Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Reads: Strange And Ever After by Susan Dennard!!

Hello everyone! Happy Friday!

This week has been a bit off for me, since I missed on my Monday review because I didn't read at all during the weekend due to my co-worker's wedding, recovery after it and massive book hangover after reading Ruin & Rising.

Finally I decided to read one of my precious ARCs I got approved on Edelweiss by HarperTeen and I chose the final book in yet another trilogy that ends this year as my Friday Reads this week! It is also part of two of my challenges, the 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge and the 2014 Book Blogger Summer Reading Program!

 Strange and Ever AfterStrange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I got approved for Strange And Ever After by Harper on Edelweiss I was not only surprised but also it totally made my week! So when I was trying to shake my latest massive book hangover, I decided that reading this one a little earlier than planned was to be the little treat to shake my book hangover.

It might have not been such a good choice. And no, I'm not saying that cause the book wasn't good or captivating. No, I'm just afraid this one is also gonna give me yet another emotional book hangover!

As the final book in the trilogy, I might end up talking about something that might be a spoiler for the previous two books, but I will try my best to keep this review as completely spoiler free as possible.

Strange and Ever After stars right where A Darkness Strange and Lovely ended. With Eleanor and the Spirit Hunters having more reason than ever to go after Marcus and try to finally defeat him. They go from Paris to Marseille and there to Egypt, looking for a way to get a step before Marcus and get the edge they need to stop him.

Eleanor changed a lot during the course of the second book, and even though I found myself wanting to scold her quite often, it was her road to walk and her choices to make. Eleanor is a flawed character, she doesn't make the best choices ever and she lets her emotions rule her choices most of the time, but she's a fighter, she's insanely loyal to her friends and she is not a quitter. Even if there were occasions that I wondered how could she be so thick and not stop and think for a moment, Eleanor had a lot of character development, going from being controlled by her magic and choosing the easiest way to learning how to keep going after tough choices and how to fulfill her potential.

Daniel, Oliver, Joseph, Jie, Allison and Marcus were more than just secondary characters. All of them had their time to shine and their time to grow, to progress and to move the plot along. They were all important to Eleanor in one way or another, and they all helped her realize who she is and what she wants to do and what choices she wanted to make.

For a while there I feared a love triangle was brewing and I was quite irritated thinking that it'd happen, thankfully it was just an unfounded suspicion. The romance still has a place in this book, punctuating how important it is to have something else to fight for than just revenge and how having a future to look forward to will give you strength to go on against some really bad odds.

The book was full of action and even if the pacing faltered a little bit on a few occasions, with some down time and preparations in the middle of the fighting and chasing that sometimes felt a bit uneven, it never stopped having me intrigued and captivated by what was going on. With humour and banter and the introduction of a slightly different variant of Egyptian mythology from the one we know, even the slower passages weren't boring.

The ending has left me quite emotionally wrenched and I won't say much for fear of spoiling something. Just have tissues ready cause I was ugly crying for a while there.

A very good final book for a trilogy that has a great mix of paranormal and magic with historical fiction (with a few dashes of steampunk) and well deserving of 4 to 4.5 stars.

View all my reviews


  1. PILI!!!! I so wanted to read this book. I love this series. But I can't read it because of the ending you mentioned that made you ugly cry. I can't. There are certain things in books that are deal breakers for me, and the ending of this one is one of those things. *sobs just thinking about it* So glad even with the tears you loved this one though!!!!

    1. *hugs Jenny and sobs*
      If I would have known about the ending I'm not 100% sure if I would have read this book right now... I'm emotionally at a rather tough place right now, and this killed me quite a bit... There were still positives to be had but I was sobbing for quite a while afterwards...
      It still was a fantastic book Jenny, so maybe give it a try prepared with someone to hug you and feed you chocolate by the end??

  2. Oooo, I'm curious about this ending... WAIT DON'T TELL ME. I've read book one, I have books two and three. I have both of them scheduled in July, I believe. I'm almost scared to read this book D: I have my review as a tour post, so I should read it way in advance, just in case I don't like it. Yikes!

    Fabulous review, Pili!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I hope I have kept the review spoiler free enough, Alyssa! But yes, I'd recommend you read both books in advance given the blog tour situation! I cannot wait to hear what you think of both A Darkness Strange & Lovely and this one!

  3. Oh, good :D Glad there was no love triangle after all. That makes me happy. But oh. I have this via Edelweiss too. Though I have yet to read the first books.. but I have peeked at the ending. And I am SO PISSED OFF. Not sure I will be able to read these books :p Sigh. But owning them all, lol. Hopefully I will read them soon. We'll see. Sigh. Anyway. Amazing review sweetie :D I'm glad you mostly enjoyed this book. <3

    1. Yeah, no love triangle was really a relief! And I can understand you being pissed off at the ending... I'm still quite heartbroken about it! Still, the books are quite worth the read, even with that ending!
      Thank you sweetie!

  4. I am SO SO glad you enjoyed this one. I am really liking this series so far and have been anticipating this for months. Cannot wait to get my hands on it!

    1. I hope you'll get it super soon, Vivien and I hope you'll love it!

  5. I can't believe this series is over, and I haven't even started it yet. I have hardcopies of the first two books, and the third is preordered, but NOPE, haven't read them, LOL. BUT . . . I'm feeling motivated now. I'm glad the series ended well for you, b/c if it was awful, who know whether or not I'd ever get around to it. PS--is it weird that one of the main reasons I'm so determined to read these books is that Dennard is Sarah J. Maas' BFF?

    1. Hehehe, well, it is the reason I started the series myself, so if it's weird... we both are? ;)
      The series starts great with a fantastic first book, the second one sufferend from middle book syndrome for me and the third one despite the massive heartbreak was a great series ender.


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