Top positive review
Finally Getting Somewhere
on November 8, 2010
By far the best book of the series so far. I gave book one three stars and book two I gave two stars because they just weren't hitting the marks for me as a reader (check my reviews for the reasons why).
Here's what I liked and why this book stands out more than its predecessors:
The introduction of Jude who, as supporting cast goes, is by far the best character in the series. Let me explain why: I can see who he is. He's an actual person, not the vanilla offering of Ms. Noel in the form of Roman or Drina (boilerplate bad guys); Miles or Haven (the buddies - more on that below). Jude has dimension and, in my estimation, is the saving grace for this novel. The introduction of this character and the plot that comes along with him makes for a more interesting, more dynamic story.
Yes, there are still many parallels to Twilight, but thankfully not as many this go-round. Though one could argue that Jude and Jacob are fairly similar and there is no denying the story arc similarities (Roman's creation of an immortal army is far too similar to Victoria's vampire army in Eclipse). However, Jude and Jacob do differ and I appreciate that the story lines seem to be diverging slightly (I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this continues). For those more seasoned readers it's clear why Jude is introduced and that it plays into the reincarnation aspect of the series, though how Jude fits in is not clear until the connection is revealed. Sure, the love triangle thing is a big element of stories these days, and most of the times if gets to be a little heavy handed, but in this particular novel it really works.
Though I'm not a fan of Roman's, primarily because I still don't really understand him as a character, I do like the possibility of him. There's something there, I'm not yet certain what it is and I'm hopeful that it's uncovered and not left to linger, but I think there may be a hint of something special. Yes, at the moment he's a little vanilla, as I noted above, but he's interesting enough to make me think there's some hope for him. *Fingers crossed*
Here's what I didn't like so much:
Damen's whining about karma and fate got under my skin, which is sad since he is really the one main character I find truly interesting in this series. At times I found myself saying "shut up already, we get it, you're a poor, tortured soul". I hate saying this, because I really didn't care for Twilight all that much, but Meyers handles this element of the book more effectively and in a less whiney fashion. Thankfully this drops off significantly near the middle of the book and Damen becomes less whiney and more insightful.
Here's a point that irks me tremendously. It bugged me a bit in book one, slightly more in book two and now it's driving me bonkers. Miles and Haven are the most banal characters I have had the misfortune of discovering. That Ever continues to refer to these two as her "best friends" is absurd. If I had friends like this I would run, not walk, as fast and as far away from them as humanly possible. Miles sees nothing more than his most recent fixation, his remarks are snarky and trite, to the point where I sigh when he's in a scene. I find his actions repugnant, the way in which he dismisses things that he finds boring is rude and, quite frankly, annoying. He's nice when it suits him and jerky when it doesn't. Haven is vapid. Flighty and unscrupulous in the way she negotiates situations makes her beyond unpalatable as a character. These qualities are all fine, if they're explained and put into context. That simply doesn't happen. They're both self-absorbed, narcissists that have no known motivation for being such. I just don't get it. That Ms. Noel attempts to balance out Haven and Miles' utter disregard of their friend by making Ever feel guilty for harboring so many secrets does not ring true and is a disingenuous device.
I find Ever's reaction to Sabine's dating Mr. Munoz, Ever's history teacher, a bit over the top. I mean really, who cares? It's the end of junior year, you probably won't have him again as a teacher and it's not like they're getting married, so why does it matter so much to you? I find it selfish and inconsiderate that she's so bothered by it. If her irritation stemmed from something real I could understand but by all accounts, Mr. Munoz seems to be a pretty decent guy and not out to hurt anyone. So what he knows you're psychic? He's kept that to himself so far, what's the big deal? I just never got why she was so fixated on this relationship.
Lastly, Ever's failure to heed warnings is getting a little old. In book two she acts impulsively and severs her connection with Damen and in book three she still hasn't learned her lesson and binds herself to Roman. It's becoming slightly unbelievable. I'd like to see some evolution of this character. Something that's been missing in all three books.
All things considered, I'm giving this novel four stars as it deserves it when looking at the entire body of work thus far. In the real world, would I give it a four star rating? No, probably not. But as it stands, it's the best book in the series and deserves to be rated higher than its predecessors. Now on to book four...