“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil
pressed their hands to their hearts
and started the apocalypse.”
“Tomorrow they will start the apocalypse. Tonight, they let themselves look at each other, for just a little while.” And with that ending from the previous book, it is no wonder why I didn’t spare a moment before diving into this last installment. I honestly don’t know how I can write a review of this final book when it has robbed me of my words. What it HAS given me is a multitude of feels. Heaps. Mountains. Myriads. Whether these characters were making me laugh or cry (I did quite a bit of both) or I had my hand to my heart in a feeble attempt to keep it from bursting out of my chest during parts that were so gripping and thrilling, I could not put this book down. I’m not going to give a summary of what happens in this finale. I’m just going to talk about those feels I mention. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a 600+ page book in such a short amount of time, but I had to know how this would conclude and what would happen to the characters I’ve become so emotionally invested in. This book gave me, as Karou would say, Papilio stomachus. Butterflies in the stomach. What an incredible journey Ms. Taylor takes her readers on; and though I was late in joining the legions of fans, I’m just so happy to have experienced the adventure.
The characters. Sigh. I don’t know how to be without them – I don’t want to have a day that I don’t read about them, so getting over this book hangover is going to prove very difficult.
Karou and Akiva: This is where my loss of words comes in. I just… I love them. They were made for each other. Their attraction to one another, whether they were fighting it or surrendering to it… well, I think Zuzana describes it best:
“… Zuzana had the impression of a pair of magnets
pretending not to be magnets.
Which, you know, only works until it doesn’t.”
Ziri, my dear love: Hands-down my favorite character. The most emotional I became was reading the moments belonging to him. He is perfect... he is home.
“A scheme of energies, more than mind and more than soul.
She reached with it, whatever it was, and felt…
Zuzana and Mik: This couple should come with a warning because they WILL steal your heart. I love them dearly. Mik is a gentle and beautiful soul. Zuzana has been called the rabid fairy and my personal favorite “neek- neek”… but the label I would give her is “most fierce and loyal friend.” Everyone needs a Zuzana by their side as they go through life.
Hazael and Liraz: Hazael was so easy to fall for; and though Liraz took some time to warm up to, I grew to admire her tremendously. Wonderful characters.
The list is just too long to include here, and I can’t mention everyone I long to because it would be spoilery; but I have never seen such a vast array of characters so well fleshed out and completely captivating.
As dark as the story is at times, there are so many moments laced with humor that it adds a nice balance to the impending horror:
“Karou pondered, and as she sifted through the thuribles,
she started a ‘yes’ pile, a ‘maybe’ pile,
and an ‘oh Jesus, you stay dead’ pile.”
And the writing. Ms. Taylor’s writing is stunning. She writes these beautiful, lyrical passages that find their way into my heart, skin, and bones. I just want to curl up with her words for days.
“Lips and breath and wings and dance. Gratitude, relief, and hunger. And laughter. Laughter breathed and tasted. Faces kissed, no spot neglected. Lashes wet with tears, salt kissed lips to lips. Lips, at last, soft and hot – the soft, hot center of the universe – and heartbeats not in unison but passed back and forth across the press of bodies, like a conversation made up only of the word yes.”
If you haven’t read this series, dear fellow readers, make time for it. If you have read it, I’ll be in a corner rocking these gorgeous books and bawling. Join me, won’t you?
“How do you thrust ‘I love you’ out into the air?
It needs waiting arms to catch it.”
My Rating: ★★★★★