A review by Terri Kinckner
I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest and fair review. Any review I can do providing detail will be nothing but spoilers, so I will not. This final book was incredible! I gave the previous books in this series a five star rating, and if I could, I’d give this book ten!
When you get to know a group of characters like you do when reading a series, they become your family. Everyone wants their family to have a happy ending. There were plenty of those, but not without their fair share of heartbreak and loss. This post-apocalyptic America was so believable, these characters so unique and diverse, that one can’t help but be drawn into this world themselves. These young people are adjusting to their new life, and finding ways to make it better. Bryn has transformed. We all knew she was tough and rational and hilarious, but it was really nice to see her mature and let her kindness show. I laughed and cried with her (A LOT) during this book, and held my breath in the tense situations. I loved that she wrestled with her guilt, and chose honesty over the easy way out. Bodo has grown a lot in this series as well. Looking back to the first book, the change in them both is evident, and for the better. I am going to miss them both immensely! I’m sad that I won’t get to know Jackson and his sister better. They were a really cool addition to the book!
The “canners” in this book got even more horrible. They were vicious, heartless killing machines, and they truly scared me. I forgot that they were humans, let alone kids! On the subject of gore, being a post-apocalyptic world, they had a lot of unpleasant things to do. These scenes turned my stomach, but they were integral to the book and frankly, written extremely well! The combination of horror and characters that you absolutely forget are fictional is an amazing combination.
The book did NOT end the way I thought it would. I knew Elle couldn’t end the series on a cliffhanger (that would be so mean!), so I was prepared for her to find a way to stun us in the end. She sure delivered! Oddly enough, it’s not the ending I imagined, but it was perfect. At first, I literally yelled “NO!”, but by the time I finished the last page it seemed that there was no other way for it end.
I only have one gripe, and that is with the epilogue. Five years later. This tied up the entire story…almost. I loved it, but I wish I knew what happened to a certain someone that left Haven. I don’t want to spoil the story by giving a name, but man… I really wish I knew what the future held for them! I am now forcing myself to let these characters go, but even just typing that brought tears to my eyes. This is definitely a series I’ll keep reading over and over again!
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars (and a tissue rating of one whole box…sniff sniff, I’ll miss you!)