Anyhoo, enough of my chitchat. I know you've just been anxiously waiting for what glorious things I have to say, so I'll stop chatting and get to the reviews. :D
I haven't read too many vampire stories, but I kept hearing such good things about this series that I knew I wanted to read this one day. And I am ever so glad I did! Because wow. Ms. Kagawa has created a pretty complex character in Allie and her world is absolutely non-romanticized, a bit gory, and very real. To put it mildly, Allie is awesome! Her quandary with her vampire nature versus her desire to be fully human again and how she handles it just got me in the gut. I was immediately drawn in the story thanks to her and eagerly devoured page after page just to stay in her head and find out what choices she'd make next and how far she'd go to keep her secrets safe. A flawed, but sympathetic, heroine makes for excellent reading, I must say! Yet it's not just Allie, the entire cast of characters are fascinating. Trying to discern their motives and what they would do next isn't easy and they are far from lovable at times. (Some never did grow on me, I confess. But that's the nature of humans, some are always more likeable than others.) All in all, this was a fabulous beginning and I was extremely grateful that I could immediately dive into book two without waiting! :)
The stakes are higher and the choices harder here in book two. Ms. Kagawa shows no mercy in being willing to throw any and all amounts of angst at her characters! Just at the moment you think things have a bit of time to relax, you're reminded that nothing and nobody is safe in this world. Allie is still as tough as ever and the people and vampires she's surrounded with are as compelling and frustrating as always. I am amazed at Ms. Kagawa's skill at making her world feel small yet enormous at the same time. Because every choice made has far-reaching consequences, as Allie finds out again and again. And make no mistake, this world is not rainbows and kittens! Things are dark and twisty. It became very clear that Ms. Kagawa planned out the details of her story from the beginning because things I'd overlooked before suddenly became important. Once again, I was drawn in unable to stop reading while the tension rose...and then I got to that cliffhanger ending. And immediately opened book three because I had to find out what happened next!
Everything explodes in this final book of the series. Not literally! But not one character comes out unharmed or unchanged. If book two was dark and twisty, this one just increases that darkness and throws in several plot twists I wasn't expecting, as well as others I was. Allie is such a great mix of strength and vulnerability. She is the biggest reason I love this series! Her fight to bring her two sides together finally comes to a head and the choices she makes frustrated me at times, yet intrigued me constantly. As did Kanin and Jackal! While I could never fully understand either of them, I was fascinated at the same time. And watching the three of them together, as a makeshift family of their own, is so much fun! I never thought I'd say that, but it's true. :) Another character really irritated me in this book, however. He'd been such a nice guy in the first two books (and a light for all the darkness!) that his change disappointed me. Luckily it doesn't last too long, yet while I understood his reasons, it bugged me nonetheless. Regardless, this is a series I really enjoyed! It kept me up half the night and that is always the sign of a fabulous story. :)
This was fun! Nothing too deep or thought-provoking here, but if you're willing to turn your brain off and just be entertained, then I think you'll like it. Grace has a few frustrating moments, a couple of her choices I didn't really understand, but overall she's a sweet girl who's struggling to come to terms with a family crisis. Moving to Korea and the subsequent friendships that develop help her to realize her own strength. Plus a dreamy guy to crush on doesn't hurt either! ;) The romance has a bit of insta-love to it, but once you get beyond that they're pretty adorable. And the other characters are enjoyable as well! Especially Sophie. She was definitely a much better friend than Grace deserved at first, but Grace soon realizes how awesome Sophie is and accordingly strives to be a nicer friend in return. As someone who has watched a Korean drama or two, I thought it felt like a cute and fluffy homage. There are a few moments that feel a little contrived, but most k-dramas have a bit of silliness in them so I wasn't bothered. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and it's one I'll reread again!