I loved The Eternity Cure. Loved. And its ending left me shocked and gutted and desperate to find out what would happen next. All of this had me foaming at the mouth for The Forever Song. Sometimes, though, when you go into a book with expectations so high, even a fairly good story will leave you feeling a little let down and disappointed. I think, in part, that’s what happened to me here.
First of all, if you haven’t read the first two books in this series, stop reading now and go pick up The Immortal Rules. This is not a standalone and I am going to talk spoilers from the previous installments. (I’m not kidding. Go read the first book.) As the story begins, our heroine Allison believes her beloved Zeke is dead. We, the readers, know he is actually undead… turned into a vamp by the evil, crazy vampire villain, Sarren. So we spend the first third of the book following Allison, Kanin, and Jackal as they track Sarren and seek revenge.
Allison’s solution to dealing with her heartbreak is to try to turn off her humanity. If she embraces her inner monster, she doesn’t have to feel the loss. But I just couldn’t connect with this part of the story. I understood what was happening on an intellectual level, but I just never felt… well, anything. Even when Allison has her big moment when she allows herself to mourn, I was unmoved. This is even more disappointing in light of just how much Julie Kagawa has made me feel in the previous books. I cried like I was watching Steel Magnolias. But here – nothing.
I felt the book finally took a step up once our ragtag trio found Zeke. That’s when I started catching glimpses of the characters I have become so invested in. Allison’s recommitment to her ideals and her determination to save the world from Sarren’s evil plans are the steam that drives the book forward. Jackal is actually one of the most interesting parts of the story. His character is so much more than meets the eye. And he isn’t afraid to call things as he sees them. Kagawa’s world building continues to shine. And I thank her for giving me an ending that I could walk away from without wanting to toss myself off a cliff. (Yes, Veronica Roth, I am looking at you.)
But, aside from a sparse few plot points, I found the story to be pretty predictable and with a heavy emphasis on teen romantic angst. This is such a shame, following an installment that managed to sucker punch me like nobody’s business. Everything I thought would happen in this book ended up happening. Only the details were different. That’s not to say that the plot wasn’t how I wanted it to play out. It was (the first third nonwithstanding.) I just expected something bigger. Something devastating or shocking or epic. It was none of those things. It was just… ok. Not bad. Not great. But it gave me an ending I could live with. So I’ll take that and try to be satisfied.
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Forever Song
by Julie Kagawa
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen