**spoiler alert** i wish i could say this more eloquently but whoa, just whoa. this book completely blew me away. it had me tearing at my hair, crying**spoiler alert** i wish i could say this more eloquently but whoa, just whoa. this book completely blew me away. it had me tearing at my hair, crying, laughing, going 'awww' every time brandon or chase said something aww worthy, got angry, all of it. this was an absolutely incredible book. i took a chance on it, reading the synopsis on amazon when i came across it by downloading another book and i am so glad i did. my heart broke for chase because it seemed like he was the only one who didn't get his happy ending but i have to admit, my heart was crying out for brandon right along with harper's and at least he will live on in Liam. just amazing, really amazing. this has to be the only book where i kept checking the percentage at the bottom of the screen to see if i was close to the end, and not because i couldn't stand it but because i just wanted harper to have that happy ending with brandon and didn't want them to go through any more drama lol. but seriously, what a great book. i highly recommend. this is a love triangle done right. ...more
**spoiler alert** This was a good final book to one of my new favorite trilogies. I was very happy that of course Alex and Jessica got their happy end**spoiler alert** This was a good final book to one of my new favorite trilogies. I was very happy that of course Alex and Jessica got their happy ending and that Emily is not alone and is on the road to redemption which was confirmed by her having the nightmares again. Sal's death completely devastated me and the moment Alex was pulled back to the afterlife, I was crying buckets. Excellent writing, especially on that part. I felt everything Jessica was feeling and I have to give her credit, I would have probably broken down but instead she kept her focus on saving Alex and she fought for them. I was very impressed with how she took that on even though it was killing her to a certain extent in the process.
I was very happy with Cole's characterization in this one. It's interesting how he went from being the absolute villain in the first book to being the supporting antihero to an extent in this last installment. I was surprised when Jessica saw Jane there. I wonder if she had been there all along if Jessica and Alex would have been saved all of this hellish drama. But then again, it was obvious Cole had his own feelings for Jessica and I think that was cued in throughout certain parts in the book, so....maybe not.
As much as I loved the happy ending, I have to admit, it felt a bit....short. I don't know how else to describe it. The part in the afterlife was very fulfilling and how Alex was able to return as well as her. But when they got back, it sort of felt, I'm not sure, rushed I guess is the best word to use. Granted, their fight had been with the afterlife and they had both miraculously survived the battle but I felt incomplete by the end if that makes sense. I was glad we got to see Jessica's parents again but I almost felt like Amber's and Rod's story, while being a small one in the background, was just tied up quickly and we were just supposed to assume they got their happy ending as well because they were engaged to be married. Sal, I wish she and Jessica had had a last conversation with one another. It was awesome that Sal got to come in at the end and help to save the day but I just felt like Jessica really didn't get any closure on that relationship. I know Sal died suddenly and that happens to people unfortunately every day and some people don't get to say goodbye, but with Jessica constantly going back to the afterlife and then being there the final time, I just thought it would have been nice to see them say goodbye especially with Sal being completely healed and lucid. Emily, while her story was tied up beautifully, I have to admit, I kind of yearned to see something of her and Austin, if not of her, down the road. Which leads me to my biggest yearning, to see Jessica and Alex down the road, even say a few months down the road or a year or two later. I think it just would have cemented the end if you know what I mean so that's why I put four instead of five stars, only because I felt a bit stilted at the end there. But otherwise, this was a fantastic book and I couldn't have asked for a more appropriate end to such a great story.
If I could rate the whole series, I would give it five stars completely. The characters were very well written and the plot was well thought out. The author executed this story line beautifully while also giving us a look into the endless possibilities of the supernatural while also giving us a portrait of Washington as well as other locations in this last one. That was definitely one of my favorite parts of the story. I have to say Cole was another, I'm a sucker for the bad guy redemption theme, what can I say? Lol. But the author made it happen at a very realistic pace while also remaining true to the idea that Cole was the leader of the condemned for a reason. He didn't just suddenly put on a white hat, throwing his black one away, and I admired the author deciding that for his own story line. Jessica was another favorite part. After many Bella/Anastasia Steele portrayals in books lately (aka setting women back a couple of centuries), this was a refreshing change. You loved her yet sometimes got frustrated with her but then when she decides to fight, you are right there with her, proud of her and cheering her on. It was refreshing to see the woman save the guy for once, even though I know they really saved each other, but still, I loved it. Jessica had a good level head on her shoulders and it was so nice to read for once. Especially, in this story line with these situations. The same goes for Emily. Yes, she made her mistake in the second book by going after Cole, but I had to admire her willingness to fight after Cormack told her not to give up. She simply could have after he was gone, but she kept fighting no matter how much it hurt. Sal, while yes, she wasn't exactly as strong as Jessica or Emily, she had her own strength in a way. She'd been through hell but she was still there, allowing Jessica in bit by bit and even letting her pull her out of her protective shell a couple of times for a quick peek around. To have her show up in the end to help was a great choice and I don't think it could have played out any better for the end of her story line. I just hope she still has access to her books, somewhere up there. ;-) Alex I was very impressed with. Again, not to sound judgmental or biased but, after so many Edward Cullen/Christian Grey's, it was nice to see a guy who yes would do anything for the girl he loved, including trading his life for hers, but at the same time, give her space to be her own person and help her through the tough times, not always needing to jump in and save her right away; instead, he would give her time to try and save herself first and usually she would figure it out on her own. he was supportive, and even a best friend to her in his own way I want to say, but he never tried to control her or change her or anything. He just accepted her for who she was and even though Jessica constantly talks about his perfection, it's not nauseatingly so. You actually see Alex through her eyes and he is indeed beautiful, inside as well as out. So, their relationship as well as their separate characterizations were definitely a highlight of this story for me. There's just so much that could be said about this trilogy: it's refreshing, original, modern (meaning it's not the typical women can't do anything without a man type story) and extremely engaging. It's earned its spot on my bookshelf at home and I look forward to what this author comes out with next. She definitely has a dedicated reader and supporter in me. It's sad to say goodbye to these characters but I'll be visiting them again soon. ;-)...more
**spoiler alert** I have to say I enjoyed this sequel very much. The first book I loved but I really enjoyed the delving into the supernatural more th**spoiler alert** I have to say I enjoyed this sequel very much. The first book I loved but I really enjoyed the delving into the supernatural more this time around.
One change that I noticed significantly from the first book was Cole's back story included in this one. But I also think it couldn't have been told in the first one because as much supernatural as the first one was, it was more the human side of things for Jessica and Alex. So, Cole was immediately the bad guy in the black hat. This one, we got to see further into him and I have to say I was so happy by the end of the book, seeing Cole finally accept that Jessica is completely separate from Jane and actually willing to return back to where he belonged....that was just amazing and makes me even more excited to read Cole's POV.
One of the themes I guess I would call it in this book that I really was quite happy to see was the theme of redemption. Not everything is so black and white and in the world Keary has created for us, that goes for even the World of the Dead. One of the things Cormack said rang true in the end, that you should never just give up, never stop fighting. For Cole, it was Jessica believing had he not made his mistakes in life, that he might have been a decent man. For Jessica, it was Cole telling her not to give up but to fight. For Alex, it was about concentrating on staying in the World of the Living with Jessica and fighting to last another day. For Emily, it was to redeem herself for the murder she had committed and to try and reverse her fate. And for Caroline, it was Alex refusing to allow her to go and kill herself with more drugs. And then the redemption began to play out during the story as well in brilliant moments. For example, Cole, though having a much more sinister purpose behind it, actually found Alex's mother and gave her back to him in a way, also warning him unintentionally of just how bad Caroline's addiction had become. Jessica heard Cole out, sure to keep him satisfied so Cormack could come back to make him leave, but eventually, she really listened and she began to see that while Cole was indeed the leader of the condemned, that he was very much in that grey area. Which, a quick side note, I don't know if Keary's choice of grey eyes for the ones who haven't been judged yet, especially making sure Alex has them while staying with Jessica in the World of the Living, was intentional but it's definitely a superb detail that really complements the idea of everything has grey in it, not just the black and the white. But back to my original point, Emily was able to let Cormack go but also listened to him and decided in the end she would try to reverse the expected decision when her time came. I mean, there's just so many interwoven details that contains this theme of redemption so beautifully, it's just hard not to fall in love with a story that not only has such wonderfully well-written characters to cherish but also has obviously been very well-thought out by the author and executed it in an even more amazing manner.
The only thing I wasn't crazy about in the story was Jessica's reactions to Alex refusing to propose to her. And that's not due to the author making a bad decision or how they wrote it; that's purely just a quality of the character I didn't like just myself. However, she did realize in time that she was overreacting (thanks to Sal, love that woman, and Cormack) and needed to have far more understanding of just what Alex was going through and why he was hesitant to make it official. And then Alex was also made to understand completely why it was important to Jessica. (And the ending scene and that line, love it!) I just hated that it caused them to fight so much before Cormack came into the picture. It just seemed such a trivial detail to fight over when the man gave up his life for yours, is committed to you completely, he's on borrowed time so to speak and because you don't have a rock on your finger, you have to give the guy attitude and make his life (or existence I guess I should say) miserable as well as your own? That just really irritated me and there were often times I wish I could crawl into the book and shake her hard, saying, "What are you doing?" Lol. But it was made all right in the end and it was an essential part of their journey they had to go through to get where they are now. Like I said, it's not because of the author's writing or her choice to have that be part of the characters' story arc, it was just me on a personal note with Jessica herself. I was so invested into the story as I was the first one that it captivates me that much and induces such strong emotions in me. Just another testament to the amazing wonder of this series.
Oh and I loved that Jessica has Amber with her now. And that Amber is engaged to Rod, seeing that not all men are bad after her unfortunate experience with her ex. That was a wonderful addition. =)
I cannot wait to start the third book. I just have to see how Jessica's and Alex's story ends. =)...more