I’m glad I kept going with this series. I was skeptical after book one, but the storytelling and worldbuilding here let me look past the confusion and ‘Wait, what now?’ moments to really enjoy myself, particularly in books three through five, when all the backstory telling is out of the way, and our main characters start to work together and uncover secrets. This last book is a non-stop rollercoaster ride of action. There are some nice character moments, and occasional moments of quiet, but for the most part, this is bouncing from character to character, fraught situation to fraught situation, and somehow the author makes it work. Like I have been with the last three of these books, confusion gave way to obsession, and I tore my way through this.
As you can see I have given this book five stars, which I think the author deserves. I think the way she handled the mess of detail and complicated character backstory and identities was admirable. Despite not being quite sure who was who, and why they were important at various times in the narrative, my emotions were always engaged, and the overall arc of the story was always clear and imperative. I also grew to love most of our final main group of characters, and really wanted them to be happy and have good lives (and second, third, and fourth lives, afterlives, etc.)
I was very unsure how this was going to end, but as the ending drew near I could feel the confidence in the narrative the author had, and felt safe enough to just barrel on through without looking up spoilers. What ended up happening makes a ton of sense in retrospect, and I’m actually more excited to re-read this whole series back to back next year than I was before.
The ending of the story also hints that there may be more stories set in this world, though this particular story is done. I would enjoy that! But I would also like to see what other wacky things Jenn Lyons could pull out of her brain.
[4.5 stars rounded up, because the author has earned it]