All of the Ashes Trilogy storylines converge in this action-packed series conclusion.
Picking up immediately where Shadows (2012) left off, indomitable heroine Alex again claws her way out of one danger and into another. Rescued from a cave-in by Wolf, she rejoins the Changed, despite the risk of ending up on the menu, and gradually learns Wolf’s and Peter’s secrets. Meanwhile, other familiar faces reappear, each belonging to one of various other small groups scrapping for survival. The jarring narration jumps back and forth between Alex’s story and the other characters’, often in short bursts with deadly-peril parallels in characters’ situations. There are so many near brushes with death that, at times, danger becomes tedious and expected, losing some tension. It’s recovered through well-crafted sentences, especially Bick’s signature, deliberate cliffhanger chapter endings that ensure that readers won’t be able to stop until they’ve reached the climactic showdown. As the novel progresses, the seemingly disparate storylines bleed into one another more and more, and connections and relationships among factions and characters are clarified as all storylines converge on Finn’s grudge against Rule, his influence on other characters and the terrifying results of his experiments on his Changed army. The ending wraps up most questions but still leaves enough mystery for readers to dwell on.
An opus of blood, gore and pain that will leave fans breathless. (Horror. 14 & up)