The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

julie kagawaIt’s official. Julie Kagawa sold her soul to Satan for super-writing skills. It’s the only possible explanation, right? Right!? I remember finishing the Iron Fey series, and how it had left me in a haze afterwards. But in the thrilling conclusion to the Blood of Eden trilogy, she continues to impress me – seriously, can somebody get me a bucket for my tears? Stat.

Summary

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS.

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

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

The Backstory

The Blood of Eden trilogy takes place in a post-apocalyptic America, a world that is ravished by vampires… but that’s not the worst thing lurking in the shadows. Most of the human population has been affected by the Red Lung virus, transforming them into crazed zombies (Rabids).

The main protagonist, Allie Sekemoto, is a newly-turned vampire. She clings to her humanity, battling her blood thirst to avoid becoming the monster that she has always despised, the same ones that killed her mother. While fighting her demons, she falls in love with a human called Zeke. He is searching for the vampire-free haven, Eden – a place that might hold the cure to Rabidism.

In her adventures, she battles against her ruthless blood brother (Jackal), and rescues her sire (Kanin) from a deadly vampire called Sarren, who is hell-bent on creating a new virus to destroy the world. The Eternity Cure ends on a cliffhanger when Sarren tortures and kills Zeke, and begins his journey to finding Eden, leaving Allie with a heart of grief and a mind for vengeance.

The Writing

Brilliant doesn’t even begin to cover it.

This book deals with the fallout of Zeke’s murder and Sarren’s escape, where Allie and her new vampire family head to Eden in hot pursuit of their enemy. Much to Kanin’s disappointment, Allie begins to draw away from humanity. Her narrative is filled with angst, and her struggles with blood-thirst are genuine. However, sometimes I felt that Kagawa’s descriptions were far too repetitive (heh, take a shot every time the word ‘monster‘ is used). Nevertheless, I enjoyed her unique perspective on the subject. I truly believe that Kagawa’s book helped to reclaim the vampire image.

The Characters

Allie Sekemoto is one of my all-time favourite book characters, and here’s why: I am an British-Asian female. For people like us, we are surrounded by films and TV shows and books about the beautiful girl with porcelain skin, long brown hair and forest green eyes. Sound familiar? But Allie is different, she is Asian – not the timid sort, but fierce, outspoken and highly dangerous. She makes a terrific inspiration for females (but maybe not the whole murderous, blood-sucking part, you know…).

For many readers, it comes as no surprise that Ezekiel Crosse survived his encounter with Sarren. But his reunion with Allie is not filled with rainbows and butterflies, unfortunately. His experiences cause a wide rift in their relationship, and Kagawa uses this opportunity to explore a new side to Zeke – one who is irrevocably scarred from his ordeal with Sarren.

Jackal reminds me of Spike from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘. He never pretends to be on Team Good, but I guess he draws a line at global genocide. His witty remarks bring some much-needed comic relief, and I loved watching his relationship with Allie develop. He was fond of his sister, and their final scene together was incredibly touching. Bonus points: no love triangle *high five*

Meanwhile, Kanin is the father figure of the group. I like that Allie looks for his guidance, even during her rebellious phase. Their relationship is, without a doubt, my most favourite in the book.

Kagawa did a great job in creating the ultimate psychopath with Sarren. Gosh, I just wanted to reach into the book and punch him myself! Although, perhaps not. He’s one of the scariest villains in YA fiction, and definitely not somebody you’d want to mess with.

The Relationships

Zeke has always been the anchor for Allie, the person who stops her from becoming a monster. But this time, Sarren has caused serious damage to his psyche, and it’s Allie’s turn to become the anchor. In one scene, the reader gets a glimpse into his mind and it was interesting to explore that different viewpoint, and it shows how far their relationship has grown since the beginning.

What I loved the most was the family dynamics. Despite their differences, Kanin, Jackal and Allie made the perfect match as the wise father, the wayward son, and Daddy’s favourite little girl. I loved the moments when his progeny were bickering, and Kanin was like “if you two don’t stop arguing, I swear to God… I’m going to turn this car around!”.

Quotes

“Typical. Silly me, thinking you actually had potential. I thought, Finally, she’s realized she’s a vampire. Now we’re getting somewhere. But now you’re just a big fluffy bunny with sharp teeth.”

“He can die. Painfully. While I rip his other arm from the socket and shove it so far down his poetry-spouting pie-hole that he chokes on it. What I don’t understand is why we’re standing up here yapping away when we should be down there kicking in his door. So, come on, team. Let’s go kill ourselves a psychopath.”

Rating: 4/5

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