Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

April 9, 2014 Reviews 2 ★★★★

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden # 3
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 15, 2014
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
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, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

Let’s start off by talking about the ending of The Forever Song, the last book in the Blood of Eden trilogy.  It ended perfectly, without an ounce of surprise, with every character’s fate wrapped up exactly as you’d expect.  That’s not a complaint, because it was all immensely satisfying.  Less satisfying, however, was the middle section of this book, which felt bloated and repetitive.

OK, now let’s back up to the beginning.  Allie is in just as much shock as we were at the end of The Eternity Cure, mourning Zeke’s death at the hands of Sarren.  She has one mission – to avenge Zeke’s death.  Joining her on the warpath are her vampire father, Kanin, and her brother, Jackal.  They trek through the ruins of Old Chicago, slaying Sarren’s allies along the way, both human and vampire alike.  All of the blood and gore we’ve come to expect in this series is here, and Julie Kagawa seems to find new and inventive ways to tear bodies apart.

When the action is in full swing, or when Allie engages in conversation with Kanin or Jackal, the story is at its strongest.  But when we are inside Allie’s head, things start to drag, and Allie becomes less kick-ass and more mopey.  She tries to force herself to accept that she is a murderous vampire, but there are moments when her old humanity breaks through and horrifies her.  And Zeke is always there, haunting Allie’s mind, but she can’t even think his name, let alone say it.

About halfway through the book, I was frustrated by Allie’s dreariness and the slow pace of the story.  But you KNOW you’re going to end with a good story when you’re in Kagawa’s hands, and of course, we eventually reached that point here.  It just seemed to take a long time to get there.  It would have seemed even longer without the always-welcome presence of Kanin and Jackal.  Jackal, in particular, is one of the strongest secondary characters I’ve encountered.  Whether he’s taunting Allie, rebelling against Kanin, or filleting his adversaries, he livens up every scene he is in.  Kanin is a very strong character as well, and he plays the weary but supportive father to Jackal’s troublemaking son.   I would be thrilled to read a story from either Kanin’s or Jackal’s POV.  Allie is, in my opinion, the least interesting of the three.  That is not a knock against her character, but rather a testament to the depth of the other two.

This series should be a must-read for anyone who loves apocalyptic stories, in general, or vampire stories, in particular.  When you’ve invested your time in a series, it feels so good to be rewarded with an ending like the one in The Forever Song.

Note: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Stephanie

2 Responses to “Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa”

  1. Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction

    I felt similar…it was my least favorite of the series but still I loved it. How can you not? I totally agree about the middle dragging and Alison feeling a tad on the mopey/angst side. I loved the beginning and ending though so it made up for that middle. I can’t wait to see the cover for Talon soon 🙂
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Review of The Here and NowMy Profile

  2. Kelly

    It’s nice to hear that the ending is satisfying, but it sucks that you have to get through a dreadful middle section to get to it. I was really hoping Allie would be the most bad-ass she’s been in this, but it sounds like she doesn’t see much growth.
    Kelly recently posted…Book Review: Through the Ever NightMy Profile

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