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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book Review: The Last Ever After (The School for Good and Evil #3)

Release Date: July 21, 2015
Author: Soman Chainani
Publisher: HarperCollins
Length: 672 pages

In the epic conclusion to Soman Chainani’s New York Times bestselling series, The School for Good and Evil, everything old is new again as Sophie and Agatha fight the past as well as the present to find the perfect end to their story.

As A World Without Princes closed, the end was written and former best friends Sophie and Agatha went their separate ways. Agatha was whisked back to Gavaldon with Tedros and Sophie stayed behind with the beautiful young School Master.

But as they settle into their new lives, their story begs to be re-written, and this time, theirs isn’t the only one. With the girls apart, Evil has taken over and the villains of the past have come back to change their tales and turn the world of Good and Evil upside down.

Readers around the world are eagerly awaiting the third book in The School for Good and Evil series, The Last Ever After. This extraordinary conclusion delivers more action, adventure, laughter, romance and fairy tale twists and turns than you could ever dream of!

    

Review:

Protagonists: So after the shocking ending of A World Without Princes Sophie and Agatha are split up and now seem to be on opposite sides. The character development of these two is very interesting. Sophie, as usual, still struggles with her vain entitlement, feeling that she's owed certain things, or that she's better qualified simply because she wants them. This happens to be one of the reasons I despised her in the second part of this book, I mean, I know she's supposed to be evil, but there's a limit when it's a character I should be in some way rooting for. However, over the course of the book she struggles with finding who she is. Agatha also struggles with figuring out not only who she is but who she wants to be, specifically whether she should be the future Queen of Camelot. She still can't quite see herself as the wonderful and selfless person she is, still focusing on how she appears to others upon first impression. Even though both these girls are still struggling with things they've struggled with in the previous books, Agatha's struggles seem so much more realistic and sympathetic, as opposed to Sophie who just seems as pig-headed as ever. Then we have Tedros, the boy who has come between Sophie and Agatha many times, and who I've held a well known ire for. In fact in my review of the first installment in this series, I really hated him, never expecting that I would root for him even the slightest amount in the next book, and by the last finding him one of best developed characters I've ever read. His development in this book is no different, there are demons in Tedros' past that come back to haunt him and I found he handled them excellently.

Romance: The romance in this book is spectacular. mainly because there's so much doubt with all the characters. It's not all happily ever afters and shining rainbows. There are real problems that these characters, mainly Agatha and Tedros, have to go through. The solutions aren't that easy to come by either. I was freaking out about how realistic this was. Most romantic drama has some sort of drummed up excuse for why everything is suddenly peachy, or at times there might not even be any disagreement and argument. Regardless, Agatha and Tedros, no matter how much they fight and argue and yell at each other, they really care about each other. Though the love triangle with Sophie isn't quite gone in this book, which added a few logs to my I-Hate-Sophie fire, I felt like how it was handled was done expertly and, as aggravating as it was, by the end was needed to complete this epic conclusion.

World-Building: The first book in this series focused on Good and Evil, why if they're in balance does good always win and how Good and Evil cannot exist without the other. The second book focused on Boys and Girls, eventually teaching that one is not better than the other and that they need to lean on each other. This book though, takes a whole new moral under it's wing by focusing on Old and New. This book takes a look at the past, past fairytales and even the past of our protagonists parents, and shows a parallel with the present. I won't go into too much detail, but I will say that this book reveals so much about this world, things so amazing and so shocking that I'm not sure I would have believed them if I hadn't read them myself, as cliche as that sounds.

Predictability: Yeah, I can honestly say that there was maybe a small handful of things that I was able to predict in this book, and those things were either very obvious or very small. There are so many great twists and shocking reveals in this book that it always kept me on my toes. Forget what you thought you knew as you prepare for this roller coaster ride of a story. I loved all of the exposition, the nuggets of the past that we learned about our favorite characters, and even some unexpected but very welcome faces back into this world. There are deaths in this book, shocking and sad deaths, some of which I still can't get over.

Ending: So the ending was epic. There's kind of a time limit set on when a certain thing had to be done by which added a level of adrenaline to the ending, making everything so fast paced and incredible. There was of course a recreation of the epic battle seen on the cover of the book and I have to say it did not disappoint. There is an epilogue style ending to this book, though it takes place very shortly after the end instead of farther in the future as I had hoped. While I was on the whole satisfied with the end of this book, there was a small voice in the back of my head which pointed out that there was just enough left open for a spin off. I have no idea if Chainani will write a spin-off of course but a part of me hopes he does, even if it's just novella sized, I just cannot get enough of this world.

Rating:


I seriously struggled on this one, there were aspects of this book that aggravated me to no end, however the pay off, and that magnificent final showdown, kind of turned my mind around on everything. I kind of want to go back and reread the first book and see if I might like it better after finishing the series, I'm sure I probably will.

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