Thursday, February 2, 2017

#Review - Grave by Michelle Sagara (Urban Fantasy) @dawbooks

Series: The Queen of the Dead
Format: E-Galley, 464 pages
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: DAW
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

The concluding novel in a gripping paranormal trilogy, The Queen of the Dead.

Emma and her friends have survived the Necromancers sent to the city to kill them. They’ve gone to ground in a cottage north of the city, but time is not on their side. There are no barriers that can keep the dead out, and the dead obey their Queen. It’s only a matter of time before they’re found.

Nathan has been blessed by the Queen of the Dead. She has granted him a physical body. He can eat, he can breathe, he can speak and be heard. The Queen calls this resurrection. Nathan calls it Hell. The living think he’s alive. He’s not. He’s trapped in the citadel that the Queen of the Dead calls home.

Emma wants to free him. To do that she has to survive long enough to reach the City of the Dead, and face its ancient Queen. But the city of the dead is the heart of the Queen’s stronghold—and her power. Emma can’t do it alone.

She’s not alone. But even with hunters and her own dead at her side, what hope does she have against a woman who has lived so long, and grown so powerful, she’s almost a god?

Grave is the third and final installment in author Michelle Sagara's The Queen of the Dead trilogy. 17-year old Emma Hall found out that she has a unique ability. She's a necromancer with the ability to see, guide, and when she touches them, other people are able to see the dead as well. She's also a conduit. Emma hasn't exactly had a smooth ride since her boyfriend Nathan was struck and killed. Being a necromancer has come with consequences. 

There have been hunters like Chase, and Eric who were supposed to kill her, but chose to protect her instead since she didn't go evil on them. Chase, most especially, has many reasons for hating Necromancers and wanting them dead. The Queen sent men to kidnap her, and in the process, put an innocent boys life in jeopardy. Emma will never be free to have a normal life as long as the Queen is alive & reigns over the dead, preventing them from moving on. 

This story takes Emma and her allies straight into the heart of the most dangerous woman in existence and a floating city in the sky that is only accessible via portals. What they find there will either save them all, or make them permanent residents of the city of the dead. Emma picks up even more interesting allies, not including Helmi, and her mother who gave Emma a powerful lantern instead of her own daughter. The search for answers to bring down the Queen, takes Emma face to face with the one person she loved the most while he was alive. 

Speaking of Nathan, Grave opens up with Nathan and Reyna, the Queen of the Dead, giving him something that gives him pause. Nathan finds himself on a Floating city made from the dead. What exactly does Reyna want from Nathan, and what does the Queen's sister Helmi really want? Nathan is a confused character. He remembers dying. He remembers Emma. He hasn't a clue why Reyna has chosen to give him such a precious gift. Plus, Reyna's sister Helmi seems to have hitched her saddle to Nathan for some yet unknown reason.

Thankfully for readers, and Emma's allies, she is still a rather amateurish necromancer with plenty of power to spare. But, the little knowledge she does have, will be tested to its limits over the course of this story. She's definitely not as obsessed with power as Reyna. She doesn't use cruelty as a weapon like Reyna. And, she doesn't leave her friends behind, even though she probably should have a long time ago. Emma has been surrounded by her best friend Allison, Emma's half deaf dog Petal, as well as Michael who I adore because he's really special, Amy, the Queen B of their High School, as well as the previously named Chase, and Eric who will never forget himself for falling in love with Reyna. 

Let's also not forget about Margaret who tried to teach Emma about her abilities, and bonded herself to Emma by choice, not by Emma's hand. I do have some general issues with not only this story, but with the series itself. Silence released in 2012, followed 2 years later by Touch. That is a rather long time between books. So many new series have come and gone, especially for those who read more than 100 books a years. It is always a good thing to remind readers of where things are and how the characters reached this point in the series.

Yes, I do know that Emma and friends went on the run after a devastating turn of events in Touch. Yes, there is the POV from Reyna which gives you an idea about how this powerfully trained woman turned to the dark side after things go horizontally on her. Yes, there is a flashback which shows what led Chase down his path. Readers really have to make a decision on whether you can or can't forgive Reyna for her actions, her obsession with Eric, and her desire to keep the dead from crossing over.

In the end, I'm kind of sad at the ending, and yes I did get a bit misty eyed. After what Emma has been put through, & the actions she took to keep everyone safe, she should have had a happy ending. Perhaps this is for the best. After all, Emma is still learning. She figuring out her powers, and perhaps one day in the future, she will have her own happy ending.

1 comment:

  1. I keep meaning to pick up some of the author's books when I hit up the library but I always seem to forget her. This seems like one I'd probably enjoy so I've just put the first book on hold :)