd pleaser and 70% of why you will adore this book.
The one thing should say about this novel is that no 'terrible moment' lasts too long. One minute something horrible might threaten Calla's future and ten pages later it's all over. For someone who hates to see characters suffer, this book is a safe bet. I think this trait restricts the emotional impact of this novel though and stops this story from truly challenging its reader. Remember that whole period of time when Dimitri was a strigoi? That's right, you do! Because it lasted for longer than ten pages and forced Rose to decide upon some serious changes. Instead, in Calla's world, she can just go back to the status quo after every challenging situation. Continue the war, protect her pack, don't choose between her alpha males, be in charge. Characters may die and objects may be found, but Calla's life continues, her priorities refuse to shift, and she never has to grow up.
This is a fantastic, epic, adventurous end to the trilogy that transports its reader all around the world. Some people will like it's conclusion. I was frustrated by it. Although the end battle was very satisfying and not at all short! If you've read all the other books in the trilogy, don't think you can miss this one. Duh, it's the frigging ending! For everyone saddened by this news, there is a 'prequel', set in the same world but many, many centuries earlier - RIFT, August 2012.show more
by Annette Shaw