Review: The Forever Song

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Title: The Forever Song [Blood of Eden #3]
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Dystopian Fantasy Romance

Synopsis:

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.

I am extremely conflicted with this novel. I absolutely loved this series. I loved the moral conflict and the balance between good and evil, as the characters tried to define each word and justify their actions. I loved the humour, the violence, individuality of each character. This book had all of those things, but it just didn’t work as well this time.

Note: Before we go on, I warn you that this review may contain spoilers, though I will try to keep it spoiler free. It will mention things that one can gain from the synopsis though (i.e. spoilers to The Eternity Cure).

Let’s start with the synopsis. Yes, I have a slight complaint about the synopsis: It deceived me. I expected a good chunk of the book to be all about the senses – she was a monster, no? So everything should be heightened, seen through the eyes of a vampire out for blood. While I got a lot of description, none of which regarding a crazy vamp with its emotions off, I got a lot of what the last two books had (i.e. an excessive amount of good or evil, peace or murder, etc.). I was fairly disappointed that I didn’t get to see a little bit of psycho, especially on her end (though I guess that would’ve resulted in more angst, which would have made the book even more lengthy).

Next, Allie. Jeezus. Her narrative ran around in so many circles, I got dizzy. One second, it was all, “I AM A MONSTER HERE ME ROAR,” and then five minutes later she was like, “ZEKE THO. I CAN’T -sobs-“. She is really bad with this whole grief thing. Also, even though I appreciated the whole moral battle in the last two books, this time, it was just too much. It was borderline excessive and it really didn’t hold my attention. I flew through the first two books, taking a day to read each one. This one took me three days just to swim through all the moral dilemmas.

The surprise honestly wasn’t a surprise. I suspected it at the end of The Eternity Cure. And I was right. What I wasn’t expecting was the doubled up angst that came later on. The whole monster, demon, thing versus good, pure, and human basically drowned me. It was book one amplified. I was very much done with this conflict by the second half of this book (as was Jackal it seemed). And the romance between Allie and another vampire was painful and excessive. It would surface at the most inappropriate times too. Oh, we’re in the middle of a battle, kay, cool, let’s stare into each other’s eyes as Rabids eat away at our companions. ‘Cause that’s a sure way of surviving. Also, the fact that the romance almost overpowered the whole gotta-save-the-world concept, I was really disappointed. This was a series in which the romance has been pretty tame, but then BAM we get hit by an 18-wheeler full of it. Truth be told, I wish there was less romance and less… everything (except for Jackal, I think I needed more of him).

Zeke. Well, he’s dead, so there’s not much happening there.

I would like to take a moment to bless Jackal. He was the shining star in this novel, providing the comic relief that was very much necessary in order to get through most of the book. His character development was also impeccable. Let’s start from the beginning though. Jackal’s one liners have always made smile, even when he was being a total pain (those times were also entertaining). In this book, his comments basically conveyed everything I wanted to scream at the two love birds. The best line being, “This isn’t rocket science. If you don’t want to be a monster, don’t be a bloody monster! Be an uptight stick in the mud like Kanin. Be a self-righteous bleeding heart like Allison. Or you can stop agonizing about it and be a fucking monster.” LIKE THANK YOU. BLESS YOU ETERNALLY DAMNED SOUL. JFC. THANK YOU. Jackal was the voice of reason (crazy, I know) throughout this installment, next to Kanin, and his character is, most definitely, one of my favourite in YA.

Jackal’s character development was subtle and absolutely perfect. I loved that he didn’t need to war with himself to change a little, he found a perfect balance between his two different worlds: his family and his vampiric urge to be a murdering asshat. Throughout the novel, it was great seeing him transform, little by little into the best YA character ever. If anything, his story was more interesting than Allie’s…

Now, Kanin. Freaking, saintly Kanin. He’s right up there with Jackal, he points out all the garbage in this book, questioning them and being the papa of the lot of them. I’ve respected his character since the beginning of this series. He manages to cut through all the crap and gets right to the crux of things, no matter how ugly the truth is, he’ll give it to Allie and the readers. His character gained my respect and will also remain as one of my favourite YA characters.

On another note, what I love about Julie Kagawa is that she doesn’t shy away from the gore, the blood, and the pain. She jumps right into it, giving us all the details of the fight, the setting, and even the overwhelming romance. I always enjoy reading her books because I always feel like I’m shedding my own reality and donning her fictitious one. It makes her books and characters real, and all that much better (most of the time).

All in all, this was not close to my favourite book in this series. It went in circles a fair amount, and I was pretty much done with all the idle threats and sobbing by the end of the book. That being said, I’d still say read it. Kanin and Jackal help cut through all the garbage and make the book better than it would’ve been without them. This series as a whole brings a new look to the vampire/paranormal series. My only wish would have been for the book to end more with a bang than a whimper.

Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 3/5
World Building: 5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Cover: 4.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
GoodReads: 4.31/5

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