Between The Pages | 26 June 2014 |

Hey! I took a short hiatus while the insanity of school was wrapping up, I didn’t want to post cruddy content. Now that it is summer, the blog is back in full gear, starting with a book review!

First, let me tell you my experience with this series. This is probably the darkest series I’ve ever read, and I loved it. Darren Shan always delivers and has masterful storytelling methods. I read the first book in the span of about a week, the second over an entire summer, and the third over 2 years. Now, that doesn’t mean it isn’t fast paced or good, it just took longer than expected! That being said, onto the review!

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS:

PLOT:

The story surrounds Al Jeery, the protagonist we met in Hell’s Horizon (Book 2). In order to have retribution against his old friend, he must first find Capac Raimi, leader of the City whose gone mysteriously missing. Through this he has to deal with gangs and their uprisings, ghosts and haunting memories, and the mysterious ways of the Incan Priests that are hell-bent on controlling the City once and for all. For me, the plot was good. It wasn’t insanely amazing, it wasn’t bad in any sense at all…it was just good. In this book, it felt a tad repetitive, the way Al searches for answers, stumbles into more trouble, and finds a way out. I liked it, I was fascinated with the plot involving the Incans and SUPER happy with having a full-scale power struggle and revolution in the City, some things just weren’t as clear as they should’ve been. The power-struggles in the City should have lasted longer, I definitely thing there should’ve been more time to dive into the plot of the Incans…overall though, it wrapped up nicely and all the events in the book were important and interesting.

CHARACTERS:

I love the characters in the City Trilogy. These characters are SO complex, oftentimes I love those I should hate, hate those I should love, and sometimes have no clue who the real enemy is.

Al Jeery: Al was great in this book, I loved how his character evolved from a man seeking revenge and death to somebody who realized he has more to offer and a life ahead of him.
Capac Raimi: God, I love Capac with all my heart. Seeing him tortured put me through so much, and I feel so horrible for him having to live a loveless eternity, giving up the one thing that matters to him and suffering endlessly. I wish he could have better than his life dealt him, he was an amazing character.
Ama Situwa: Ama was amazing in this book, I loved her interactions with Al and how she handled Capac. She couldn’t deny her love, but knew she wanted to.
Paucar Wami: Paucar is sure as hell insane. Hearing what he put Bill Casey through was rough, I couldn’t believe even he could stoop that low. While I enjoyed him and found it really interesting that he learned to care for Al and want time with his son, the entire time I wanted that selfish son-of-a-bitch to die.
The Villacs: Fuck the Villacs, I laughed when they were destroyed. Power-hungry assholes.
Bill Casey: It was so difficult to give up my hatred for Bill, but seeing everything Paucar put him through, I can’t blame his insanity and need for revenge in any form.

THEME/EFFECT:

The themes I carry from these books are that you have to do what you need for those you love, you have to fight even if it’s difficult, and life is worth it…always. A lot of darkness in this book opened the way for enlightening messages, that in the end power doesn’t matter, love and hope do.

WRITING STYLE:

Shan has a way with words. While the book felt a little tedious at times, overall the writing was really fascinating. I won’t go far enough to say it’s gorgeous the way Marie Lu’s or Laini Taylor’s is, but it is very well done.

WORLD-BUILDING:

GAHHHHHH. The world-building a-fucking-mazing. We barely understand the world outside the City, but the City itself was really brought to light. We saw all the edges of it, the different cultures, the mannerisms and means of certain sections. We really got to understand how power shifted in the City, how much control certain gangs had, etc. I thought it was super interesting. My only problem was that I wanted more explanation for the world of the Incans, I felt there wasn’t enough. Anywho, amazing world-building.

PACING:

The first half of the novel is pretty slow, a continual mystery, blah blah blah. The last half however was fast-paced, intense, and jaw-dropping. The story leaped and didn’t stop running until the very end.

Overall, a gorgeously done conclusion to a fascinating, eye-opening, and epic series. Fans of the previous books will love this one. The story is wrapped up amazingly and I can’t wait to read more from Darren Shan in the future!

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