Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

Summary:

Vengeance will be hers.

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

Monster.

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions - her creator Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost - the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, her triumph will be short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

THE FINAL HUNT IS ON.

NOTE: I received the ARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

It's quite amazing how each book in this series made me laugh & cry and bite my nails in expectation of what would happen in the next chapter. Yet, The Forever Song was, in a way, so much more intense. It was darker and at times painful to read and stomach, but the sense of hope that lingered on each page was the ray of light that pushed me to read on.

Writing style:
Elegant and enticing, Julie Kagawa has once again crafted a story which is excruciatingly impossible to put down.

Story line:
The final book in the Blood of Eden series, where we see different sides of our favorite characters, we go through events and adventures that have us laughing and crying. The book where love, hatred and hope all come together.

Themes:
- The monster living inside each one of us: can we control it? Do we satisfy it's hunger or find a different way to keep it happy?
- Hatred and revenge: what could come out of such an emotional combination?
- Love can be all forgiving, could be glorious and eternal only if you let it. If you pour your heart in it.
- Hope is ever present. It heals all wounds and brings light where there is none.

Characters:
Alison had me really worried in the first several chapters. The darkness that she'd let loose inside of her, threatened to consume the goodness that remained in her vampire heart. But then... when the time came to act out of pure evil, she couldn't make herself do it. I admired her strength and determination to live like a human, despite being in every way a human hunter. Once again, she proved that the monster living in each one of us, that basic evil that dwells in the deepest recesses of our mind and heart, could be put under control.

Jackal had me cracking up half the time, taking a lot of the gritty edge off the story. He also had this extraordinary ability to irritate me (and Alison) with his constant remarks that Alison was being too meek for caring for the 'meatsacks'. But, there was this other, better side of him that poked out in the weirdest of times.

Kanin has always been the vampire with morals, with ancient guilt, with compassion. He lived for ages carrying the weight of the doomed world on his shoulders. That's why the moment he saw a chance for redemption, he grabbed it right away. I liked his strength and the confidence he had for Alison. He was a great mentor and I'm sure, even though he didn't much show it, Jackal loved him in his own way.

Zeke appeared almost out of nowhere. I expected him by that point, but gee! Definitely not the way it happened! He was unrecognizable and no wonder – he had spent some quality time with that looney dude Sarren. For quite some time I thought the real Zeke won't ever come back. I thought (and cried about it) that the Zeke I knew from books one and two was lost forever. Thank Julie that she isn't so cruel.

Sarren, that psychotic lunatic, made me want to be sadistic for a chance. Toward him that is. I wanted to drag him for his non-existent hair and put him through the worst tortures human kind had ever thought up. He did not deserve to die like he did. It was way too peaceful. For all things he did, all the people he killed and tormented... he deserved to suffer a hundred painful deaths.

In conclusion:
A master of prose, Julie Kagawa has once again delivered a story of quality and meaning. The dark edge of her Blood of Eden series is impossible to ignore and I recommend it to lovers of gritty YA books.

My rating is: