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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

Title: Strange and Ever After
Author: Susan Dennard
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: July 22 2014
Publishing House:  HarperTeen
ISBN: 0062083325
Source of Copy: Edelweiss


In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publisher's Weekly called "a roaring - and addictive - gothic world," Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus...all before it's too late.

He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination that ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationship with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has ciriously entangled herself in Eleanor's mission.

With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie's life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time - the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it's over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Strange and Ever After is the last book in the series. Review for the second book HERE.

This is it, the final battle, the moment that will decide whether Eleanor manages to win against the evil that took her mother, her brother and now her friend Jie or ultimately lose everyone dear to her. Eleanor travels all over the place in this installment, from Paris to Marseilles and then to Egpyt, if I'm not mistaken, trying to stop Marcus and hoping to save the life of her friend.

The final installment of this series is...I can't. It's killer. As in when I read...THAT PART (no spoilers) I had to do a reread because why why why why why. Cue ugly crying people. Ugh. On to the review.

Eleanor's control of her powers is getting better but her powers and her demon companion still cause strife between her and the Spirit Hunters seeing as how they're totally against her necromancy. I'm glad that Daniel and Eleanor's relationship actually progresses in this installment and Eleanor does grow as a character. I mean sure sometimes her decisions leave me baffled but Eleanor's a smart girl and fearless too and she always manages to push through. Sometimes I wonder why Eleanor's so afraid of her magic but then I realize it's not exactly unicorns and rainbows when it comes to raising the dead. Dead is dead and zombies aren't pretty.

If you've read the second book you'll know that Eleanor and Oliver are not on good terms but I like how their friendship doesn't just disappear and they manage to bridge the gap between them. He's the one who always urges Eleanor to hone her powers and free him from their contract. And despite his anger and hurt he still cares. 

Strange and Ever After is hard to put down, Eleanor encounters trouble every which way she turns to the point that it looks like she just can't win. And when all was said and done, the ending was terribly poignant. It's one of the more conclusive endings I've read, with all the loose ends tied up. It was sad but Dennard managed to make it hopeful so while I might have thrown a little tantrum I got over it quickly enough. I'm satisfied and I will definitely read the next book the author releases. 

Thank you for this series Susan Dennard, it was wonderful.




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