I keep thinking that this series will get less good, that the hype has to have been overkill at some point. So far, that’s just not the case. Maggie continues to impress me with her lovely writing style and phenomenal character development.
“Desire and dread lay right next to each other in his heart, each sharpening the other.”
Even though I didn’t love this book quite as much as The Dream Thieves, I was still thoroughly involved, and was always finding excuses to listen to the marvelous Will Patton spin the tale. My dog went on way more walks than she needed. And I’ve never been this on top of my laundry and house cleaning. I usually get frustrated with how slowly I consume audiobooks and track down a physical copy of whatever I was listening to, because I can read so much faster than I can listen. That’s never a temptation when Patton is the narrator. The man is gifted, y’all. I still can’t wrap my mind around his ability to create that many unique, recognizable voices and keep them all completely separate.
“Humans were so circular; they lived the same slow cycles of joy and misery over and over, never learning. Every lesson in the universe had to be taught billions of times, and it never stuck.
Maybe it was good that the world forgot every lesson, every good and bad memory, every triumph and failure, all of it dying with each generation. Perhaps this cultural amnesia spared them all. Perhaps if they remembered everything, hope would die instead.”
Our four main characters continue to grow, and their relationships with one another continue to strengthen and change. I love that Ronan and Adam are developing a friendship outside of their mutual love for Gansey. Their interactions with each other tend to be hilarious. There’s this one train wreck of a scene involving a shopping cart that had me rolling. I also love Adam’s relationships with Persephone and Cabeswater. (Can a person have a relationship with a place? Because Adam does.) I loved that Ronan and Blue are finally starting to warm up to each other. I love Calla and Mr. Gray and Jesse Dittley and Mallory’s dog. Maggie just creates such entertaining and eclectic characters, and they all make me happy. And she finds a way to join them all together into a ragtag, makeshift family, which makes me even happier.
“Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn't all-encompassing, that wasn't blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she'd had this kind, she didn't want the other.”
Also, the woman can write. These are probably the best-written YA novels I’ve ever read. She has such a lovely way with words. Maggie doesn’t just tell a story, she weaves it, a tapestry of beautiful sentences and otherworldly thoughts.
“There is no good word for the opposite of lonesome.
One might be tempted to suggest togetherness or contentment , but the fact that these two other words bear definitions unrelated to each other perfectly displays why lonesome cannot be properly mirrored. It does not mean solitude, nor alone, nor lonely, although lonesome can contain all of those words in itself.
Lonesome means a state of being apart. Of being other. Alone-some.”
And not only does she craft an original story and tell it in a gorgeous way, she doesn’t skimp on the humor. There is so much sass and sarcasm in this series. Even the aforementioned dog somehow manages to be sarcastic. Whenever an author an imbue a story with this much wit, I’m a fan.
“It kills Dittleys and does terrible things to my friend."
"YOUR DEAD FRIEND."
"That's not his fault. Why didn't you say you could see him?"
"I DIDN'T SAY I COULD SEE YOU, EITHER."
"But I'm not dead."
"BUT YOU ARE PRETTY SHORT.”
Unrelated side note: the woman excels at star-crossed romances, and at making me care about a trope that tends to make me roll my eyes.
“There was something unfamiliar about him. Something ferocious about his eyes, some sort of bite in his faint smile. Something altogether hectic and unsettled. She stood on the ledge of his smile and looked over the edge.”
I’ve heard mixed things about the final book of the series, but if it maintains any of this literary loveliness, this is a series that I’ll be buying and rereading, and even listening to again someday in the not too distant future. So far, I feel safe in heartily recommending this series to literally anyone. We’ll see if that changes after reading the final installment, but I sincerely hope that it doesn’t!