Author: Amy Plum
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
AUS Publication Date: May 2013 (published by atom)
Reminds me of: Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong,
I wrote this review twice. Once immediately after finishing the book, and once again a week or so later. The first review was a lot of fangirling and going on about how different and unique the series is. But the second time… I had the emotional capacity to step back and consider it from a much calmer platform. And by the time it had truly resonated… maybe it wasn’t all that unique after all.
I read the first installment to this series well over a year ago, and was left yearning more at the time. I ordered the next two books in the series and before they had even arrived they were buried underneath a pile of to-read’s.
What I loved about the Die For Me series was the originality of the concept. Before this series I had never heard of the revenant, and it was so spine-tingling and awesome to find a read about this species so new to me! To keep it short and sweet, a revenant is an undead individual whose afterlife is spent saving human lives. They give up their own lives to save another human. But they are immortal, so after death they reanimate after three days (can I get an Amen?). To become a revenant, your human life must end in attempt to save the life of another. So for instance, pushing a person out of the way of an oncoming vehicle and dying in their place, is an activity a revenant would gleefully partake in.
Because this is the final book in the series, I advise you do not read any further if you have any intention to begin the series from the beginning! SPOILER ALERT. When we were left off in Until I Die, Vincent was mercilessly slaughtered by Violette in her attempt to absorb the power of the Champion. A devastated Kate is hanging on to every chance and lead she gets as a desperate attempt to bring her love back from his final demise.
There were things I loved and things I despised about Plum’s finale. I’ll start with the good first. It’s only fair I give you positive thoughts to fuel any potential motivation.
1) The beautiful Parisian setting is stellar this installment. It’s so vivid and picturesque I found myself perfectly content to read paragraph after paragraph solely on setting. She details French etiquette, culture, art and literature that the genre almost crosses over to romanticism.
2) I was so grateful Plum doesn’t keep the revenants a secret from Kate’s family. Kate doesn’t have the willpower or the sleuth to keep something like that hidden so it just would have been painful to read.
3) Character development wise… I loved Georgia’s progression. She’s funny but shallow, yet it’s intriguing to read her story. If I’m being nice, Kate grew a little too I suppose. She became courageous (emotionally and physically) which was admirable.
So now the bad… and I warn you, it’s more of a vent than critique.
1) A love triangle was really not necessary. Jules was a character with so much potential. His character had so many passionate and inspiring qualities that depicting him as a forlorn, jealous wreck tore his personality apart. I ended up disliking him after he chose to leave Paris as he couldn’t bear the pain of seeing Kate and Vincent together. Not necessary.
2) Vincent had so much room to grow as a character. He’s romantic. He’s brave. And that’s all we know about him. For Jules we understand he’s an artist. Arthur, a writer. Violette even has more depth than him, and supposedly she’s nasty and shallow to the core. I expected Vincent to be something a little more than eye-candy seeing as he’s their leader by the end of it all.
3) Kate as a revenant had purpose. I will give Plum that. It drove the plot and I heavily suspect it was the avenue Plum has planned out for Kate all along. But it’s just too perfect. Now she gets to spend eternity with Vincent and all is right in the world. Nup.
4) I enjoy a happy ending if it’s realistic. It’s not realistic here. It would have been okay to stomp a little on our hearts. Yes we felt very sorry for Gaspard when JB passed, but for a monumental battle to have only one of the main revenants die from such a large group… wishful thinking.
The thing is, the series is about young love. And it’s told in first person from page one so it’s entirely based on one characters perspective. There was definitely room for improvement plot wise (I just had so many feelings churning by the time I closed the cover… a vent was expected), but as for the quality of writing, Plum did a bang on job.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆