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Today in Jen's Library

I listen to audiobooks while I flip houses. I also read real books which I buy incessantly.

Currently reading

Monsters (The Ashes Trilogy, #3)
Ilsa J. Bick
Time Between Us
Tamara Ireland Stone
The Message: The New Testament, Mass Market Edition
If I Should Die (Audio) - Amy Plum The best thing about this book is that it picks up at the exact moment the last book left off. Not many sequels do that, and there's no break in the action. While this might be a problem for some because of the length of time between books, it's great for those of us who read them back-to-back. Sometimes it pays to wait for an entire series to be written and out before you read it.

The plot in this last book departs from the previous two books in that it's action, action, action. It's written in two parts, which is good because of the way things happen. The romance pretty much goes completely by the wayside in part two. While that might be appropriate for the plot, it struck me as a little sad. The whole series is basically the story of the romance between the two main characters. So for that to take a second place to the good vs. bad plot line was ok, but not what I would have liked best.

Kate, the main character, finally matures. She still tends to stubbornly advance her own conclusions and plans of action, but at least she's right more of the time in this book than she was in the last. And she apologizes and voices her feelings. We see her desperate, motivated, driven, and finally conquering. I would not call her "badass" but I think that was the aim of the author. Kate survives and goes beyond what she thought she could be and/or was.

Vincent's character morphs here from the hopeless romantic into a serious leader. And even at that, he does tend to seem a bit of a wimp as the book winds down. I wish he'd been stronger. He's strong enough, I suppose, but does tend to overreact and give in a little too often. Maybe I've read too many characters who achieve the same thing but more elegantly. Amy Plum paints Vincent as one reacting to his circumstances more often than responding. Honestly, he seems to just not know what to do with Kate. He's not incapable, he just chooses (wisely) to step back out of her way for most of the time. He is not the protector that he was previously, whether by circumstance or choice. He's more like a person in real life than a fictional character. And that has its good and bad elements.

The bad guys are pretty standard, although the primary bad guy didn't really behave in a truly evil way. There were far more concessions made in the name of fairness that any really despicable villain would never have made.

And in the end, the book becomes far more about an altruistic view about what is right and wrong, and what needs to happen in the future. It is a definite departure from Vincent and Kate and their love for each other.

The audio is narrated by Julia Whelan, who gives the characters French accents where appropriate. As long as you don't pick too much at the way she does it (as compared to the way a French person's English accent would sound), she does a great job. The voices she gives each character are very good.

This was an enjoyable series, and I would recommend it even with my criticisms. Some of the basics about the supernatural creatures are a trifle unbelievable and seem to exist only to serve the plot. But hey, this is fiction, and it can be anything it wants. Best to just roll with it and enjoy the ride.