A Lackluster Afterlife

Afterlife: An Evernight Novel by Claudia Gray

Claudia Gray is tying up all the loose ends in the conclusion to her Evernight series. The book picks up as Lucas is about to rise from his first death to start his second life as a vampire. Lucas’ internal struggle with becoming the very thing he was taught to hate, isn’t his only battle. Now he has to fight the hunger. And live with the stigma of Black Cross among his previous prey. Bianca is still learning what it means to be a wraith, along with her own issues about being dead. Lucas, Bianca, and our favorite side kicks all journey back to Evernight. Along the way Lucas will face his mom, we find out exactly what Mrs. Bethany is up to with all those ghosts and if love really can transcend all obstacles.

The highlight of Afterlife was the supporting cast. Vic and Ranulf stole the show. Ranulf’s backwards old english translations never failed to make me laugh. Patrice, Dana, and Raquel also join the mix and proved what real friendship truly is. There are some tough family issues as well. The overall message is what are the limits of love. Gray explores quite a few variations within different relationships.

Some low points. Unfortunately I can’t say the highlight was the love story. The romance is why I read and followed the series. But they were more like an old married couple than star crossed teenage lovers. Bianca’s constant repetitive blaming of Lucas’ undead state on Balthazar. I can understand why she’s upset, I just wish every time Bianca complained about it that it would be phrased differently. It was worded exactly the same each time. And became redundant. Unfortunately she harped on it a lot. I also didn’t care for the end. It was neat and tidy, all my favorite people lived, but I found to be a bit of a let down. It was safe. Sweet. Tame. Normally I don’t like tragedies, but Afterlife needed something messy and imperfect. It needed something more profound. Even though Bianca and Lucas were going in opposite directions individually their relationship seem to be working just fine. Almost like they had worked though all the major obstacles in the previous books. Afterlife was really focused on their separate struggles, when readers like me are more interested in their couple troubles. I guess it needed more angst. Maybe the ending would have sat with me better if there was more drama in their relationship during the book.

Afterlife was OK. It was entertaining. But it didn’t move me as much as some of the other books in the series. The romance was lackluster, anticlimactic. The end was sufficient but nothing I’m going to swoon over. I think it’s a toss up either your going to love it, or feel stood up. The best part of the ending for me was the full page announcement of a spin off featuring Balthazar.

Vote yay or nay for this review on Amazon here.

2 stars -loathed it.

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