Carolyn Crane really put me through the wringer with her Disillusionists trilogy… ripping the rug out of from under me over and over again. But here, in this conclusion, she gave me everything I wanted, leaving me warm & fuzzy, satisfied, and a little wistful now that it’s all said and done.
As the story begins, Justine is going forward with her plans to marry Otto, convinced Packard killed Avery and went on the run. Of course, the readers know the truth. And it’s great stuff as Justine comes to understand what really happened. Once everything is out in the open, she knows where her true future lies. But it’s not like she can just leave Otto. He has become too powerful and he has quietly imprisoned too many of her friends. So the book is essentially about how she can get free of him and save the people she loves so she can find true happiness with Packard.
This installment doesn’t have the same kinds of twists and turns as the other two. It’s pretty straightforward. Which does NOT mean it’s slow or boring. There is plenty of action and some very gratifying interaction between Justine and Packard. Theirs is a love story that has been a long time coming. But perhaps, what is just as satisfying is seeing the evolution of Justine as an individual. Her neurosis made her very difficult to relate to in the beginning of the series, but she has come so far. I’m so proud of her.
And I would be remiss if I don’t give a shoutout to Simon and Shelby, two great supporting characters. Honestly, Shelby has some of the very best lines in the book, as far as I’m concerned. –And Gumby. Let’s not forget Gumby.
It didn’t have the same shocking and dizzying qualities of the previous books, but it scored high points for hitting my emotional happy ending buttons. 4 1/2 stars.
Head Rushby Carolyn CraneRelease Date: December 6, 2011Publisher: Samhain