Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BR: Dark Flame, Alyson Noel

Dark Flame is the forth book in the Immortal Series by Alyson Noel. And, unfortunately, not the last one. Apparently the fifth (and hopefully final?) book, Night Star, is due out in Winter 2010.

Okay, can I just say that I am beyond mad that it didn’t end here, with Dark Flame? I've been a follower of the Immortal Series from the beginning, and I waited a year for this next installment, thinking it would be the end. But guess what? It wasn't. Dang.

Previously in the Immortal Series: After the accident that claimed her families life, Ever Bloom was made immortal by Damen, the original immortal. Ever and Damen fall in love and struggle through all sorts of strange situations and curses brought on by "Rogue Immortals:" Damen's deadly immortal enemies. (Yes, I know that's an oxymoron. Turns out you can destroy and immortal. Who would have thought?)

What you need to know (about Dark Flame): Ever's best friend Haven has just been made immortal, is totally drunk on the possibilites, and deciding to date Roman and hate Ever and Damen because they try to keep her safe. Damen and Ever still can't touch, and Ever's still pissed and convinces she can get Roman to hand over the anecdote to make the whole problem go away so she and Damen can have happily ever after, and after, and after... But due to a haywire spell she cast, she's now bound to Roman. Meaning? She's suddenly lusting after him with this part she refers to as "the monster" shadow-self inside of her. Jude is still on the scene, he's still in love with Ever, and is surprisingly NOT a rouge immortal, or any immortal. And he's trying to help her reverse the spell and make things right again, while Ever is still drawn (against her will) to her worst nightmare, Roman. This causes Haven to get super immortal-girl-fight pissy. Ever eventually finds a way to break the curse, after some very scary run-ins with Roman, and is JUST about to get the anecdote and finally end the series and have the happily ever after I was looking for... when Jude RUINS IT ALL. Roman's gone, the anecdote, which he was handing over, is smashed, and all hope for Ever and Dame getting together is O-V-E-R. Haven is completely lunitic and has officially called war between them.

There’s some interesting details, some fun characters, and of course, a sexy, gorgeous immortal boyfriend of all perfection. Then there’s the ghost of her twelve-year-old sister who isn’t forbidding or whatever you think a ghost might be; a fortuneteller who Ever goes from hating to needing to hating to distrusting to wanting to kill to needing help from over and over again; a remarkable place called “Shadowland” where anything is possible; buttloads of manifested red tulips; one hot surfer dude; vengeful drama queen high school girls; thirteen year old twins that worship Damen and hate Ever that they suddenly become the guardians of; and lots of angst.

It went too fast in some areas, and lingered a bit in some conversations and ideas that should have been summed up faster. In the series as a whole, there were a lot of abstract concepts added that were kind of hard to grasp, and there were just a ton of them. I got tired of the meditations and visualizations and the “imagining myself immersed in a cone of brilliant, cleansing, healing white light"s. And I don’t know, but Ever’s got to have the strongest shoulders of anyone on the planet, because she shrugs multiple times a page. There is always shrugging, in every book.

Still, I liked it. Ever can be totally stupid sometimes and you want to rip her hair out because she’s being childish or not judging right or just being stupid, or all three plus more. I was losing interest around Shadowland (book three), tired of everything going wrong and Ever just making it worse by not telling Damen that she screwed up and making everything a million times worse, but Dark Flame caught my attention again. The ending was unexpected, character roles shifted in a way I didn’t expect, and suddenly I’m interested to see where Alyson Noel takes it, and if she can wrap it up in one more book, because if she doesn’t... she better not think that I’m going to just be a nice, obedient reader and just take it. Because if she does think that, then she’s got another think coming, let me tell you that. I WLL NOT BE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF!

Okay. Maybe. I just want it to be over so I can ponder upon the story as a whole.

Hopefully… Winter, 2010, with Night Star… it will be my overall review of the entire series. PLEASE, LET IT BE OVER!

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