Reviews

Review: The Ever After

spoiler free review

Title: The Ever After

Author: Amanda Hocking

Series: Book 3

Rating★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Note: I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Reviews for Book 1 and Book 2.

Buried memories…

Ulla Tulin has lost a month of her life. Her journey to learn who her parents are has brought her to the attention of the Älvolk sect—and a man claiming to be her father. But instead of a long lost family reunion, Ulla has forgotten her time there, and fears something terrible happened.

Sacred flower…

The Älvolk released Ulla alive for one reason only, to exchange her for a rare flower with mystical properties. Determined to break her amnesia, Ulla risks her life against a dark enchantment capable of killing her to remember the Älvolk’s secrets—to use the flower as part of an incantation that will open the bridge to Alfheim, the First City.

Blood prophecy…

But opening the bridge will unleash a menagerie of monstrous creatures upon Earth that will consume everything in their path. Knowing she may lose Pan Soriano, the love of her life, Ulla nevertheless gathers an army of Trylle to stand with her and defend humanity as well as her own kind. And it is Ulla’s very heritage that holds the key to victory.

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With this being the last book in the series, I was looking forward to seeing how everything ended. This series hasn’t been my favorite from the beginning, but I felt like I needed to see it through since I had requested the ARCs with the hope of enjoying it as much as another series from the same author. I was kind of let down overall by the lack of character growth, but I did have some other issues with the final book in the series.

Although the second book improved marginally in my opinion, The Ever After felt like it took a huge step back. One of my main issues with this series was the characters. They were flat and I felt no connection to them at all. We never really saw any strong emotions from Ulla. She basically had two settings: happy or neutral. That’s it’s. There was only one time that I saw her show any other emotion in this book, but even that was brief. When Ulla herself wasn’t worried about anything and seemed to take everything in stride, it was hard to invest myself emotionally in the story.

The lack of emotion aside, I still felt like Ulla wasn’t involved enough in her own goals. Ulla ultimately wanted to figure out what was happening with the Alvolk but she was also supposed to be digging into her past to find clues about her parents. When it came to either, progress came painfully slow. The plot just dragged on and most of the time Ulla was just meandering around while other people either handed her information or she waited on results from something or other. It makes for a really boring story when our heroine spends most of her time thinking about her crush or waiting around instead of chasing down more leads.

Another issue regarding the plot was that it felt very repetitive and slow. I mentioned in my previous reviews for the series that it took so long to get answers to anything happening in the story (mostly in the last chapters of the book). Well, in the second book I finally thought we were getting somewhere… and then Ulla lost her memories so it just felt like a very bad remake of the first book. Not only that, but a good chunk of the information we uncovered about some of our characters ended up being inaccurate. It was honestly annoying to be essentially thrown back to square one.

And, of course, I still wasn’t a fan of the romance in this one. Again, part of that was due to the flat characters that made it hard for me to connect with them as well as the fact that it seemed like insta-love from the beginning (and not in a good way). I just didn’t understand how Pan and Ulla were so in love when they hardly spent any significant time together–and by that I mean length-wise as well as meaningful (emotional connection).

Sadly, there was little I enjoyed in this book until we hit the final chapters. When the ending added new character POV’s (characters from her Trylle series apparently), I finally had something that got my attention. Wendy and Bryn were way more interesting than Ulla. I was actually invested in their fates and felt a connection to them. They had personalities and just popped off the page. And I’m sure fans of the Trylle series will enjoy seeing these characters again.

The ending overall, however, felt wrapped up too neatly. It really tried for that “happily ever after” (big surprise) and it just felt… forced. It was especially hard to feel any relief or sense of triumph when it was focused on the two characters I felt no connection to.

Overall, I’d have to say this series really wasn’t for me. The only good thing is that it made me curious about the Trylle series but I feel like Amanda Hocking’s books may be a little hit or miss for me. If you enjoyed her Trylle series though, this might be a fun series for you to check out if you’re interested in revisiting the world.

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