July 22, 2014

Latest Read: Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

Strange & Ever After (Something Strange & Deadly, #3) by Susan Dennard
Publication date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Category: Young Adult - Paranormal
Source: Gifted from Alexa (Thanks!)
Summary: In the conclusion to this trilogy, Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus before it’s too late. He took her brother, her mother, and now, her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison. 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)

The Good
I normally don’t shy away from writing reviews for series enders but with Strange & Ever After, it took me weeks to even attempt to. Each book in the Something Strange & Deadly series has gotten increasingly better, more action-packed and more emotional (at least for me as a reader!) and this last one is easily my favorite. It’s a conclusion befitting this crazy ride of fighting zombies in the 1800s alongside Eleanor Fitt, Daniel Sheridan and his fellow Spirit Hunters Joseph and Jie and Oliver, Eleanor’s demon. They’ve reached the final leg of their fight against the evil necromancer Marcus and this time it’s taken them to Egypt. They need to save Jie and stop Marcus but everyone has different ideas and agendas. Eleanor thinks embracing black magic will help them win, Oliver wants to be free of his vow to Eleanor’s brother, Daniel wants to be with Eleanor (minus the black magic), Joseph wants to end Marcus (also minus the black magic). It’s a long journey which takes a lot of unexpected twists and turns. (I may gasped out loud at least once if not twice. And there were also some tears.)

Eleanor has grown so much throughout the series and even as she makes some missteps along the way, she truly comes into her own here. She’s more powerful and has more magic in her blood than she knew and personally, I enjoyed watching her embrace and use it. Which is something Daniel, Jie and Joseph were against since A Darkness Strange & Lovely and definitely spilled over into this book much to my frustration. I get their distrust of magic — they’re Spirit Hunters after all! — but this is ELEANOR we’re talking about. She’s tough, strong and with a good heart. I had faith that she could control her powers and use them for good. But even with the tension between their group, I was happy to see the Eleanor, Oliver and the Spirit Hunters fighting together. Especially Daniel..

Basically all the moments I had been waiting for to happen between Daniel and Eleanor (like you know, kissing!) happened. Not to mention they finally talk. Daniel has done some soul searching himself since a Something Strange & Deadly and it definitely shows here. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of him calling Eleanor “Empress”, his inventor ways and the connection they share. But in addition to their relationship, we see others take shape. There’s the bond between Eleanor and Oliver, the friendship between Eleanor and Jie and the unlikely camaraderie between Jie and Oliver. They’re all a team and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I read waiting to see how the battle against Marcus would end.

(Some) Reservations
None! Other than not being ready to say goodbye to this series!

Do I recommend?
This is one of my favorite series so I highly recommend this. It’s a unique story with wonderful characters and a solid ending. Read it!

1 comment:

  1. I just love this series forever and ever and ever! This last installment was just the perfect ending, the coup de grace, and I think Susan did an amazing job writing out these final chapters of this story.

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