Strange and Ever After

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Goodreads Summary:

Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus…all before it’s too late.

He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, 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, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.

With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, 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 life.

In the beginning, Eleanor is kinda a bitch. She’s sinking farther and farther into the darkness that took her brother, and no matter how many times the others try to make her realize it she refuses – emphasizing their point – and grows more and more isolated.Only when she’s with Daniel does she seem to come back to herself, and I remember why I like her character. I got so frustrated with the way she uses everyone around her, especially Oliver (not that he’s a golden boy, but at least he’s honest about what he wants, good or bad). She finally has an epiphany about 2/3 of the way through and gets back to the bad-ass with a conscious that I fell in love with in the first book.

Allison’t reappearance didn’t make much sense to me, until it became so glaringly obvious, I thought it was really clever the way Dennard tied her in – linking all the characters in the three books and showing how each of them dealt with their loss. By the end of this, I loved Oliver, I was pretty neutral on him in the second one, but in this he was amazing. He and Eleanor make such a good team, and while he’ll never take Daniel’s role, I still think he’s a great guy for her to have in her life; those two boys know her the best and push her to her limits (in good ways). Speaking of Daniel, I’m so glad they finally figured their relationship out! The back and forth was believable though, and I never felt like it was being drug out for suspense or anything, but I still heaved a sigh of relief when they finally admitted their feelings for each other.

Personally, this was my favorite book of the series, I think each of them was better than the next, but I have seen a lot of reviews with one major complaint: the death of a character. Now, I certainly wasn’t happy about it – and I’ll admit I got a bit teary eyed (mainly because of how beautiful Dennard’s writing is), but I’m opposed to the belief that the death was meaningless or unnecessary (cough, Allegiant, cough). It sucked, but hadn’t Dennard warned us? All the talk between the Spirit Hunters about how they would die for each other, and who of them was specifically not allowed to die. Didn’t the character admit on numerous occasions that they didn’t see themselves as up to par with the rest of them? Obviously it is untrue, but for the character I don’t think they could have lived with themselves if they hadn’t made the greatest sacrifice to protect the ones they loved, after all, that’s what they had dedicated their life to.

Anyway, I loved this story, and I thought the death was done well.

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