Friday, March 21, 2014

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

The Forever Song
by Julie Kagawa
Read: March 15 - 17, 2014
Published: April 15, 2014 by Harlequin Teen **UPCOMING**
Source: NetGalley (Thank you, Harlequin Teen!)
Category: Vampires, dystopian, gore, YA
Series: The Blood of Eden #3
Find: Goodreads | Amazon 

NOTE: The Forever Song is the third book in a series. See my reviews for the first two books, The Immortal Rules and The Eternity Cure. If you're curious about the series, the first half of my review below is spoiler free. I will tell you when to STOP reading to avoid them. This review is safe if you've read the first two books. 


Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? 

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer. 


Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. 

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

I've become fatalistic about series ends recently. In fact, I dreaded starting this book, because I was certain it would be another disappointing finale. But I shouldn't have been worried. In The Forever Song, Julie Kagawa has delivered a thrilling conclusion to her Blood of Eden trilogy that exceeded my expectations. Of course she tried to kill me in the process, and it is not an exaggeration to say I was on the edge of my seat for the entire experience. I'm also pretty sure I felt every emotion there was to feel while reading:

I was devastated, depressed, and fearful that this book would end in utter destruction. I was terrified, disgusted and completely horrified by the things that Allison encounters in this book, and the psychotic mind of one of the characters. I was heartbroken, hopeful and proud of Allison and her companions. I laughed and might have even swooned too (but that's unconfirmed). If a book can accomplish all of that, I'm declaring it a success. 

One of my favorite themes in this series, which I pondered way back in my review of book one and was still thinking about in the final installment, is Does what you are, define who you are? I've very much enjoyed watching the evolution of that question within Allison and the characters she encounters. Does the fact that she's a vampire mean that she's a monster? Can you retain your humanity even when your heart stops beating? We know that humans can do bad things, but can vampires be good? Should they even try? And once you become a monster, is there any going back? These questions led to quite a bit of delicious intensity in this story. 

STOP READING HERE if you're new to this series. Although I don't give away any major spoilers below, there are some character details you probably want to wait and discover for yourself as you read the series. 

Although unlikely, and reluctant at times, Allison, Kanin and Jackal become a family in this book as they travel together on their hunt for Sarran. Even though some of them would never want to admit it *cough* Jackal *cough*, I think they all love their new familial bond. I have been a fan of Master Vampire - and Allie's sire - Kanin from the beginning, and that doesn't change in this book. He has an incredibly strong presence, although he doesn't often say much. He's lived a long time, experienced a great deal, and his burdens are heavy. I'd definitely read an entire series about his life. 

The vampire that stood out to me the most compared to the previous books, was JackalFor some reason I didn't connect with him in book 2, but he was definitely a favorite part of three. Everything he says is awesome. Seriously, every time he opens his mouth - which is frequently - he calls Allie out on something, or says what everyone else is really thinking but doesn't want to voice. It's still anyone's guess whether he'll choose to do the right thing or not. Still, no one is more shocked than he is about how his life has changed since meeting Allison. In a book filled with a lot of horror and blood, Jackal was a welcome addition.

I'm going to spoiler tab my discussion on one character, though I'll still try to be vague. But really, don't peak unless you've read this book!

Of course, I can't end this review without talking about Allison, who began this series as a defensive "fringer" girl, fighting for survival. Now she's a powerful vampire bent on destruction. She continually amazes me with her inner strength and will to keep fighting no matter what. I hope this isn't the last we've seen of her. As the blurb on the book cover states, The Forever Song is a "spectacular conclusion." I definitely recommend it. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Series end. Satisfying! But leaves wiggle room for future stories, if there were to be any. That is not confirmed! As far as I know, this is The. End. 


  1. This is a huge, HUGE relief! I really needed this one to have a strong ending, and I'm glad you weren't disappointed. Like you, I was a strong fan of Kanin from the very beginning. I'm a sucker for these strong, silent types. I'm glad he remains just as strong and reliable here.
    As for Jackal, I loved him even when he annoyed me, or especially when he annoyed me. I'm curious about this girl who could possibly tame him. That I have to see. :)
    My copy should be here soon. I can't wait-
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lauren!

  2. YAY :D I am so so happy that you loved this book. I did too. It was just stunning, wasn't it? And ah. I love all the characters in this book. Allie is adorable. I even started liking Jackal a little.. maybe. And, SPOILER, the romance. Swoon. So good. But damn it. This book is also, as you say, full of heartbreak. But even so, it is perfect. And I really loved the ending. Makes me a bit sad that it is the end :) I need more; I really wish to know what will happen next. <3 Thank you for sharing your awesome review :)

  3. As you know, I have little luck with Kagawa's work. Her Iron Fey Series sucked me in with its unique plot but the characters drove me up the wall and though Immortal Rules worked out better for me, it wasn't enough to make me finish out the series. Although I won't be reading this, I'm thrilled you've found and read a conclusion that satisfied you, bringing together previous elements and winding up stronger than expected. It's always such a relieved feeling to read characters and plot threads end in a manner you can understand and get behind. Wonderful review, Lauren, and lets hope your other series conclusions this year are just as satisfying! :)

  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed it and yeah, it should come with a heart attack warning. :D

  5. I saw this review and wanted to comment...though I don't want to know anything. Not yet. (I kind of skimmed your review while going "LALALA" and covering my eyes. Effective.) I'm THRILLED this is a satisfying conclusion and can't wait to read it!! Though, I'm bracing myself for drama, crying and a heart attack.

  6. I'm so glad this is a series ending that did not disappoint you. I was waiting for your verdict, and now I feel like this is a series I'll have to binge. Thanks, Lauren!

  7. I skimmed your review because I'm going to be starting this one soon Lauren! I just wanted to see if you thought it was a successful conclusion to the series and clearly you did, so that has me very excited. I'm sure Julie will rip my heart out and stomp on it, she's good at that, but I still have to read it nonetheless. So glad you were happy with it!

  8. I only read the first few paragraphs of your review, Lauren because I'm currently reading book 2 and will be reading book 3 right after that. I'm so happy you loved it though and I can't wait to read a series that ends well. All the series endings I've read this year have been sorely disappointing, so I can't wait to find out how this ends.

    "One of my favorite themes in this series, which I pondered way back in my review of book one and was still thinking about in the final installment, is Does what you are, define who you are? "

    This is one of the main reason I enjoyed the first book so much. It's almost philosophical and really makes you think.

    I can't wait to go through all those feelings you went through, Lauren!

  9. Oh dear, I was planning on binge reading this trilogy, but I don't know if my heart can take it! I'm happy that you enjoyed the ending. As you said, you haven't had much luck in that department this year. I'm going to be tackling your greatest disappointment in the near future - I'm putting on my emotional armour!

  10. I loved this book too, I thought it was such a satisfying ending. The characters of this series really make it for me. Allie, Kanin, Zeke, and even Jackal. I thought it was hilarious the way he and Allie would bicker like real siblings and then Kanin acting the part of the "father." Jackal was pretty funny (and brutally honest) and I went from absolutely hating him to actually liking him. He showed a lot of growth. And heart broke for him. And Allie. At first. But then I realized that's the only way their relationship could work. I won't say anything more so I don't spoil it for anyone, but what happened was really inevitable (and some may say predictable). I loved it, though. Great review! ~Pam

  11. I have the first book but haven't started the series yet. I'm so paranoid these days about series. I let everyone dive in first. lol

    How great is it that a book can put you through such an emotional ringer and yet you're still satisfied with the outcome?

    You've convinced me to give it a go.

  12. Wonderful review, Lauren! I still need to read book two, I'm so bad at finishing series' when the books are released a year apart from each other, I lose interest. But it sounds like this is worth it. I couldn't help but peek at the the spoiler because I needed some reassurance. What can I say, I'm all about the romance and I need to know! :)

  13. I'm so happy to hear Kanin has more of a presence in this, and that the three of them make for a rather interesting trio. I loved Jackal in book 2, so I'm sure I'll continue to love him in this. His humour was just enough to bring me out of the blood and gore, which was appreciated. This series is so dark!

    I didn't see you mention a key character from book 2 (I didn't read your spoiler), so I'm hoping that means his ending in 2 stuck and we don't have to deal with him anymore; I wasn't the biggest fan of the impact he had on Allison. I wanted her to come to conclusions about her humanity on her own, without someone coddling her.

    1. Do you not like Zeke??? Because if not i TOTALLY AGREE!!!!

  14. Great review! You know I felt much the same as you in my reading of this book. I have struggled to connect with Allison in this series--in fact I have always preferred the secondaries Kanin and ESPECIALLY Jackal to her--which is problematic. But Allison's growth did impress me in this final installment. I liked watching her develop emotionally and finding her way. I liked that she constantly struggled with retaining her humanity--but by book's end had made peace with herself in many ways. As for the spoilery section- YEP, total agreement. You know how I feel about all that :)

    Now we just need a spin off series with my fave character--please Julie Kagawa?? Please??


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