I know all good things must come to an end. I have to say, I am sad to leave this world behind, but I am utterly and completely satisfied by this ending. What a great conclusion! Devon Monk has done such a wonderful job crafting these characters. They are so distinct and nuanced; I really feel like I know them now. I love them. And for them, this is one of those stories where it always darkest before the dawn.
These books have always been dark, but this may be the toughest one yet. Shame and Terric have to endure new heights of pain here. It’s tough to watch. But it’s not gratuitous. Everything happens for a reason, and it’s worth it in the end.
As I have said many time in reviewing this series, these books are not standalones. What makes them so good is the built emotional investment in the characters and the stories that advance over arcs from book to book. This is a direct continuation from Hell Bent. If you’re a new reader, at the very least start there, but I think you would be best served starting with Magic to the Bone. Be warned, spoilers for previous books are ahead.
So as the story begins, Shame is on a mission to kill Eli Collins. The feeling is mutual. Collins killed the woman Shame loved; Shame retaliated by killing Collins’ soul compliment. Now, neither will be satisfied by anything less than the total annihilation of the other. In a way, they both get what they want, because the war between them is bloody –and full of misery, torture, and death. One of the many things that is cool about these books, though, is that life and death aren’t the absolutes they are in the real world. I love how Monk manipulates this here. Sometimes, it’s hard to know which end is up, but I love that. The plot is full of surprises. It’s action packed, and still manages to be emotional at times. I cried more than once.
Shame is so different from any hero I have read. He is a killer. Scratch that. He is Death. His magic eats people. He destroys them, even as he fights it with his entire being. It’s impossible not to sympathize with him. But if you weren’t inside his head, it could be so easy to see him as a monster. I guess, in some ways, that is exactly what he is, but that isn’t all that he is. There is so much more to Shame. I loved being in his head.
Double bonus points: we also spend a few chapters in Terric’s head, which I loved too. Perhaps, the best perspective of all came in the moments these two saw each other the clearest.
The main characters carry this book, no doubt, but the secondary characters really make it so much richer. Like Eleanor, who has been through so much; she has a strong supporting role here and I loved her for all the choices she makes. Allie and Zay, of course, were hits for me, because I love seeing their happy ending. I loved getting cameos from dead characters I never expected to see again. Dash was super awesome. And Collins was the perfect mad scientist. He is perfectly calibrated as 10 shades of crazy with a side order of sadism.
With it all over, I feel at peace with everything. I feel like it was worth it to read all 11 books in this world. And I know I will not hesitate to read from this author again. Would definitely recommend investing in this series.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Devon Monk
Release Date: April 1, 2014