Friday, November 12, 2010

Review: Afterlife

Synopsis:The fourth book in this electrifying vampire series has all the romance, suspense, and page-turning drama that have made Claudia Gray’s Evernight books runaway successes. Having become what they feared most, Bianca and Lucas face a terrifying new reality. They must return to Evernight Academy, Lucas as a vampire and Bianca as a wraith. But Lucas is haunted by demons, both personal and supernatural. Bianca must help him fight the evil inside him, combat the forces determined to drive them apart—and find the power to claim her destiny at last. Readers have fallen in love with Bianca and Lucas, and they will be thrilled to read this exciting conclusion to their romantic adventure.

My Review: Finally.  The last installment of the Evernight books.  Evernight was my favorite vampire novel for a very long time.  The originality and the amazing plot twist had me hooked.  As the books progressed however, I felt like my love for them kept shrinking.  Stargazer was a huge disappointment for me, but Hourglass really made up for the second one.  Hopefully by the end of this review I’ll have a concrete answer as to whether or not I liked Afterlife.   
Afterlife picks up directly where Hourglass left off.  Bianca has died and become a wraith, and Charity murdered Lucas and he became a vampire.  The irony that they both became what they most feared wasn’t even the slightest bit amusing.  More than anything I was annoyed by it.  I’ve felt ever since Stargazer that Gray has been “feeding the drama llama.” There was so much drama going on that it detracted away from the story.  Instead of getting tense when yet again something happened, I found myself rolling my eyes.  Ope Black Cross just popped up out of nowhere. Ha, Kate just tried to kill her own son.  Surprise ambush!  Wraith attack! Just uh.  I didn’t once feel legit concern over anything that happened because I knew that it would quickly subside and they would move on.  And guess what?  I was right.  Even the major “surprise” parts of Afterlife I called a couple chapters ahead of time.  It was just frustrating that not one aspect of the novel had me at the edge of my seat. 
It truly sucks that for the past 3 books I have been so unimpressed with the plotline, because I adore Lucas and Bianca.  They are probably one of my all time favorite YA couples.  Their love for each other goes beyond infatuation and physical attraction.  Lucas would do anything for Bianca and vice versa.  Yet at the same time other aspects of their life still remain important to them.  They’re not blinded by their love for each other and still remain practical about their situation.  I love both of their characters and their interaction with each other is just very well done.  Their situation in Afterlife is even more frustrating than previously.  With Bianca being a wraith and Lucas being a vampire, them ever having a chance of being together is slim to none.  They never give up on each other, but the situation just blows.  Those two deserve to be together and the fact that fate just keeps getting in their way is a huge bummer. 
When the plot moves back to Evernight, yes that’s right they go back to the school, the storyline stabilized a bit more.  It didn’t feel as forced as the beginning so I didn’t actually mind it all that much.  As per usual I adored Ranulf and Vic.  I would LOVE to have those two as my BFF’s.  Ranulf, just god, freaking most adorably awkward 1300 year old vampire ever.  He is always just so literal that it makes me laugh soooo much.  I want to ruffle that bowler haircut of his so much.  Vic is equally awesome.  His commentary on everything that happens always lightens the mood and makes it more enjoyable.  One of my all time favorite lines of the book dealt with Vic.  Vic asks for a weapon to break down a door.  Bianca turns around and says “I never thought they’d give him the flame thrower.”  LMFAO!  Just gah!  Hysterical!  Vic+ flame thrower=EPIC! I love those two to death. 
It has been a while since I’ve read the rest of the books, so I can’t really remember my impression of Mrs. Bethany very much.  However, in Afterlife I felt like I really understood her character a lot more.  I got her motivation for her actions and what events in her life lead her to be the person she is now.  While I understood why she was doing things, I still kind of think she’s a psycho.  I don’t really like how things ended for Mrs. Bethany either.  While she was an uncaring, ruthless psycho of a woman, I think she deserved some happiness in the end.
The whole wraith/vampire mortal enemies deal was FINALLY explained at length.  It was nice to know more about the wraiths and their side of the story.  When the wraiths were first introduced to the story I had the biggest WTF moment.  I’m pleased to say that I kind of like the wraiths now.  I more fully understand the concept of them and why they were so important to the story.  If anything, the wraith spin on the vampire story is probably the most original idea in the YA world. 
So in the end I enjoyed it.  While the plot wasn’t all that gripping, it was nice to get some closure to Lucas and Bianca’s story.  I loved the fact that Gray didn’t give us the perfect fairytale ending.  She left us on an optimistic note, but nothing was perfect by any means.  All in all, a good ending to a good series. :) 


Alexa said...

Kind of jealous that you got to read this already. The Evernight Series has grown on me with each book and now I wanna know how it ends. I'm glad she didn't give a perfect ending. Can't wait to read this one for myself.