Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
Length: 438 Pages (Hardcover)
Release: April 2016
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Upon finishing this book I am rather conflicted. If you have followed any of my reading of the previous three books in the series, you probably know that while I really like them they aren't my absolute favorites. I think I had too many expectations for this book, and while I did love parts of it, others fell flat. So that 4 stars might dip down to a 3 or 3.5, I'm not entirely sure.
The thing that I absolutely love about this series is the characters. Maggie crafts the best characters (maybe the best characters I've ever read). The entire series it was the characters more than the plot that kept me invested. And that continued to be the case here. I love them all, for various reasons. Blue is eccentric and individual and I enjoyed the introspection she was forced to have during this book. Gansey is kind and full of himself naturally. Adam is abused and healing and I loved his progression from book one to the end, it was beautiful. Ronan is full of himself but hiding his broken pieces and he's been my favorite from near the beginning. Noah is, well, SPOILER dead, but still added so much to the overall story.
In general I really enjoyed the side characters as well. Blue's psychic family, Gansey's aristocratic one, Ronan's brothers, and Adam's...well, I didn't like Adam's family, for obvious reasons if you've read the previous books. The Gray Man was great, even all of the crazy magical artifact dealers were cool. The only character that I can't completely get behind is...Henry. He became a really big part of this book and its plot, but I never could really like him. Maybe I'm just too much like Ronan and Adam and felt that he threatened the friendship dynamic going on already, I'm not sure. But he just didn't work for me.
The writing, as usual, is rather beautiful. If you're not a fan of Maggie's writing, I can understand that. Her style is not for everyone, but it's very poetic in general and I appreciate that. There were a lot of twists and turns along the way that I appreciated and they were beautifully written.
One thing that bothers me most is that there wasn't much communication in this book. It felt like no one ever said anything. Ok, that's not entirely true. But there was so much that needed to be said and it just never was. I didn't like that. The other thing is the ending. While the epilogue was fairly satisfactory, I didn't find the climax of the story to be great. The lead up was perfectly executed, but that piece just fell flat. It felt like the first half or over was a perfect lead up for some crazy stuff and then...nothing. Like a chapter of crazy and then it's all resolved. And again with the communication. We got no conversations after the huge events that took place. Not one between our main gang. That was a disappointment.
But that cover is stunning! I would recommend reading this because while it's not completely satisfying, it is a nice installment in the series. And I would buy it just for that cover, and I'm not a cover buy type of person.