BOOK REVIEW: UNDIVIDED by Stephanie Erickson

Trilogies–in addition to any serial longer than that–are difficult to complete. There is so much any one reader is going to want or expect from the conclusion. Does the plot turn out the way they expected? Does their favorite character survive the action? Does their favorite couple, their OTP if I may, get together at the end? The list goes on.

Some books do this very well. Others leave something to be desired. I am exceptionally disappointed in the fact that UNDIVIDED seems to fall in the second category.

I’m not sure why, though, which makes writing this review tricky. Part of my trouble is the opening of the book, where we see Owen acting incredibly out of character (and in fact, very much the same way Mac has been chastised for acting in the past) without–as far as I remember–any official intervention. Petulance is wearing, both in viewpoint characters, and their boyfriends. He is relegated to research duty, yet he still manages to always be nearby for all the major plot points. I would have liked to see more distance between Mac and Owen, just to put a little more continuity from beginning to end.

Then there are the new plot elements introduced, particularly with the Potestas. I feel like a lot of new characters, a lot of new concepts, and a lot more complications got tossed in far too quickly, and with too little explanation. So when we get to the end, it has so little impact, I’m not sure how I’m meant to react. I liked the final twist with the Potestas leader Agusto Masterson, but when I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything else, it gets lost in the shuffle.

(Bit of a spoiler here)

Right, so one of the other elements I enjoyed-but-felt-was-rushed was the reintroduction of Amanda. It took me a moment to remember who Amanda was, and just as I remembered the book reminded me, so that’s good. However, it all felt way too quick. She’s introduced, it’s all perfectly fine, and then Mac screws up her cover and Amanda catches on…and within the same conversation? I think? the entire situation is resolved. (One way or another.) This is someone who had a major effect on the way Mac grew up. This is someone who shaped who she is, for better or worse. And yet she’s barely given any screen time, right up until the very end. It feeds into the feeling that there is too much in this one book to really be this short, or just one book.

You see my trouble, though. I’m having a lot of difficulty pointing out the specifics. I can say that something bothered me, but I can’t articulate what I wanted instead, except for more. (I’d like to at least clarify that I did like the book. It’s a good read and I enjoyed seeing the characters to the end of their journey.)

I’m sad to not be as enthused about UNDIVIDED as I was about the other two. Erickson has proven herself quite the adept writer, and I’m not sure what went wrong here. I’m looking forward to reading her other works, however.

I can recommend this as the conclusion to the story but not in and of itself. Still good to see the series to its conclusion.

Rating: *** (Worth a Look)


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