Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Length: 393 pages
Source: eGalley via NetGalley
Vengeance will be hers.
Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.
Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions - her creator Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost - the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.
In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, her triumph will be short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.
THE FINAL HUNT IS ON.
Protagonist: Allie believes she's just lost the love of her life to a crazy sadistic vampire hell bent on unleashing an incurable virus upon the world. In her grief she struggles with the monster inside her, the demon that wants to feed and see the world burn. While I love Allie and was really interested to see how she would handle Zeke's death and to see her struggle with her darker side. The thing is, while there was some struggle it doesn't last all that long. While the struggle will always be there, I felt like things were resolved rather quickly and without too much of a struggle. That being said though Allie still has some great character development in this book. There are still a lot of things both internally and externally that Allie needs to sort through before taking on Sarren and hopefully saving the world.
Romance: So... it's not a spoiler that Zeke's alive right? It's been a while since I read the Eternity cure but I don't remember believing for a second that he was dead, especially with how the book ended, and the recap I read seemed to coincide with what I remember, but the synopsis is playing it off like he's dead, so if I did spoil you I'm sorry. Anyway, Zeke and Allie encounter a few problems in their romance over the course of this book. Things have changed, Zeke's been tortured and he's come out the other side a bit different than he used to be. He's guarded and quiet, not sure what to make of his new reality and that puts a strain on his relationship with Allie. Even though it's been quite a while since I read the previous installments in this series, I still root for Zeke and Allie. While a lot of their struggles aren't realistic, vampires being fictional and all, there are still a lot of themes that are relateable to those like myself who have been in long term relationships.
World-Building: Surprisingly while our heroes have been through a lot, there is still so much more to go through before their journey can come to a close. What I love about this world is that while it does contain vampires and that sort of lore is explored, it comes second to the post-apocalyptic and dystopian theme to this story. There's a big vampiric storyline that I don't want to get into because of spoilers but it really sets the tone for the story as our heroes work towards getting to Eden to stop Sarren. The biggest thing though is that finally after nearly three books we finally get to see Eden, and well, don't get your hopes up. I won't say much more than that, but we do learn a bit more about how it works and about what the scientists inside have been working on in terms of a cure to Rabidism. There's so much that I want to say here so many great things we see that expand this world even more, but it's hard because there's a lot that goes on that's tied up in spoilers and I want to keep this review as spoiler free as possible.
Predictability: As I've said before it's been a while since I last perused this world, but a few things stuck with me a few things that I'd predicted way back then during The Eternity Cure, and I have to say I was not disappointed. There's a rather huge twist that I'd rather not spoil but I'm just going to say that I called it. Other than that rather large twist there were a few other things that I was able to predict before they happened. I couldn't always predict the exact circumstances, and under what conditions things happened, but it wasn't too hard to figure some of the big stuff out. However, there was a twist or two that really stumped me, certain things with just enough foreshadowing not to tip me off beforehand, but that upon reflection really make sense.
Ending: Recently I've been doing a lot of reflection on endings, specifically those that are meant to tie up a story whether it's in a standalone or the last chapter of a series, what I've found I hate most of all is an ending that it's completely idealistic. To come to the end of a series or story with no consequences and everyone getting off scot-free is just boring and unrealistic. Thankfully that's not the case here. That's not to say that these characters defintiely didn't get a HEA, but more to say that it wasn't without a shred of pain on the side of the good guys. I'm sad to see this series go, but I love how the author ended things, and I truly feel that there really isn't anything more that needs to be tied up in this world.
So sure, there were a few things I would have liked to see happen differently with a bit more struggle between the light and dark sides of Allie being chief among them. However I really loved how this book went, how it finished off this series, and how this series in general has touched my heart. *queue sappy violin music*