It’s been a long time since I read the first two books in this series. I fairly well mainlined them when I first got them, entranced by the world Karou and Akiva were showing me. It’s not surprising; I’ve always liked angels. But this one stayed out of my grasp for a while, and after I bought it, life caught up to me and I couldn’t manage to do much. But finally, I grabbed it off the shelf and said okay, it’s time to finish this series.
Of course, I still didn’t read it as fast as I might have liked. And in the end, I’m wondering if that worked against me.
I’m going to do my absolute best to not spoil anything, but that probably means this is going to be a much shorter review than I usually post. (I’m sure you’re all heartbroken.) But since this is book three in a series, it’s hard to talk about what happens without spoiling something.
It’s a different book from the last two. It focuses much more on the meshing of the worlds–not just the angels and chimaera, but the humans as well–and it delves a lot deeper into each of them. Characters appear from almost nowhere, some are reintroduced, others are brought in and…I’m not sure what they did with them. Again, I didn’t read this very fast.
But in the end, I remained very torn on the book. I gave books one and two five stars each, and I wanted the trilogy to be perfect 5* all the way across. …and I couldn’t do it. I rated it five stars, and the next day I knew it was wrong. Which is unfortunate, because there are absolutely five star-worthy sections in the book. It just didn’t all come together like I wanted.
The new character who takes up the most of our time, a girl named Eliza, is one (if not the) main sticking point that knocked it from five stars. For the first half to two-thirds of the book, I have no idea why I should care about this character or what’s happening to her. Clearly something is happening to her, and that’s kinda…neat? But why do I care? Who is she? We’re really not given enough to attach to her until very late on. Once we do, I became a much bigger fan of Eliza. Cool character, does neat stuff, A+. But not until too late.
I’ll tell you the two scenes that made me initially rate it five stars. And I think I can do it without spoiling anything.
- The scene in Rome with Akiva and the knife. OH GOD. MY HEART. It ended about the way I expected…it…to? But that late in the game, I wasn’t prepared to predict the end.
- The scene with Liraz and Karou, after the battle, with the canteen. I WAS PREPARED TO GRIEVE. I HAD BEGUN TO. AND THEN THAT DAMNED ANGEL RIPPED MY HEART OUT. This is the only point in the book where I genuinely was verging on tears. (Closely followed by Liraz’s scene with that character after. Augh. Feels.)
And while I liked the ending, it was…stilted? It felt weird. I never felt we knew enough about those characters, and having the final ultimatum coming from them felt forced. I like it, in the long sense, but it still rang oddly. (The very end, with the house, is perfect. Absolutely perfect.)
It’s not a perfect book, and it’s just as flawed as most of the book threes I end up reading. But it’s a trilogy I’m glad I read, and those are characters who will stay with me for a very long time. I heartily recommend the series.
And I’ll miss those characters.
Rating: **** (Recommended)