Rating: 3 stars
I really couldn’t figure out how to rate this after I finished. I mean, I enjoyed it. I liked it enough. But I think, on the whole, it was more of a disappointment than anything else.
It was repetitive? Overly dramatic? A little flowery at times? The plot felt like a nonentity and most of the characters did too. Jimmy had a lot of random mentions even though I didn’t remember who she even was and also didn’t know she was a girl for the first half of the book. I’d been expecting some kind of resolution with the Grey man and the mom but they were just kind of how they’ve always been and it felt like Stiefvater forgot to expand their characters. I’m still incredibly uncomfortable with the idea that he’s a literal hitman and no one seems to care.
Henry was a nice addition and I mostly liked him and his sense of humor, but he also didn’t feel like a human being. He was a little convenient and I would have preferred him less important, especially because he came into the picture so late in the game.
The Adam and Ronan thing was fine, but the most repetitive of the bunch. Almost every single scene they’re in has them being like “Cabeswater changed me, I’m different now. You wouldn’t understand” and then Ronan takes a nap and a monster shows up. I got bored of them real quick. Noah was basically the same. He was all ~spooky~ but he didn’t feel like he was even in the book, if you get me. He could have been cut and nothing would have changed besides one thing that could have been told literally any other way.
Gansey and Blue’s thing was fine. I didn’t have too many thoughts on that.
Now, as for the plot… it was a little too random for me? This series doesn’t have a super linear, straight forward plot. Each book has a different villain, each book moves the characters forward in some way without being incredibly defined what change actually occurred. It’s subtle in the way it progresses, and I didn’t mind up until now. Because this didn’t feel like a conclusion. Like at all. This felt like a continuation of the third book and not a finale. Maybe it’s just because of how intense everything was made out to be with the writing style, but I really expected more. A lot happened, but in retrospect, nothing happened? Like, the characters did like 4 things throughout the entire book. It definitely subverted my expectations but didn’t give me something good enough to fill the hole it left. I feel a little lied to, honestly. I’d really liked this series, despite all its obvious narrative faults, because of the atmosphere it invoked. But it fizzled out by the end and all I wanted was something concrete. A story told through implication isn’t much of a story at all.
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