Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Last Rite

(Personal Demons #3)
Lisa Desrochers
Paranormal Young Adult
365 pages
Tor Teen
Available Now
Received from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
In this final installment of the thrilling, edgy Personal Demons series, the battle between Heaven and Hell has become critical, and Frannie Cavanaugh is right at the center of it.

With the help of the powerful angel Gabe and demon-turned-mortal Luc, Frannie has been able to stay one step ahead of the forces of Hell. But when the demons killed Frannie's best friend and destroyed her brother, they raised the stakes. If Frannie wants to keep her family and friends safe, she knows she has no choice but to go on the run.

Their best defense is the power Frannie has been struggling to master, but her attempts to hone her skill go horribly awry. If Frannie doesn't learn fast, the consequences could be devastating--even apocalyptic.

What happens when you can't outrun Hell...or trust the ones you love?

Last Rite picks up immediately following the events of Original Sin, sparing us barely a moment to take a deep breath before we’re launched into the middle of the ongoing battle between Heaven and Hell. Those who may be a little foggy on the details of book two may want to consider rereading the concluding chapters at the very least, as Ms. Desrochers spends very little time reintroducing characters and events, instead focusing on moving things forward at a lightning-quick speed that leaves us floundering a bit to catch up. The extremely quick pace stems not simply from physical action, but from constant emotional upheaval as well, things with both Gabe and Luc on extraordinarily unstable ground that proves only to get rockier as Frannie’s predicament becomes more dire, and though we may stumble at times when temporary confusion plagues us, we can’t deny being riveted to the pages wondering how things will play out.

Frannie has been a young woman with whom our relationship is at times strained, her extreme waffling between Luc and Gabe in book one having us questioning whether she’ll be a character we can really come to know and fully support, but throughout the series she does exhibit a gradual growth. That is not to say that her actions in this final installment are the epitome of logical and rational, because it’s often quite the opposite, however her reasoning is far less hormonal in nature and more emotional in this final installment, and we can feel how the scope of the task laid at her feet forces her into sometimes impulsive—but understandable—action.

As mentioned in previous reviews for this series, Frannie’s story has a soap-opera quality to it, events and character relationships extremely dramatic – perhaps too dramatic for some readers – but for all that we may groan at the rather epic love triangle, Ms. Desrochers does still manage to draw us deeply into this story and have us invested in its outcome. In Last Rite, all three protagonists are swaddled tightly in guilt over the events of the previous book, each of them wallowing separately in repetitive recitations of “it’s my fault” without ever giving voice to their feelings and sharing the burden with the other two. At times, the combined weight of their despair can be a bit overwhelming, but before we're able to don our festive hats at their pity party, Ms. Desrochers yanks us all from our despondent musings and forces us into action.

Last Rite is nothing short of a thrilling conclusion, life and death on the line in almost every chapter as Frannie, Luc, and Gabe frantically search for Lucifer’s weakness and a way to exploit it. Readers who have enjoyed the previous two books and enter into this one knowing the angst will be high, the logical decision making low, and the romance split between angel and demon will no doubt find themselves with nails bitten down to nubs from stress but a smile on their faces by the end.

Rating: 4/5


  1. Isn't it funny how you can role your eyes at a love triangle or some other plot element, but still be glued to the page? I like this series, although it may be a bit too eye rolly for me. Still, I'd like to read the last book.

  2. *sigh* I loved the first two books! And I loved the super clichéd and stereotype characters in this book! But... for some reason I was dreading to read this one, maybe because what happened at the end of the second book to Luc ..... I didn't like this one bit.

    But thanks for getting it back on my radar... I loved this series and I truly think I need to get over my fears and just get on reading:))

  3. I haven't actually read this series but I think I've heard of it before. It sounds really interesting and I'm glad that you enjoyed the third book in the series!

    Fantastic review, Jenny! ♥

  4. Okay, I saw you liked the last book alot. I haven't read the first one. I have it, just haven't gotten around to it. So, I think I'll make time since it's so good.


  5. This is the very first time I'm seeing this series. Too bad that there's a love triangle. I really can't stand them, but good thing the book is so action-packed that it leaves you breathless.
    Beautiful review, Jenny. :)
    You write really beautifully. Are you an author by any chance ?

  6. Glad you enjoyed this one, Jenny! This was a series I just couldn't get into. I read the first book, but that was it.

  7. I'm really looking forward to this! I enjoyed the previous books and love the sound of this one. I guess I'll have to re-read though if there's little re-capping? Still, looking forward to this! I'm glad you liked it Jenny. Great review. :)

  8. Hehe I don't think I was planning on continuing this series since the first book wasn't my cup of tea, but I was recently convinced about reading the second one and now you did the same thing with this third installment! x) Frannie's life DOES have a soap opera quality to it LOL but I'm glad you enjoyed this despite that :)

    Amazing review, Jenny! You're Team Luc, right??? I don't remember much except I was totally rooting for the demon boy! :') <3

  9. Alison - I think if you go in knowing there are going to be some eye roll inducing moments, you'll really enjoy it. Book one was the most overly dramatic in my opinion, I really enjoyed books 2 and 3!

    Danny - I was most distressed with the events of book 2 as well, but I think you should give book 3 a try:)

    Celine - They're really quick reads, so much happens that you just sort of reach the last page before you realized you were even halfway:)

    Heather - Enter into book 1 knowing it's like a teenage soap opera and you'll be good to go I think!

    Nick - I'm not a big fan of love triangles either, but this one doesn't really feel like one because it's clear who she has the true feelings for:) And no, I'm not an author, but your comment completely made my day!

    Leanna - The first book was the most challenging I thought, I thought books 2 and 3 were great because I knew what to expect:)

    Sam - Yes, I would definitely at least re-read the last couple chapters, it took me a while to remember everything that happened and I was confused for a while.

    Mimi - TEAM LUC!!!!! Book two caused me stress with some of the things that happened, but I really enjoyed both that one and this last installment:)

  10. Great review, Jenny! I must admit that I read the first book in this series and I thought it was entertaining, but I didn't love it. It seems from your reviews that it gets better. Perhaps I will revisit the series- I could use a soap opera like plot right now...sometimes you just need that!

  11. I am glad you enjoyed this series. I stopped after the first one. Glad that there was choice made LOL

  12. Now, I've only read the second one and I really did enjoy it but I agree--Frannie's live (especially her love life) is a total soap opera. But I suppose that's what makes this series such a fun, fast read. I mean, soaps have been around for ages with people glued to the screen, right? I probably should pick this last one up, so I can see how it all ends... :)

  13. What? Book 3 is already out! Gah! I'm so full of fail. Good to know the series finishes pretty strong, despite all the drama, but I usually find the extra dramatics kind of fun. Plus, I like it when authors don't spend a lot of time rehashing the previous books because that gets tedious for me.

    Hopefully, I'll be able to catch up someday soon, especially since I already own the first two books.

  14. Oh I love it when a trilogy comes together. I jump up and down and do the "good ending" dance :) Granted it looks like all my other dances but whatever!

  15. Christina - Exactly! Lots of drama and angst, and I just got sucked in with each book:)

    Julie - The first one I felt was the hardest to get into, books 2 and 3 I thought were really entertaining:)

    Mary - I had to know what happened! I thoroughly enjoyed it:)

    Missie - I know, right? I feel like books are coming out faster and I just can't keep up with all of them!

    Felicia - YES! I was pleased with how things wrapped up:)

  16. Wow Jenny you definitely make me want to start this series, it sounds like it has everything! And I'm even more glad this book worked for you despite Frannie's soap opera story and the love triangle! Fab review as always! :)

  17. I know you were a bit lukewarm about the first two books, Jenny, especially on the love triangle but since you like the last book more I'm going to give this series a whirl. The soap opera effect can be yawn inducing but sometimes you just want popcorn, right?

  18. I never really got the love triangle thing in this series since it's so clear who she's madly in love with. And the second book kind of lost me - talk about soap opera and illogical choices, and come on, they weren't even suspicious about who the new girl really was? Anyway, glad you enjoyed the final installment.

  19. Jasprit - It's a fun series despite all the dramatics, and once I knew what to expect from Frannie and company, I couldn't put the books down:)

    Rummanah - Exactly. You can just sit back and enjoy all the drama for what it is:)

    Alyssa - Yay, you're back! This series is definitely a teenage soap opera, but I couldn't put it down:)

  20. I can't say I am excited at the thought of bitten down nail stumps...but the exciting face paced life and death battle in every chapter sounds like a lot of fun enough that I would like to read this series despite the love triangle and soap opera drama :)

  21. I haven't read this series (I own the first two books) but man, your review makes me want to pick it up NOW. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about this one so I'm a little skeptical but awesome review!

  22. I think I have heard some bad things but now I do not know what about cos this one does sound good

  23. Jenny, I was expecting so much more. For me this book did not live up to the hype. Though I am glad that you like it.

  24. I won the second and I just bought the first when it was on sale. Looks like I'll be getting the 3rd soon. So glad to hear that this one wraps up so nicely. I hate it when a good series ends, but when it ends well, I'm happy!

  25. my problem with love triangles is it's SO OBVIOUS to see what boy they want, you know? especially in this series. It's obvious she wanted Luc from the very beginning. Gabe didn't even stand a chance.

    I however so enjoyed this series, even if there was that fault. LOVED how it ended!

  26. I never bothered to start this series because I remember you mentioned how Frannie went back and forth between Gabe and Luc. It's good that she has exhibited growth since then even if she still isn't entirely logical. Pity parties annoy me so I probably won't read this series but I'm glad you enjoyed it and thought it ended with a bang, Jenny.

  27. I only read the first in this series but I wasn't real impressed so I didn't continue the series. I have considered giving the second one a try though cause so many just love the books. Glad you enjoyed this one!

  28. Well, I'm glad you liked this conclusion. As for me, I think I'll skip this series because it doesn't really sound like my thing with the soap opera qualities and the waffling. But I'm happy for the author that she does seem to have some hard core fans who really do appreciate these books!

  29. I agree there are a lot of soap opera qualitites and I usually don't like books that are so focused on love triangles, but it's actually kind of an integral part of the story because of the good vs. evil thing. Plus, Luc has been one of my favorite characters; I love his sarcasm and observations about humans. I just bought the last book and am looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the review.

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