March 28, 2014

TitleThe Forever Song

SeriesBlood of Eden, Book Three

AuthorJulie Kagawa ♠ @jkagawa

Published:  April 15, 2014

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Pages: 416

Genre(s): Young Adult ♠ Paranormal ♠ Dystopian ♠ Romance

Source: NetGalley

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

MONSTER

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, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

Average Rating on Goodreads (as of 03/27/2014): 4.54

Ana and Christina put The Forever Song on their Top Shelf!


**SPECIAL NOTE:** An eARC of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

“I promised someone I’d keep fighting, and I intend to do that, for however long it takes. No one gets to decide what kind of monster I am but me.”
~quote taken from eARC of The Forever Song at 37%

Ana4.5 stars.  Holy moly!!  What a ride!  I’m not even sure how I can review this book without giving anything away.  Each new page brought with it a twist or turn, a kink in the story or an unexpected surprise…most of which I can’t share without a spoiler.

I’ve really enjoyed this series and this book was a great ending to Allison’s adventure.  It is definitely the epic conclusion I was expecting.  All my favorite characters are here.  Along with the strong, sassy and smart Allison, is her silent, stealthy creator, Kanin and her loud, boisterous, and extremely endearing brother, Jackal.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoy all three of these characters but, without a doubt, I love Jackal the most.  He can always be counted upon to lighten the mood, tease the others and be his surly self.  But, when push comes to shove, there’s more there than meets the eye!!

These three face untold dangers and huge obstacles as they search for Sarren.  And, what makes it even more intriguing is that the dangers and obstacles come not only from the outside world and the psychotic vampire, but also from within themselves.  Their internal struggles are also a factor in what happens here.  If you’ve got a weak stomach…beware.  Unlike other books that promise war and war never comes, it’s definitely delivered here.  At times, I must admit, that I just didn’t want to “see” another decapitation or swipe of the sword, but it all made sense and added realism to the story.

There are  few surprises I wasn’t expecting…and a few that were a bit predictable, but I must admit that my heart is happy with the conclusion of this story and I, for one, am delighted that Ms. Kagawa chose to close Allison’s story in this way.  I definitely recommend this series for the fantasy, the adventure, the characters and the wonderful storytelling.

Christina: 4.5 stars! I will keep my review spoiler-free for this particular book, but if you haven’t read the first two novels in this trilogy, just know that this is a series that you should be reading and back away quickly just in case. Honestly, there isn’t much more that I can say apart from what Ana has already stated above because I agreed with her thoughts wholeheartedly. Still, I’ll attempt to compose my thoughts into some semblance of a review below.

For the past year, I have sat with a certain type of heaviness on my being after having my heart decimated by the cliffhanger ending of The Eternity Cure. So, you can imagine how I went into this final installment with a bit of trepidation as well as excitement in equal measure, curious to what adventure was in store for me in this last book. Just as I had anticipated, the author managed to pique my interest early and keep me riveted until the last little kindle page-swipe signaling the end of my journey and the conclusion of an amazing trilogy.  Similar to The Forever Song‘s two predecessors, Kagawa doesn’t reel in the gore or the gut punches to your feels, instead she barrels the story, the action, and the character development forward at a breakneck speed, and you’re pretty much left holding on for dear life and praying to make it to other side with a few of your favorite characters unscathed. Not only that, but she’ll keep you guessing what outcome lies ahead for these character and even surprise you with every twist, turn, and unexpected motive that works its way into the story. My exclamations and expletives were on a little on the numerous side this go-around, especially with the amount of times the author managed to catch me unaware. It was a conclusion that left me entirely satisfied and hopeful for the characters and the world that I had grown so attached to over these last few years.

But if I can say anything worthwhile about this trilogy, it’s that it was such a breath of fresh, imaginative air in the paranormal genre. Revamping (heh) the paranormal world, Kagawa infused the tired vampire plot with new life, leading us down a new rabbithole of awesome with her wholly original take on these well-known monsters. She managed to cocoon me in this desolate world of vampires, rapids, and lowly humans, built upon a foundation of despair and dying, betrayals and camaraderie, and love and hope in world where it shouldn’t have existed. She gave me characters that I could despise, and love, and love to despise. You also never leave these books with the same feelings you entered it with at the beginning because the author has a way of manipulating your feelings with her writing that is unique only to her style. It was a true pleasure to watch Allie come completely into herself, realizing her worth and her role, and deciding what mark she was ultimately going to leave on this world.

If you’re looking for complete, complex characters, a highly imagined and realized world, flawless storytelling with a side of gut-wrenching feels and a heaping of unexpected humor, you don’t want to overlook The Blood of Eden trilogy. I read each novel a year apart and loved them. I can’t even begin to imagine how incredible it would be to read them consecutively, so get on that. I know I plan to reread them all at some point.

♠ A very special thanks to HarlequinTEEN and NetGalley for providing us with early copies of this title in exchange for our honest reviews. 

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