Author: Amy Plum
Genre: YA, PNR, Zombies
Publication Date: May 7, 2013 (HarperTeen – North America)
Source: Publisher-provided ARC
Summary: I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.
Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want.
It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.
After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?
☆: 4/5 stars – an excellent end to an excellent series!
Review: I’m really, really sad that this series is over, guys. At least we got a novella in between books 2 and 3, but still. We have closure at the end of this book, and we’re given a lot of room to think about what might come next for Kate, Vincent, and everyone else, but I know that I’m still going to be pining for more adventures from Plum in the future. If you want a finale that’s got pretty much everything for everyone, I highly suggest you check out the final book in the “Revenants” series, “If I Should Die”. Note, there are some spoilers for the previous books in this review, so if you haven’t read book 2, you may not want to read this review until after you’ve read it.
So, there is a bit of a predictability factor when it comes to Kate and Vincent’s respective fates in the book – which lowered things from an initial 4.5 to 4 stars. But otherwise, this is a really great book in every way. We get a lot of tension from every possible side and every possible person in Kate’s life – all of the revenants, her grandparents, her sister, and their enemies. Vincent isn’t gone forever (but I won’t spoil further on why or how that happens), and Plum digs deeper into the guirsseur/revenant joint history and relations in a very academically fascinating way. And it isn’t a tiny part of the book, either – Bran’s given a much bigger role compared to book 2, and I was happy to see him get it. We also find out more about how the numa and revenants/bardia split, and how the numa have actually been behind some of the worst pieces of human history (which I felt was a very delicate but awesome touch). The world expands so much with this book, which makes me all the more sad to see the series end.
In terms of character development, I feel like Kate develops the most (and grows the most) out of everyone in these three books. Once the reality of how serious Vincent’s most recent death sinks in, she really puts on her big girl panties on, which made me really happy. She stood up, took responsibility, and was generally more of a badass. I was most disappointed in Jules – for reasons which I won’t disclose here because it’s just way too much of a spoiler, but I will say – read the novella, “Die For Her”, which is from Jules’ POV. And it explains a lot. I like that Plum could have gone into love triangle territory concerning Jules’ actions in this book but didn’t. Many authors would have done it because it’s the easy thing to do, but I’m so glad she didn’t. The torture that everyone goes through, the way that Jules’ departure (along with the revelations of JB’s previous dealings with the numa) really kind of breaks up the family right when they need to be the most united. With Jules, it also leaves some new headcanon space for the fans concerning his feels for Kate, which is always nice.
We do get a few new characters in this book – we get our first good look at an American revenant, as well as more of the European bardia that come to save the day with the huge fight that’s been brewing since book 2 at the end of the book. I love that Plum didn’t overwhelm us with tons of new characters but did choose to show us a few more. I would have liked a few more American bardia included in the mix, as well as other international ones coming to Kate and Vincent’s aid for this final battle, but in terms of what I got? I’m pretty happy with it. There’s still this sense of incredible paranoia the entire book – can we trust this American revenant? Can we trust our own kindred? Who can we trust at all? – that permeates everything and every encounter, every conversation that everyone has in this book, and I love it when authors can fully do that.
Now to the predictability factor: Kate’s fate alone? I kind of saw that coming. As for her ultimate role in the numa/bardia war? That caught me quite pleasantly by surprise. I was a bit disappointed that the grandparents didn’t fight this fate hard enough – they gave in a bit too easily for my taste, but at least they fought at all. So much of YA the parents/grandparents/guardians are missing or they don’t protest what their kids are doing whatsoever unless it’s a contemp book about drug/alcohol abuse. The climax fight with Violette feels a bit anticlimactic, but the ending is still really quite good.
Overall? There’s so much action, there’s nary a dull moment and it speeds us to that all-important final battle, which is the most important part of all. I loved it, and I’m going to miss these characters and this world so much. “If I Should Die” is out tomorrow from HarperTeen in North America, so definitely check it out when you get the chance – it’s one of my favorites of 2013 so far!