About the Book

Title: Afterlife (Evernight #4)
Published: 2011
Series: Evernight
Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Cover Story: Comparatively Speaking…
BFF Charm: We’ve Grown Apart
Talky Talk: Craftiest
Bonus Factor: The Twist, Boys Who Like Wraiths Who Like Vampires…
Relationship Status: Friendly Exes

Cover Story: Comparatively Speaking…

I actually kind of like this cover, especially when it’s next to its predecessors. BUT it’s still not one I’d want to be seen in public with.

The Deal:

If you haven’t read the other books in this series, SPOILERS from the first three books ahead!

So remember that girl, Bianca, who turned into a vampire, and then got sick and died, and then turned into a wraith, because her vampire parents used a special kind of wraith IVF to have her? Yeah, so she’s a wraith now, floating around all silvery and misty, except she’s a special wraith, and can be corporeal, too, I just won’t tell you how.

Also remember her boyfriend, Lucas, who was raised by the Black Cross, a group of vampire hunters, but who fell in love with Bianca and didn’t care that she became a vampire, and then got killed and turned into a vampire himself? Yeah, that really sucks for him. (bada-ching…)

Lucas and Bianca return to Evernight Academy to seek help for Lucas from the mysterious headmistress, Mrs. Bethany. But as Lucas grows closer to Mrs. Bethany, they discover that she’s trapping wraiths at Evernight…

BFF Charm: We’ve Grown Apart

BFF charm with a :-| face

I gave my BFF charm to Bianca way back when I reviewed the first book, Evernight. Now, I don’t mean to be a fair-weather friend, because girlfriend is going through A LOT of shizz, and is handling it better than I probably would in her situation. BUT. She’s changed, y’all. And just like it happened with the girl who was my bosomest friend in grade school days, I feel we’ve grown apart.

Also, Lucas, who I LOVE loved, is not dealing so well with being undead. His whole charming devil-may-care attitude has turned into navel gazing self-hatred, and I feel that throughout this book he’s pretty much one step away from offing himself. It’s not that I don’t still care about these two, and I feel REAL BAD for both of them, but… just… I need some space.

It will come as no surprise, then, that I found great comfort in Vic and Ranulf, and Balthazar (who is getting his own series, HOLLA!) proved himself to be the guy I wanted to spend the most time with. (In bed…)

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

This book still has the swoon of star-crossed lovers, but I felt that the panty-melting intensity that Gray reached in the previous books fizzled a little bit. Sexy-times were diminished for reasons I won’t explain here, but I would like to say one thing:

Balthazar, call me!

Talky Talk: Craftiest

This wasn’t my personal favorite of the Evernight series, but I have to give Gray props for telling her story unapologetically, and doing it in a way that puts many in her genre to shame. It’s a page-turner, and ultimately, I was satisfied with her ending for the series. Gray has a way of making the super-fantastic seem normal, and crafting people and relationships that feel completely real in a way I’ve not encountered in other fantasy novels.

Bonus Factor: The Twist

A yellow road sign that says "plot twist ahead"

If there’s one thing Claudia Gray is a master at, it’s THE PLOT TWIST. She is master of a three-ring circus of her own making, and I find myself amazed that I find each and every one of her convolutions utterly believable within the context.

Bonus Factor: Boys Who Like Wraiths Who Like Vampires…

Screenshot from Interview with a Vampire, with Lestat and Louis facing off

I guess this technically counts as a TWIST, but when this story started out it was about a boy and a girl who fell in love. She changed, he changed, she changed again –not in little ways, like, as in they changed into different beings— but as the old saying goes, true love conquers all.

Relationship Status: Friendly Exes

There was a time when I was pretty sure this book and I were headed for wedded bliss, but in the past year, we’ve both changed, and I couldn’t have asked for a more amicable breakup. So while I won’t be the mother of this book’s babies, there’ll always be a little spark between us –the kind that might result in an occasional booty call, ‘for old times’ sake’, but that will not get in the way of both of us finding our own true love.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from HarperTeen. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Afterlife is available now.

Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.