Friday, July 26, 2019

Book Review: "Strange and Ever After" by Susan Dennard

Title: Strange and Ever After
Author: Susan Dennard
Series: "Something Strange and Deadly" #3
Genre: YA Supernatural/Paranormal/Steampunk
Page Length: 387 pages
Publication Date: July 22, 2014
Date Started: July 22, 2019
Date Finished: July 22, 2019
Rating: 4.5 // 5 stars
Book 1 Review
Book 2 Review

This book. THIS BOOK. You guys...I just have no words. Well, I actually have a lot of words but a lot of them are just me repeating "No" and incoherent screaming. This book kept me up until past midnight and then broke my heart. There's really no other way to put it. This book broke me and then healed me.

This is the third and final installment in the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy and boy did it deliver! If this is any indication on how epic Susan's conclusions to series are, then I'm both very worried and excited for the final Witchlands book (even though we still have a few to go). Everything from the first book in this trilogy has been culminating up to this finale. The stakes are even higher and relationships are on unsteady ground heading into this book.

The whole book was interesting. It was fast-paced, fun, and also anxiety-inducing with everything going on. The characters were great and compelling. I think the only way I can express how good it was for me is that I started reading it at 9:30 or so at night and stayed up past midnight just to finish it despite having to work the next morning.

I think the one thing that really surprised me was the fact that this book didn't throw plot twists at you and then magically fix things so that everyone had a happy ending. Nope. Betrayals were actually betrayals with no redemption. Deaths were final--which, in a book trilogy about necromancy, that hurt. The stakes were so high and the ending wasn't magically easy or happy. Nope. It hurt.

But the thing bittersweet as the ending was, it was also perfect. It was so well-written and made so much sense. I wish it wasn't so perfect because then I could be mad over was broke my heart, but it all made so much sense within this story that I can't even be that upset over what happened (even though I'm still crying).

I think the main thing that this trilogy has done for me, though, is show me how amazing of a writer Susan Dennard is. I've read all of her Witchlands books and I've been following her Luminaries choose-your-own-adventure Twitter thread and this girl can write! Each of these three things are so diverse and different from each other yet each are so amazing. Susan is such a well-rounded author and after reading things she's written from different genres, I feel comfortable putting my trust in her hands and adding her to my auto-buy list. She's amazing, this book was amazing, and I can't wait to see what she does next (though I am a little scared).

Thanks for reading!

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