Across the Blood Red River (Veilwalker Trilogy, book 3), by Jennifer R. McDonald - The last and best one in the trilogy, but not a "finale" for me.
To lost souls, the veil is a cold, tragic existence. But for Lyric Yama, the living world is so much worse.
Lyric has finally uncovered the truth of her mother’s brutal murder. Now her hands are stained and her mind is plagued with the bitterness of regret.
Soon she will have bigger problems. A grieving warlock is closing in. He’ll stop at nothing to reap vengeance on the young witch.
As the consequences of her past march closer, and the illusion of safety is abandoned, Lyric must decide whether to run or stand and fight.
But when the full power of a veilwalker’s magic is unleashed, no one—living or dead—will ever be safe again.
This is the final installment of Jennifer R. McDonald's Veilwalker Trilogy.
* I received this book in exchange for my honest review*
Don't you hate it when a book still hunts you even after you have finished reading it? I don't! I usually love it! But to be honest this book, being the last in the trilogy, needed some more closure for me. It is still pulling in my heart strings. I feel like I've been left in the Veil, if you know what I mean.
(And if you don't, it's probably because you are like me and you check out the reviews for the last book in the series before you read the first one. And here's my advice: buy these books right now! They are amazing and you won't regret it!)
I have loved this series from the beginning. From the first page I was absorbed into this amazing world and enthralled (every pun intended!) by these great, intensely human and intriguingly supernatural, characters. Jennifer McDonald created an incredibly consistent world where complex rules, bonds and hierarchies - physical, magical and emotional - flow as organically as they do in our own reality. Her characters are intricately woven in inscrutable situations that provide both depth for the characters and engrossingly amazing fast paced action for the reader.
This is definitely one of the best series I have read this year, and it's without a doubt one of my top ten favorite ever. That says a lot, I hope. But it does have it's flaws. There were some spelling mistakes all throughout, for example, even though they didn't distract me from the incredible plot. The book descriptions don't do them justice - as I read them now I think What?? That's not it! But the greatest flaw of them all, and one that pertains to this last book, is the fact that - in my opinion - it didn't really end.
This was not a cliffhanger, per se, but it lacked closure for me. I won't spoil the ending, but let's just say it's very clear that Lyric has other adventures in front of her, and many questions are left to be answered regarding her immediate future and the immediate future of those she cares about. The epilogue even hints to them. And that kills me!! I heard Jennifer McDonald is working in a new series that takes place in this same world (which sounds like a brilliant idea to me), and that the characters in this series will play a role in it. But I heard nothing regarding the specific future of these characters I have grown to love.
That being said, all the "questionable decisions" Lyric has made in the past have been dealt with, and most of the questions posed in the former books have been answered. Lyric has shown a lot of growth in this last installment, and cames into herself beautifully (yet not perfectly, which works well for her character). After suffering so much and doubting herself even more, she finally confronts her daemons (both internal and external). Lyric and Aiden's love grows stronger and more real, and I'm glad with how it ended up. For concerned parents: (SPOILER ALERT) even though there is some second base action and loads of hot kissing, this is not a heavily sexually charged book at all. It also has some torture and cursing, but in my opinion this book is perfectly fine for anyone over 14 years old. (END OF SPOILER ALERT)
In the end: this book was filled with action, incredible twists and amazing character growth. It is the best one yet, even though it leaves things open and it doesn't feel like the end of the series. But this is a fantastic series, and I hope it doesn't end here anyway. In fact (let me summon my best Gemma-like spunk): Don't you dare leave us hanging Mrs. McDonald! :) I'm joking, of course! But I do hope there is more of this story to be told, because there is an opening in my heart that needs to be closed.
My rating: 4.5/5 (because of the lack of closure)
Would I read it again? Absolutely!
Would I read other books from this author? Yes, without a doubt.
Do I recommend it? Yes! To any fans of YA or Urban Fantasy. Don't hesitate to read this! It doesn't have the recognition it should have!