Top critical review
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I hated this one.
on August 31, 2014
Rachel learns obligatory life lessons while she plays dead and cuts herself off from her magic and all that comes with it (the demon collective, the Everafter etc) as she tags some members from a mysterious hate group.
I bought this book way back when it first came out and have repeatedly tried (and failed) to get through it over the YEARS since then. I finally finished it and am happy to report that from about 60% on it finally gets a lot more interesting---plus the books that come after this one are even better so it was worth it!
But I still gotta say I hated this book because it makes absolutely no sense that Rachel would suddenly (and inexplicably) decide to cut herself off from her magic and the collective. She has always used magic and she has always used it responsibly so much of this book felt obligatory--like the author was trying way too hard to prove that Rachel was "growing up" and experiencing character development but wtf, we are 10 books in and it's already happened so it's a little late to start doing it all over again!
In an effort to show us that Rachel was all growed up the author just made her seem like a clueless idiot and sometimes like a completely different person. For instance, Rachel spends a very painful 50% of this book in the captivity of humans and keeps becoming shocked again and again that she's powerless without her power. She keeps having the revelation that whoa it would be way easier if she had access to her magic---BUT NO, then she keeps bringing up her fears about Al and the Everafter and decides it's better to be powerless. How does this even make any sense? It's like the author expects us to just ignore the fact that Al and her resolved their issues at least 3 books ago! Seriously, in the last book she was saving Al's life and and becoming his friend and now she's suddenly terrified of him for no real reason? Her decisions and revelations only made sense if you ignore all the character development and revelations that already happened in the previous 9 books! As someone who has read all of these books this was just insulting.
The "mystery" in this one was also laughably transparent--so much so that I was actually confused by it. Like I was confused when Rachel finally had a revelation and figured out who the "bad guys" were because it was already so obvious who they were that I had assumed she already knew it. I can't help thinking that some of the things that happened over the course of apprehending her tags and solving the mystery were just plain weird and out of character too, but whatever, I gave it 3 stars because I DO think that the author managed to make it work in the end and I get what she was trying to do (well I guess what I mean is it worked out better than you'd think given how bad it started out).
The truly redeeming part of this book was Trent. There is a new tension between Rachel and Trent and it's fun to watch them be all awkward with each other. That alone made the book worth reading for me, not to mention if I'd known how good the next 2 books were I would've forced myself to finish it WAY sooner.