Book Review: Until I Die
By: Amy Plum
Published By: HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Page Count: 352
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy
Yes, you guessed it... Until I Die ended on one heckuva cliffhanger... and I normally despise those dreaded things. I have always felt that if an author's writing is THAT good -- and Amy Plum's is THAT good -- they don't need one to entice the reader to come back. That was very true with Amy's first book, Die For Me. But that said, this was a GOOD cliffhanger -- if there is such a thing -- a real heart-breaker with a tinge of hope mixed in. So, I will forgive Amy this one time.
And so once again... this installment in the Revenants trilogy gets FIVE BRIGHT and SHINEY birdies from me and is going to be shelved amongst my favourites!
The sequel to Die For Me did not disappoint one iota... in fact, I think I loved it even more. Everything I adored about the first book was turned up a notch in Until I Die. There was plenty of Kate and Vincent, plenty of romance, plenty of Paris, plenty of the other revenants (good and bad) and plenty more revenant lore to sink our teeth into -- all woven around another great plot that had me riveted!
Picking up where Die For Me left off, we get to witness Kate and Vincent's love story really take root. There is no shortage of toe-curling romance in this book. A little teaser to wet your appetite:
"He raised his hand, and running his fingers from my temples through my hair, he spoke softly. "Now that you are here--now that we're together--I can't imagine going back to the life I had before. I don't know what I'd do if I lost you now. I love you too much."
My throat constricted. He had said the magical three words. Out loud. When he registered my stunned expression, his lips curled up at the corners. "But you knew that already, didn't you?"
My heart became a goeey mess inside my chest, and then he said it again." -- p. 71 Until I Die (ARC), Amy Plum
Vincent promised Kate to be an extraordinary boyfriend to make up for the extraordinary circumstances they face together, and he certainly holds nothing back. From winter picnics to a private box at the Belshoi Ballet to sword lessons to just hanging out. And through all of this, we really get to witness what an awesome pair these two make. Together... they can take on the world.
The problem is... when they go off and do things separately... that's when things go awry and they become more vulnerable. Each is looking for a solution to making it easier for Vincent to resist the urge to die at the hands of saving another life. He made that promise to her in the last book because Kate -- having such a difficult time with her own parent's death -- knew she couldn't handle Vincent dying over and over again. In this book, we learn much more about the mechanics of this compulsion they have to saving lives... it's more than just being noble.
So Vincent is going in one direction to solve this problem, while Kate goes in another for reasons you'll discover when you read this for yourself, as explaining it will give away too much. Both avenues they are taking are, of course, dangerous.
The numa seem to be regrouping but the revenants have no idea what they're up to, nor who is their new leader. It's very quiet for the longest time. Meanwhile, two new reventants join La Maison, Violette and Arthur. The centuries old, and seemingly aloof couple, change things up quite a lot.
I loved getting to know more about the revenants through stories shared. But you can't help but catch the ominous foreshadowing undertones in those stories. Genevieve's story in particular...
Another thing I loved about this book is getting more Jules and Ambrose. I 'heart' those two. Jules continues his flirty ways with Kate... and how... and always just shy of crossing the line. I almost feel sorry for him because he truly is a sweetheart. Not that he would ever dream of taking Kate away from Vincent (well... maybe he might daydream just a little about such a prospect). And Ambrose... has taken on Kate's big brotherly/bodyguard duties with lots of charm and humour. I adore these two best friends of Vincent's.
Kate's socializing/boy-crazy sister Georgia continues to provide the lighter, more humourous moments. She's quick-witted but has a serious side to her too... and as always, is there for Kate, as are also Mamie and Papy.
We also get to see different sides of both Jean-Baptiste and Gaspard... both of which are so well written! The whole revenant clan really does feel more like family in this book and while some of them still have some insecurities where Kate is concerned, they respect Vincent's choice and abide by it.
Another great addition to the story is Vincent's developing role in this clan and possibly in reventant lore and prophecy. Ooohh... wait till you take that in!
And finally Kate and Vincent. Because they really are so much better as a team, it's hard to talk about them separately. Kate sort of feels like she's straddling two completely different worlds and not entirely fitting into either... but Vincent is helping her work through that. I love that Kate remains independent and thinks for herself despite how good she is with Vincent. She's still thoughtful, insightful and smart. She's developing a tough outer shell through the confidence Vincent has in her and in teaching her how to fight. In Jules's words... "she's kick-ass".
Vincent still remains the chivalrous and charming revenant that we instantly fell in love with in the previous book... and more so. With a much larger presence in this installment, we get to see what Kate really loves about him. Yes, he speaks and acts like he's from a different time -- and that rubs some people the wrong way -- but not with me -- I can easily melt into a puddle of goo with Vincent's words to Kate and the way he looks at her. Vincent's got a gentle and loving side but watch out when he's protecting Kate or his kindred... he's a force, let me tell you. He's definitely one of my favourite leading men... and I simply cannot resist a guy wielding a sword!
Even though, typically, middle books are painful to get through, what I found pleasantly surprising is that this isn't the case for most of this middle book. Yes, the blasted cliffhanger at the end was a real humdinger but Until I Die was seriously one awesome book!!! Amy Plum's eloquent writing style flowed like water over river rocks. It was incredibly hard to put down when life got in the way... and I couldn't wait to get back to it. Amy expertly places the events in and around Paris, making me long to go there. She cleverly merged more great revenent lore and mythology into one swoon-worthy love story with an intriguing and suspenseful plot line. Did I mention there was a stinker of a cliffhanger?? Oh yes... I did... it's going to be a looooong year!
And a special thank you to fellow Lark, Andrea, for sharing this ARC with me! I'm forever indebted! :)
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.