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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Anna Whitt and her nephilim allies are preparing for the final battle. They aren't sure when it'll start, but it'll be sooner rather than later, no matter how much they want to delay it. As Anna gathers those she loves in close, she is determined that her love will be an asset, but she's terrified it'll be her downfall. How can they win this war with no casualties? Can she take the grief that will come with losing one of her loved ones? Kai? Patti? Jay? Marna? Kopano? Can she keep them all safe as she extinguishes the Duke's lives here on Earth? I guess you'll have to read to find out!
Anna is just as sweet and innocent here as she was in all the previous books. I still find her naive and annoying, and sometimes down right dumb....but she's slightly better here. We actually get to see her swear once and that endears her to me. This chick is put through countless life threatening scenarios and I just don't find it believable that she doesn't feel the need to use swear words as an outlet. Big group of demons threatening my life? OH FUCK would be the first words out of my mouth or at least in thought, and Anna never debases herself to that level. I get that she is the "good God-fearing girl" and whatnot, but seriously?
It's just not believable for me, regardless of the genre I'm reading. The sensors aren't going to throw you to the wolves for an expletive here or there. ANYWAY, our sweet Anna does grow a bit more here, with lessons learned and consequences to face, so she was a little less annoying but still no where near a likable character for me.
Then there is Kai.....I constantly make fun of those "I sigh for Kai" banners, but he is very sigh worthy here. He's quit his "job" of sleeping around, though he keeps up appearances for his father, and he's all about Anna. Our dear stupid Anna. I still cannot fathom why he just needs to be with her, but, hey dude, it's your fictional life! We get much more Kai here than we did in Sweet Peril and lots of steamy scene****SPOILER****He and Anna actually get married because she needs to be rid of her virginity or Pharzuph will kill her (and Kaiden) on-sight. She also needs to keep her "purity" so that she can wield the sword of righteousness. The two really steam up the page after their nuptials, but it wasn't quit as sexy as the scenes at the end of Sweet Peril****END SPOILER****
I like most of the side characters, but I especially love Ginger. Why couldn't this be told through her perspective? She's the exact kind of snarky badass that I typically root for. No such luck, though, because it's all Anna, all the time. The whole gang is in on this one, seeing as it is the final battle to end all battles. Jay even sticks his head in quite a bit.
This gets 4 stars for much the same reason the rest of the series has, it's addictive. Once you start, you want to keep going and it's incredibly difficult to put down even if it's for something important like food or work or sleep. We don't really need those things, do we? We can subsist on oxygen, live off our pittance of a savings account, and sleep when we're dead, right? It was worth a shot. This world, no matter how annoying or preposterous, draws you in until it's all you can think about. Do they succeed? Do they all die trying? Do Anna & Kai finally get it on? Inquiring minds need to know. It says a lot that I give it 4 stars because I had so many issues with this novel, and this series as a whole.
Warning: Rant ahead!
One my biggest issues is how this series pushes that outdated "no sex before marriage rule" which I can't stay. The message this series (the last book especially) seems to send is that sex before marriage is wrong. Now, before you start yelling at me about all the characters except Anna are going at it with other people like jackrabbits, let me just say that all of them (except the "bad" dukes, of course) harbor obvious guilt over it. Maybe I read wrong, but that's how it came off to me. It literally seems like it's saying "No sex before marriage unless you want to get pregnant and then die!" which is not a moral I'm cool with.****SPOILER****Anna and Kaiden only sleep together after the marriage vows, which make it gloriously acceptable. Jay and Marna nearly jump into the sack the minute he is free from Veronica, no marriage vows recited, and BAM! Marna's pregnant. Marna's pregnant even though she has had surgeries to remove pregnancy as even a remote possibility. Marna is pregnant, which means she will die in childbirth because human bodies aren't capable of handling the birth of even an half Nephilim. Wait until marriage? Golden. Dare to break this archaic laws? Die painfully in childbirth, cause that's what whores deserve. ****END SPOILER**** Yeah, that's a serious problem for me.
Another issues is the love triangle, which isn't really there, but it's hinted at. Last book, Kopano and Anna kissed, even though she's like totally not like into him or anything, causing a big rift between Kope and Kai. This book, all that jazz has been settled and Kope actually has a lady friend (I don't say girlfriend because it's never officially stated), but that awkward love triangle fest moment still slips in. Then there is Jay and Marna. Jay & Veronica break up at the very beginning of the novel, and he and Marna are together at the first possible second. Again, no official triangle since Jay and Ronnie are totally over, but it's got the twinges of it because we all know Veronica would flip the fuck out if she knew about it. Them being together leads to the spoilery thing, but does it bother anyone else that they jump into a relationship so quickly? Months without any contact, but it's okay suddenly to do sleepovers? GRH.
Oh and the character deaths. Let us not forget those! ****SPOILER****As mentioned in the last bit of hidden spoilers, Marna dies in childbirth. It does happen after the end of the official story, but still, it was unnecessary. Patti gets shanked to death to try and make Anna doubt her faith, and obviously Pops goes back to Heaven after the battle when they must choose sides. And Flynn got shot in the last book which royally pissed me off.****END SPOILER****
Despite my personal hangups, I think anyone who has enjoyed the previous books in this series will like this one. It's a fast-paced thrillride that will keep you enthralled from start to finish. It's easily the best book of the series, with all the baddies getting their comeuppance and (most) of the goodies riding off into the sunset to live happily ever after. I'm interested to see how I like Higgins' newer novel, See Me because it's supposed to be wildly different than this trilogy. I'm more than willing to give it a shot because the woman definitely knows how to write addictive stories. With all my complaints, you'd think this wouldn't be a series I'd recommend, but I did enjoy it (for the most part) and I think as long as you can tolerate yet another story about a special little snowflake who is the only one with the ability to save the world, you'll enjoy this.
****Thank you to HarperTeen for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****