Wednesday, January 14, 2015

strange and ever after (something strange and deadly #3) by susan dennard: review

Goodreads rating: 3.86
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published July 22nd 2014 by HarperTeen
Source: review copy from the publisher
Genre: YA historical romance

In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus...all before it’s too late.

He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.

With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.

Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.

INITIAL REACTION: This book completely broke my heart... Some things seemed unnecessary, especially at the end, like there was NO reason for it happen, but other than that I loved this final installment!

Nothing has changed since I last read this book. My heart is still heartbroken over how this book and series ended. I heard from a bookish friend that she asked the author after reading the ending how people were reacting to it, and she said she was definitely getting a lot of negative reactions. But just like with the ending of Allegiant, I could appreciate the author's choice, and it wasn't completely senseless. YA authors are really upping the stakes in their novels, and Strange and Ever After raises them even higher.

Book 2 left us with a crazy cliffhanger, with the evil Marcus kidnapping Eleanor's best friend Jie. This is such a great cast of characters. I loved the uncertainty between Daniel and Eleanor and Oliver. It doesn't seem like there'd be a love triangle between them, but it was in a way. Oliver loves Eleanor in a strange demon-and-master way, plus he was in love with her brother, so she's some extension of him. And of course Eleanor and Daniel love each other, but there's so much going on that they don't have much of a chance to really have time alone. And then Daniel starts getting a little jealous of how she seems to be going to Oliver for everything, but he's her connection to the world of the dead, which really come into place in this final installment. There was so much adventure and heartbreak and imagery! I loved that they went to Egypt in this book, and that Dennard found a way to add another character and a whole new layer to the story. Allison was a very interesting character. We met her in the second book, and she was just some stuck-up rich girl. But when she joins Eleanor, it turns out that she's much more complicated than that.

I loved this entire series, and despite one little thing, I loved how this book ended it all. I can't wait to read what Dennard has coming up next; she's a fantastic storyteller!

Lovers of YA historical romance, steampunk, and adventure!

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
The Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood
The Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy by Fiona Paul

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