by Claudia Gray
I really enjoyed the first three books in the Evernight series. Claudia Gray pulled the rug out under readers in the first book in a terrific shift of the reader’s point of view when we learn something that Bianca, the girl who gets sent to a special school where things aren’t quite what they seem, has been keeping from us. The primary theme of the books always seemed to be the conflict between what Bianca wanted versus what she has been told she must be, which manifested itself both in the struggle between the vampires and the wraiths, and between her parents and Lucas.
**SPOILER ALERT** The problem is, by the time Afterlife comes around, that conflict is gone–Bianca is now a wraith. There’s no real question about what her destiny will be, just details to be worked out about how a relationship with Lucas, Evernight, her friends, and her parents would acually work. So the problems in this book, and their resolution, aren’t really all that interesting.
Bianca as wraith is not nearly as compelling as Bianca as vampire, and the constant push and pull (more push than pull, yawn) was repetitive and didn’t seem nearly as insurmountable as it’s made out to be. This book relies heavily upon themes and connections explored in previous books, as there is a lot of recalling of emotional ties but not a whole lot of showing of them.
A disappointing end to a good series. Hopefully the spinoff that Gray has planned for the sexy Balthazar will do him justice.
Afterlife: 2 out of 5 stars
Evernight Academy Books 1 – 3: 3.5 – 4 out of 5 stars
30-second summary: A disappointing end to a terrific series. Contains chilly ghosts and mopey vampires who won’t commit.