Review: The Night Before Dead by Kelly Meding

night before deadReviewed by Jen

This is a totally a satisfying conclusion to a series that has taken me to some really dark places. The main character, Evy, has been put through almost every horror you can imagine. She’s been raped, murdered, and tortured. She’s been experimented on. She’s watched her loved ones die. She’s even had to pull the trigger, herself. But with her trials have come triumphs. With her suffering has come the kind of personal connections she never thought possible. She has become more than anyone ever believed she could be.

Obviously, that doesn’t all happen in this one book. This is the culmination of six books that have transformed Evy and the world around her. It was emotional. It was action packed. It was engaging. And it gave me a resolution to all the threads I needed, yet managed to leave the door open for further exploration.  It will surely please long running fans of the series, but I caution new readers that this is not the place to start. This is the end of Evy’s journey, not the beginning.

Basically, this storyline brings us back full circle to the Fey.  A power-hungry sprite wants to take over Evy’s world and it looks like the only way to stop her is to summon something worse to help fight her. But what this book does best is pay off on the characters that Kelly Meding has allowed to live to this point. Marcus and Milo (who I love.) Phin (who is back!) Gina. The Lupus boys. And of course, Evy and Wyatt. It’s interesting that one of the biggest problems I had with the early books in the series was their relationship. Now, it’s the touchstone of the series.

Sure, there is a lot of action. But there’s also heart. There is character evolution that is undeniable and satisfying. More than anything, this book shows us how much Evy has grown into a responsible, honorable woman who thinks before acting and knows the rewards of love outweigh its risks. And I’m not just talking about Wyatt (though I love what they have become together)… I mean her deep friendships, even her bond with the boys.

So… the feels are good; the pacing is good; the worldbuilding, the character growth, the continuity… win, win, win. My only small niggle: you knew exactly which people were going to be the ones most at risk. Even though Meding tries to fake you out, you know. Also, the villain was kind of superficial and out of nowhere for me. BUT, those things didn’t keep this book from giving me what I wanted –and needed– to end the series. It’s almost too satisfying. But then I think about everything we’ve gone through to get here and I realize… I’ll take it.

Thank you, Kelly Meding, for not killing Evy again.

I hope we get a chance to revisit Dreg City in its next incarnation.

Rating: B/B+

*ARC provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Night Before Dead
by Kelly Meding
Release Date: February 19, 2016

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