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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Ethan Wate has spent the majority of his life fighting to get out of Gatlin SC, to go off to college and see the world and never permanently return to this southern life. Now, he's fighting to get back home. After swan-diving off the water tower to save everyone he loves, he finds that death is quite a bit like life. Most of the dead is present, in their Gatlin-like homes attempting to finish their unfinished business. Now, Ethan is more determined than ever to find a way back from the grave and Lena is doing everything she can from the other side to help. Can these two defy the laws of nature to be together?
Like this last novel, this was a bit hit and miss for me. Once again, we get the same old gang, with a few new additions. We finally get to really meet Lila Evers Wate in the afterlife and Amma's greats. We get a few new underworld allies, but it's more or less the same group as it ever was fighting. This time they aren't really fighting for good or evil, but more to reunite Ethan and Lena because....they can't live without each other? Don't get me wrong, I wanted a happy ending to this series and this gives us that, but they defy more than one of nature's laws here and it's all for personal gain, which I think is a big no-no. The story does have a romantic twinge, with Ethan literally fighting his way back from death to be with Lena because he loves her so much.
It's written in that same fascinating way the rest of the series is, with Garcia and Stohl becoming the perfect writing duo, but I had a few issues. There is my obligatory spill on character death because another beloved character dies. Not one of the main six, but it broke my heart nonetheless. When one of the sisters died in the last book, it was a major downer, but this was worse.
My other main issue is that this wasn't as enrapturing as the others had been. I wasn't really invested in the story. Maybe I'm annoyed at the characters? Maybe it's because the plot was so predictable it was impossible to not see how it was going to end? I don't really know the why, all I can tell you is that I didn't put in extra effort into finishing this. I listened to the majority of it on audiobook (I got my book out and read the last 50 or so pages, but the rest was all audio). I'm an audio addict. It started as a way to help consume books during my lunch hour but still have time to eat and let the dogs out and so on. Most of the time, I end up listening to whatever book it is outside the normal lunch hour. Take Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, which is what I'm currently listening to. I listen at lunch and then I usually come home and listen for another hour afterwork while I do housework and I have to force myself to stop. That's how I usually am with audiobooks, it's so effortless that I find myself listening more and more, but it wasn't the case with this. I listened for my lunch hour everyday, but no more. I didn't go out of my way at all to get just a few more minutes in.
This novel wraps most everything in this series up in a nice little bow. You get the conclusion we have been waiting on since we finished the first book and it's nice and neat, but somehow not perfect. This series started out with great promise and though it remains a solid 4-star series to me, my love for it has dwindled a bit. The announcement of Ridley's book next in a new spinoff series excited me a great deal, but having already read it as well, I can say that maybe I need to just leave this world be because it's all downhill from here.