Now, that is a way to write a finale people! I mean, holy cow! There is action, adventure, betrayal, suspense, drama, a bit of romance, awesome fight scenes, and ending that will blow you away, and leave you speechless, but ties up all loose ends. I truly hope that other authors take notice of this, and follow in Dennard's footsteps.
Strange and Ever After picks up right where A Darkness Strange and Lovely left off. Marcus, the evil necromancer, has managed to stay one step ahead of Eleanor Fitt, her demon Oliver, and the Spirit Hunters (Joseph and Daniel) while taking everything away from Ellie, including the abduction of Jie. It is now a mad race to next stops, Marseille and Egypt, and finding the Old Man and the Black Pullet.
As you start to understand Eleanor's desire to use her abilities that are sometimes black in nature, you also understand that Marcus has taken away everything from her (mother & brother), and therefore the only way to defeat him, is to become a bit creative and go outside the box. It is a bit of a challenge for Ellie because while she respects Joseph and Daniel, she doesn't necessarily understand or agree with their desire not to see her fall into darkness. Oliver's own desire of being finally free from his bond with Ellie and able to return home also weights heavily on her decisions. Yet, Ellie's abilities may be the only way to end Marcus's threat once and for-all.
With Marcus raising the dead wherever they go, and the unwanted arrival of Ellie's nemesis Allison Wilcox at the most inopportune time, what could possibly go wrong? Will Eleanor be able to spend quality time with Daniel, or is there just too much in the way of a happy ending for both of them? Who will get their happy ending, and who will fall by the wayside?
I have to say that I honestly found this book one of the best I've read this year. I loved that in this series, Dennard took readers from Philadelphia, to Paris where Ellie was given a key piece to defeating Marcus. We then went on a Balloon ride to Marseilles where yet another bloody battle with Marcus & the undead takes place, before spiriting away to a country that I've had the pleasure of visiting; Egypt. Here, the final battle between good and evil will take place, with some unusual assistance being used on both sides.
I loved the angst, yes, I did, between Daniel and Ellie. It made it more realistic that they disagreed, and still respected the other person. I adore Daniel. I loved his inventions, and his ideas for a school for the strange and ever after. I even liked Oliver in the end because he didn't totally abandon her when the chips were down. I love Joseph and Jie and will miss them now that the series is gone. I found the arrival of Egyptian deities to be an exciting part of this story, even though I clearly wanted a reunion between Ellie and her brother in the spirit world.
Author: Susan DennardTitle: Strange and Ever After # 3Series: Something Strange and DeadlyPublished by HarperTeenRelease Date: July 22, 2014Genre: Historical, ParanormalFormat: E-Book 400 pages