Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

Posted April 21, 2014 in Review / 5 Comments

The forever SongThe Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3)
by Julie Kagawa
Published April 15th, 2014
Harlequin Teen
416 pages
Young Adult | Dystopian | Fantasy
Source: Received from Harlequin Teen in exchange for an unbiased review (THANK YOU, I needed this closure!!!)

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About the book:

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.

 

The Blood of Eden series is now over.  This is the last book in Julie Kagawa’s young adult dystopian vampire/zombie trilogy that started depressingly low for me with the first book, The Immortal Rules.  The second book, The Eternity Cure, reached up, grabbed me by the throat and shook the life from me because it was that awesome.

The conclusion did not disappoint me.  It was satisfying, shocking at times, and I’m flat out happy to have read it, despite it’s length (what is up with loooong books?  Can’t we get to the point quicker or be more succinct?  More on that later…).  But I’ve got to say, this IS a series I will recommend to young adults looking for an edgy, bloody, contemplative, and slightly romantic, well written short series.   

So, yeah, last year I did the one thing I HATE that I’ve seen some reviewers do and I read the second book in a series that really didn’t impress me.  Now, hear me out – I was fully ready not to review it out in public so there is that.  But The Eternity Cure was quite awesome and left me greedy for The Forever Song – the final battle between evil and not so evil (?)

And that’s the “wrinkle” woven throughout the entire story: who is evil and who isn’t?  Are there shades of evil or is it black and white?  And really, who is to judge?

If you’ve read the book, I’m curious… is Sarren’s idea behind his madness truly evil?  Okay, so his execution was slightly flawed (understatement of the year), but…   Chew on that for a while.

And that brings me to one of my favorite things about some of the better young adult books written out there.  The discussion questions that the author has graciously includes with their book.  Ms. Kagawa included questions at the end of the ARC so I’m assuming those are included in the finished copy.  These make book clubs, read-a-longs, and school reading groups that much easier and actually figure into what books I would recommend to teen reader.  Any book that invokes intelligent conversation is good by me!

What else makes a good book?  Duh, solid writing of course.  Despite the slow beginning with much inner reflection and contemplation on Allison’s part that I feel could have been shorter and still gotten the point across, Ms. Kagawa wrote a terrific story to close Allison’s adventure into the world of being a vampire.  Once I got past the first quarter of the book, this story really controlled all my attention and I just couldn’t put it down until the very satisfying happily ever after.  Or at least the best you can get as a vampire who is living forever.

The Aussie cover
Australian cover

Ms. Kagawa holds nothing back in terms of main character deaths, as we learned in the previous book, and in graphic gore and terrifyingly inhumane, tortuous situations.  These aren’t your cuddly vampires.  Add in the zombies and humans fighting for their lives and you have lots of people and things out to get everyone else.  Just want to make sure everyone knows what they’re getting into 😉

And slightly off my usual review fare, I want to take a moment to talk covers: the US covers are fine but the best covers are those in Australia!  Granted, the birds and the DNA strand fit the story but *yawn*.  Allison on the Aussie cover is so much prettier to look at.  We Yanks got robbed on that cover!

Overall, I’m extremely comfortable with my four star rating.  While I absolutely LOVED the plot, the world Ms. Kagawa has imagined for her vampires and human survivors, and the HEA ending to this series/trilogy, it was the wordy, slow start to the book that held me back from giving it a five star review.   But trust me when I say that once the blood starting hitting the walls, I was ALL IN!!!!

 

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Julie KagawaAbout the author:

Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.

When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blood of Eden website

 

Other books in the series:

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MyParaHangover

 

 

 

 

 

Kristin

About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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