Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review: Until I Die

UNTIL I DIE (Revenants #2)
Amy Plum
Paranormal Young Adult
352 pages
HarperTeen
Available Now
Received from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.


MY THOUGHTS
Until I Die is a story that treads softly, most of the story almost eerily quiet as the enemies of the Revenants decide to lay low and regroup after the events at the end of Die For Me, but the quiet is not a light one, instead each page of relative inaction is another weight laid upon our shoulders as we wait for the moment when noise is going to violently disrupt our comfortable calm. Because there is so little action for majority of the book, it does take us a while to settle back into this very unique world, our driving desire to learn more about a fresh and new group of paranormals stalled by a thick, almost viscous haze of pleasantness that prevents us from digging as deep as we’d like. We seem to tiptoe around anything overly emotional or physically taxing, stepping carefully page after page all the while hoping for something big to happen yank us into the story.

Ms. Plum has a rather difficult challenge in this second book in terms of us as readers, our contrary natures creating a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t situation with regard to Kate and Vincent’s relationship. On the one hand, we want to see them happy and together and enjoying each other after everything they went through in the last book, but at the same time we crave the tension and conflict that drew us to them in the first place. Ms. Plum grants us those sweet moments where feelings are given voice and growing attraction is acknowledged, and while we certainly release a contented sigh after such interactions, we also wait with bated breath for the delicious drama that seems to be missing from their blissful state.

All is not perfect in their world though, with Kate becoming increasingly aware of her mortality versus Vincent’s immortality, but even with the enormity of that particular obstacle we never quite feel the intensity or sense of urgency we would like to so we can overcome our slight disconnect and fully engage in their story. Finally, however, in the final third of the story Ms. Plum kicks things into gear in suspenseful and thrilling fashion, jolting us with certain revelations we had a sense were coming but hadn’t quite fully pieced together and leaving us with an ending that tears our hearts wide open while providing us absolutely no words of comfort to help stanch the bleeding.

While Until I Die starts slowly and proceeds to meander leisurely through some heartfelt moments between Kate and Vincent, it concludes in a blaze of painful glory, reminding us just how much we really do care for the characters, and shattering our sense of complacency with several well-aimed punches to the gut. The next book promises to give us that extra depth missing a touch from this second installment, our emotions sure to be in constant flux as everyone struggles to deal with a situation with which they’re all intimately familiar, though in this case familiarity fails to prepare them for the pain.

First 2/3 – 3.5/5
Last 1/3 – 4/5
 

33 comments:

  1. I finished this book on Sunday. I agree that there wasn't much action, but action isn't necessarily what I want in this series, because I love the characters and the idea of revenants so much. Plus I loved that there was no love triangle. I'm dying to read the third book now.
    But I do think the first book was better. I actually went back and re-read it today.

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  2. I'm glad the last third of the book made up for the slowly building up beginning, I hate it when a book takes a while to get going, but this book totally sounds like it was worth the wait! Fab review Jenny! :)

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  3. I have had a few books like that lately--where the beginning is slow and sometimes sludgy but the last 1/3 really reels you in and has you craving more!!! Great review Jenny!!!

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  4. hehe you clearly had some problems rating this one hu??? Sometimes there is just no way around it specially when you felt so differenty about the beginning and the last part! This sounds really intense and I really need to read it soon!!! :-))

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  5. Totally agree! Thanks for a fabulous review!

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  7. Oh no pain??? Oh no its Vincent isn't it????

    I cant wait to read this, Ive got the first one on Hardback and audio and Im thinking I need a paperback too.... I guess what Im saying is I love Kate and Vincent and even if it says they went to dinner the end, I will still love it....:D

    Beautiful review~ Im going to use the word flux today in my general vocabulary.....(lol)

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  8. I'm hoping to read the first book soon. I love the covers of both books.

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  9. Alison - I don't always need action either, but I do need things to move forward and I felt like a lot of the first half was static with nothing much happening at all. The end made up for it though:)

    Jasprit - The last 1/3 reminded me why I love this series so much, I couldn't put it down and then I got the end and was thoroughly depressed that there was no more:)

    Felicia - Exactly! That was this book for me. Slow and steady in the beginning and then BAM huge things happen:)

    Danny - Haha yes:) I couldn't just give it a 3.5 or 4 because I didn't think those individual ratings fit the book as a whole. I had to split them:)

    JoyfulSpirit - You're welcome!

    Tina - I will tell you if you really want to know. I'm terrible at keeping book secrets!

    Jennifer - Me too, they're gorgeous:)

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  10. I totally agree about the first half of the book being a bit slower than the second half. That ending really left me hanging, how could she end it that way??

    Great review, Jenny!

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  11. Interesting rating, Jenny. I didn't care for the first book. I actually had the "eww" and "ick" reactions instead of the "aww"s so I'm thinking this series isn't for me. Glad this one somewhat avoids the second book slump.

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  12. Christy - RIGHT?! I got the last page and was all NOOOOOOOOO!

    Rummanah - Sounds like it's definitely not the series for you then:)

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  13. I know what you mean about the delicious drama. That's why Eddie and Bella captured us, they always had some form of delicious drama keeping them the right distance apart.

    I have yet to read book one, but I'm curious about the Revenants, what and who they are. They are paranormal type that I haven't come across too often. So it's good to know that one can come to care for them so much.

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  14. So this has nothing to do with the book, but does too.
    Anyway, I saw the cover, I saw another cover on your blog and I came to a realization, I am so freaking tired of YA books with girls in long dresses. I fear I am over it

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  15. I haven't seen you do a review like this before, a slow start and then a blazing finish, not to happy to hear there is a cliffhanger, but I have been eyeing this series for awhile, and now
    i definitely want to dig in!

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  16. That's such a big range rating wise and I'm a little disappointed to hear that the story wasn't consistent all the way through.

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  17. Aw, it's too bad the first halfish lacks drama but I'm really happy that the final third makes up for everything. I loved Die For Me, Jenny, so I'm looking forward to reading this one and getting back to Kate and Vincent ... but more importantly, Jules :)

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  18. Yep, I was right to accuse you of influencing me with the range!

    I'm so curious about this one. I enjoyed the first one, I don't mind the lack of action in the first part of the book. I'm get the damed if you do/don't part. Always seems that way in romance, right?

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  19. Missie - Exactly:) I like the two of them happy, but I miss some of that tension!

    Carrie - Very true! The ending was heartbreaking and definitely has me craving the next book.

    Linda - Haha it's a trend that shows no signs of stopping, that's for sure:) I still think they're gorgeous though, even if I have seen a lot of them:)

    Heidi - I don't split ratings often, I think this might be the second time ever. I just couldn't assign a single rating to the entire book since I thought beginning and end were so different.

    Jenny - It was just a bit slow for me in the beginning, not too much was happening with either Kate and Vincent or the Revenants in their epic battle, so it took a while for me to settle back in. The ending made up for it though!

    Z - I LOVE JULES TOO!!!! I would love a spinoff with him, wouldn't that be great?

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  20. I am so tempted to ask someone about this ending as I don't think I can stand waiting to find out! Although boon 1 wasn't brilliant for me, I am still pretty excited to read this. Great review!

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  21. I've heard awesome things about the ending of Until I Die so I really look forward to pick up a copy. I loved Die For Me and I'm really curious about he sequel eventhough it doesn't sound as great as the first book .. Thanks for the honest and great review Jenny

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  22. Great review. I love how you broke up your rating too!

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  23. I can see what you are saying about the first half- it really took me awhile to get back into the swing of things and wrap my head around the revenant mythology, but once I did, I was sucked in....and how about that ending!?! :) Great review, Jenny!

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  24. Until I Die does only have little action as you said, but somehow the story, the characters, the Parisian setting drew me in. I liked the second book in this series even better than the first, surprisingly so! And wasn't the ending just horrible?!

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    1. And though I want Kate to be with Vincent of course, I could use a little more Jules. Jenny, a spinoff would be just fab!

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  25. Hum. I was a bit underimpressed with the first book but willing to give this second story a go, especially if the last bit really grabs. I do like the revenant concept--very creative--but the romance is going to have to blow me away if I'm going to continue the series beyond book two. Great review!

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  26. After reading the book I felt the ending really made up for the slow beginning. Loved the review Jenny! I am super excited to see what happens next!

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  27. I haven't read the first but have it. I really need to fit it in soon and see if this series is for me. I really hope I like it!

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  28. I have been waiting for this book ... I can't wait any more I hope I get it soon ... AWESOME review as always :D

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  29. Can you believe I haven't read the first book yet? lol Glad to hear the sequel is good. Great review!

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  30. This one got a 5 out of 5 from me. I just loved it so! I agree that it started slowly, but I am just so in love with Plum's descriptive writing that I savored every word. The ending killed me! I'm still upset over it. haha!

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  31. I read Die for Me by Amy Plum on a long plane ride back from London, and I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. But I picked up Until I Die anyway, mainly because hello, it takes place in Paris!

    And guys, I have to say - I got so into Until I Die! I thought it was so much better than Die For Me, perhaps because I wasn't stuck in an uncomfortable seat thousands of miles in the air.

    I was way more impressed with Kate in Until I Die. She was determined and strong and she wanted to solve things for herself, rather than wait around for people to tell her what to do, which I loved. I always admire protagonists that refuse to be doormats just because they love a boy.

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