Thursday, September 11, 2014
Strange and Ever After
Eleanor Fitt is reeling from the many losses she has experienced because of an evil necromancer named Marcus who inhabits her dead brother's body. She and her band of misfit spirit hunters follow him to France only to find a huge horde of the undead and her friend Jie compelled by a spell. They then travel to Egypt to find the Old Man who is they key to raising a powerful creature who endows eternal life and untold magic onto its controller. Eleanor has to put aside her differences with her group and her unresolved drama with Daniel and Allison in order to work together and beat Marcus. She also has to come to terms with her dangerous powers and choose wisely when to use them.
This is one of my favorite zombie series and I'm happy to finally find out what happens, but sad that it's ending. Eleanor is the character I love to root for despite all her flaws. Her temper gets the best of her and she pushes her close friends away despite them being the ones who can best help her. Her temper wouldn't be so bad if she didn't also control very powerful necromancy that can lead to some really rash decisions. Eleanor has to learn that her power isn't the answer to everything and to listen to her friends with cooler heads. She made some decisions I didn't agree with, but learned from her mistakes and grew as a person. Even her most rash decisions stem from her drive to protect the people she loves. She gets very vengeful at a point and loses sight of the big picture, but it's understandable. She's lost almost everything and her grief, anger, and frustration build up. She's only human and I related to her completely.
I loved the journey to Egypt and the setting there. It gave this book a flavor so different from the other books that took place in the United States or Europe. Ancient Egypt has always been a fascination of mine and this book melds it with the Victorian era, zombies, and magic. This amalgamation makes the book come alive. The action is amazing and has more than the first to books combined. Marcus appears in the most unexpected places and they have skirmishes all over. The final battle is amazing. It took my breath away. So much power comes from both sides that I was seriously doubting which side would be victorious. I loved the ending and appreciated that despite the magic that flows throughout these books, death is final.
The only part I didn't really like was how hot and cold Daniel was throughout the novel. One minute he would be compassionate and understanding and then the next he would be super angry for very little reason. Other than that, I wish the series would go on, but the ending is satisfying even though it's sad. I am excited for whatever Susan Dennard writes next.