Throughout the Evernight books, Claudia Gray has taken her characters into interesting territory, but she’s saved the best journey until last to deliver a worthy finale to this YA gothic tale.
All the way along, this series’ trademark has been clever plot twists and characters with ambiguous motives. More than one supporting character has turned out to be more than they first appeared. And the (literally) heart-stopping cliffhanger at the end of Hourglass left many readers wondering how Gray was going to resolve all the dilemmas she’d created.
Afterlife is essentially about Bianca and Lucas coming to terms with the fact they’ve both turned into what they hate and fear the most. They not only have to find out if their relationship can survive their new reality – they also have to find out if they can accept themselves.
We also finally find out more about the wraiths, and what they want from Bianca; the significance of the relationships between wraiths and vampires (and vampire hunters); and Mrs Bethany’s hidden agenda.
The gothic atmosphere of earlier books is retained, helped by the fact the action heads back to where it all began, at Evernight Academy, and the author again demonstrates her skill as a storyteller, setting a cracker pace and building the tension to the inevitable showdown between Bianca, Lucas and their enemies.
The final page of my edition of Afterlife has a teaser for an upcoming novel about Balthazar, one of the most popular characters in this series, so it’s safe to say fans can look forward to more adventures in this nicely textured world Gray has created. I must admit, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next for that particular vampire…
(In the meantime, Gray has Fateful – a new paranormal story about werewolves on the Titanic – due out later this year.)