By: Melanie | April 8, 2014 | (29) Comments

Discussion Review: The Forever Song by Julie KagawaThe Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
Series: ,
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Genres: Action, Fantasy, YA
Pages: 416
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

Discussion Review by Larissa and Mel

**There are no major spoilers (just very mild ones) that will ruin your enjoyment of the book. **

Larissa: Okay I just finished this book and I’m giving it three stars. This was probably my least favourite of the Blood of Eden series.

Mel: Yeah, I ended up giving this 3 stars as well. I guess nothing can come to compare with The Eternity Cure.

Larissa: I found it to be quite mediocre compared with my love for the other two books in the series.

Mel: Exactly! I was rather reluctant to pick it up to continue reading it. I was bored and nothing happened until the last few chapters. Alas, poor pacing.

Larissa: My largest problem with this book was the overwhelming angst. Like it reached Edward Cullen “I’m a sparkly annoying vampire and I don’t want to hurt Bella” levels.

I think the whole what makes us human and inhuman is a very interesting and thought provoking question. However it’s been repeated over and over again, throughout each book. With the addition of Zeke’s angst it all becomes too much of the same thing. There’s only so much you can stress a singular issue.

“This is what I am, Allison! I’m a demon–you know it as well as me.”

Mel: I swear Zeke says this more than the fingers on my hands throughout the book. I mean, I really wanted to ignore it, BUT HELL; majority of this book was about Allison and Zeke’s stupid angsting issues.

Larissa: Yes, it just became waaaaay too much to handle at times. It overwhelmed the story quite a bit. The plot in this one was mainly one journey to another, to find Sarren and try to put an end to his utter madness. It wasn’t really an enjoyable journey honestly. Other than some great gory scenes and sweet action ones, you get subjected to quite a lot of constant repetitive angst.

Mel: I know right? Since I only have time late at night to read on school nights, I tend to fall asleep halfway through reading if the story line is boring or just uninteresting. This one was one of them. I just couldn’t deal with the continuation of the angst.

Larissa: I actually enjoyed Allie as a protagonist throughout this series. She’s super tough but not to the point where she isn’t out of touch with her emotions. She cries, yet kicks ass with a katana. She’s very realistic and has gone through wonderful character development. However in The Forever Song I found myself annoyed with Allie more often than not. Same goes with Zeke.

Mel: Agreed. I do believe all the angst and pointless drama just ruined Allison and Zeke’s personalities.

His voice trembled on the last sentence. I swallowed my fear, the instinct to take his advice and flee inside as quickly as I could, and inched forward. “Not without you.” He didn’t reply, and my voice became desperate. “Zeke, please, listen. You can fight it. I can show you how.”

*rolls eyes* Oh and let’s talk about the Zeke twist. It’s not much of a spoiler since it happens early in the novel.

Larissa: Yeah in the end of The Eternity Cure it was pretty clear Zeke was going to be a vampire. I actually don’t mind him being a vampire, but I feel like the twist with him wasn’t done that well. It was super predictable. Zeke also recovered from his frenzied and controlled by Sarren state too quickly for me.

Mel: Hmm, I was expecting him to have more of struggle because after a handful of chapters or so, the problem just disappeared. It just felt way too simple. I actually believe it would have been more interesting to read if Zeke was controlled by Sarren for longer.

Larissa: Exactly. And you’d think there would be more about the fact THE EVIL ANTAGONIST WHO HAS MURDERED WHO KNOWS HOW MANY, CONTROLLED THE MIND AND BODY OF ZEKE??! It seemed like something that should’ve been a big deal but was just left in the dust.

Mel: NO WE ARE JUST MEANT TO ACCEPT THAT AND MOVE ON WITH LIFE, DUH.

Larissa: Hah. As for the romance, I felt the strongest for Allie/Zeke as a couple in the first and second book. This one I felt a little less regarding them as a couple. I was quite apathetic. They just sort of blended into the same angsty character in The Forever Song and there wasn’t much chemistry. The only time I felt that for their relationship was like very ending.

Mel: I didn’t find myself shipping Allie/Zeke at all. They kiss, angst some, make out, angst some more and all the jazz. Boring. Zero chemistry.

Larissa: It actually made me quite sad as I used to love Allie and Zeke together. In this one Zeke was just boring to me. No substance to him other than his angst. It actually really bothered me as I used to love the romance and Zeke as not only a love interest but a character.

Mel: I guess we can agree that Allison and Zeke were huge character disappointments 🙁

Majority of their dialogues were variations of:

“Zeke: I can’t live like this anymore! I don’t want to be a demon. I just…can’t.
Allie: Don’t you dare say that! Zeke, you taught me that not all vampires were evil and heartless. You are the reason I have not given up to the monster. Let me help you.
Zeke: But–
Allie: Shut up idiot, I love you! We can do this.
*make out session*”

Larissa: You really just summed up their relationship and characters in The Forever Song quite well. Ugh.

Mel: I think the secondary characters were much better. Gotta love Kanin and Jackal.

Larissa: Yes, definitely! I loved both Jackal and Kanin.

“Does it matter?” asked Jackal behind us. “Who cares what he’s up to? He can be planning to fill the world with puppies, and I’m still going to rip the shrivelled black heart from his chest and shove it down his throat until he chokes on it.”

Jackal could always make me laugh. I also enjoyed how he managed to sometimes see the bigger picture, which is something Allie can struggle with when she’s busy angsting or focusing on Zeke. Jackal’s extremely dark and twisted humour could also make me chuckle at times. Jackal was just a character that I found quite intriguing and this didn’t change in The Forever Song. You definitely see some great character growth from him in this final instalment.

Mel: I don’t know how well I would have gone without Jackal’s snarkiness and biting humour. He just made this last instalment way more entertaining and intriguing. You make a great point about his character growth; I really appreciated that there was one.

Larissa: Great example here.

“Because I know that you, at least, won’t turn on me if something better comes along,” he elaborated. “Because you have that disgusting sense of loyalty that keeps getting you into trouble. And because you aren’t half bad in a fight, either.” His expression moved between arrogance and pity. “I figure I can be the smart, practical, logical one and you can be the pretty, hotheaded, overemotional one, and between us, we’ll be ready for anything.”

Mel: LOOOOL at the quote. He summarises Allie very well.

Larissa: Kanin’s also great. It’s funny how a character can have such few lines and yet have such a large impact on you. I feel like he’s just so wise and every time he does talk its thought provoking and important to the story.

Mel: I gotta say, he’s deep.

“Humans are ever resilient, and their will to live surpasses everything else. Do not lose hope, Allison.”

He’s the old wise dude making all the rational decisions (unlike Allison who makes a lot of irrational actions in this book).

Larissa: Yes, Kanin has definitely grown onto me. He’s so profound and I just want to know more and more about his character.

Another aspect that I loved about The Forever Song was the gore. I really believe Julie took it to new heights. Vampires in this world certainly aren’t sparkling or romanticized and I love that Julie takes them back to their vicious roots.

Mel: Kagawa does not glaze over her details! All those gory and gritty details…*shivers* It certainly made me feel grossed out quite a number of times. I guess the action scenes were the best written–very descriptive and gruesome.

“I lunged forward to help, but with a rabid still gnawing on his wrist, Zeke reached back with his other hand, pulled the gun from his back holster and showed it between the rabid’s eyes. There was a boom, blood and bits of skull exploding everywhere, and the rabid fell away with the back of its skull missing.”

Larissa: Oh and take a look at this crazy gore, Julie’s amazing.

“They had been splitted open, gutted from the chin to the groin, intestines spilling from their stomachs like pink snakes. Blood soaked the entire length of their bodies, wet and black, filling the air with the smell of death.”

Mel: Oh yum.

Larissa: The descriptions are so marvellous in all of Julie’s work. They just bring the world to life.

Mel: Okay to wrap things up, what did you think of the ending?

Larissa: It felt complete and I felt like the resolution was one that fit the books. It made sense. I feel like a lot of loose ends were tied up but there were still a few things to keep you wondering. (There was also a big twist at the end that was totally heart wrenching for me. I must admit, I cried.)

Mel: I remember being worried about how the end of this book would turn out. Lately, the endings to YA series haven’t been the best, they sometimes just end way too open ended-ly or just completely unsatisfactory. With The Forever Song, I do agree, it was sweet and closed up most things nicely–though not too sweet that it made my teeth hurt.

Larissa: Though it may seem like I’ve said primarily negative things about this book, I’ve still enjoyed this series quite a bit overall. I’m sad to see it go; I’d love to see a spin-off or prequel about this world.

Mel: SPIN OFF ON JACKAL HELL YEAZ. MAKE IT HAPPEN, KAGAWA.

~Thank you HarlequinTeen for providing us copies for review!~

3 Stars
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Melanie

Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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29 Responses to Discussion Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

  1. I had mostly the same complaints as you girls. I’ll admit I’m a huge fan of angst, but too much of everything is bad. Very bad. Zeke and Allie were so whiny and I just wanted Sarren to cut their throats out at some point. But I adored Jackal! We need that Jackal spin-off!
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah the angst was definitely overboard in this one. I would have been fine with it if the angst was in much smaller doses. Sadly it was all over this book. Hahaha (; I must admit I had similar thoughts regarding Sarren and Zeke/Allie. Yes, come on Julie! We need more Jackal in our lives

  2. Jasprit says:

    I have to agree with all of your points that you made it, I was so disappointed with this book, which is a real shame, as I adored The Eternity Cure and had such high hopes for this book, as you both did. Zeke and Allie did let me down considerably too, I also did think that Allie was able to bring him back way too quickly! And Jackal and Kanin definitely made this book for me too! Great discussion!
    Jasprit recently posted…Review: 16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet GurtlerMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Awww, I’m sad to hear this one didn’t work for you either. The Eternity Cure was probably my favorite book out of the series. Allie and Zeke were probably the worst aspects of this book for me /: They just didn’t work for me in the least. Yay for Kanin and Jackal! Thank you (:

  3. Chantelle says:

    Ahhh 🙁 It’s so sad hearing that this last one has been disappointing. I’ll still probably read it as soon as it comes out, but tbh, I will probably punch Zeke if it’s really that angsty. Also, I was totally shipping Allie and Kanin hahhahaha even Jackal! (irrationally, of course)
    Chantelle recently posted…Discussion: Paradigm ShiftsMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah it really is, I even felt bad to add to the negativeness that’s been surrounding The Forever Song. Haha there was definitely times where I felt like punching Zeke 😛 Lol omg, I never even thought of Allie/Kanin or Jackal/Kanin. Hmmm. Out of those pairings I’d like Allie and Jackal better lol

  4. I haven’t read any of these. It’s not my kind of genre. But I LOVE the idea of a discussion review!! That’s so cool. Hope you post more of them 🙂
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Most Unique Books I’ve ReadMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Ooooo! I’d definitely recommend the Iron Fey series and this one. Julie just has a very amazing way with words and creating amazing worlds. Aww, I’m glad you loved it. It was such a fun thing to do c:

  5. I haven’t read any of these, but I did skim the review. Sorry this one wasn’t as wonderful. I hate when that happens with series.
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  6. Siiri says:

    MY EYES MY EYES *covers them* I don’t want to read this since I haven’t read The Eternity Cure yet, but I’m bookmarking this to read it once I’m done with the series 🙂 Anyhow, I saw this: SPIN OFF ON JACKAL HELL YEAZ. MAKE IT HAPPEN, KAGAWA. WHAT IN THE WORLD IS EVERYONE’S PROBLEM? HOW CAN YOU GUYS LOVE THIS DOUCHE? 😀 I hate him. With passion, at that 😀 I need to read #2 so I can get the love around him lols.
    Siiri recently posted…On Finishing SeriesMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Hehe [; Dude, you need to read the Eternity Cure. That book was the best of the series, in my view anyway. Haha yes! A Jackal spin off would be fantastical. Lol! I definitely didn’t love him at first. I think your view of him will shift once you read #2 haha. I remember wanting to murder him after the first book though

  7. Kelly says:

    I felt exactly the same. The only character who I enjoyed was Jackal. I don’t remember Allison being such a whinger in the last two, Zeke has always worn the dress in that relationship, but her tough chick status has been well a truly evoked. As Larissa said, I’d like to see a follow up series on rebuilding the world or where humanity is now kind of thing. Julie Kagawa created such an incredible world, but I wanted to know where it was heading. I felt like it didn’t totally wrap up the way it should have.

    Awesome discussion, love the back and forth debate style review.
    Kelly recently posted…Silver People by Margarita EngleMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Jackal’s awesome. The end. No description needed hehe. Yeah I feel like Allie really became more angsty in this one compared to the others. Zeke was off and on angst for me. This one it’s always present though. A follow up series would be pretty cool c: I did enjoy the ending of The Forever Song, but I still feel like this world could be explored even more.

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it (:

  8. While I see your points and understand your reactions..I totally loved this. No, it wasn’t perfect but the plot for me was tight, and Kagawa allowed the characters to grow individually,and as a unit. As for Jackal..I love him. He was by far my favorite character from his charismatic personality to his never care armor.
    Excellent discussion post!
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    • Larissa says:

      I’m honestly glad that you enjoyed this one. It sucks to be disappointed! I definitely did see the character growth you mention. It just took a lot of angst for Allie and Zeke to reach that point lol. Jackal’s amazing! (:

      Thank you <33

  9. I actually loved this as well (agreeing with Kimba). But good point about Zeke. It was pretty expected that Zeke would turn into you know what – I think a lot of people actually predicted that, but I did think it was neat and better than another book to be honest. 😉

    Great discussion! 🙂
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    • Larissa says:

      Like with Kimba, I’m glad you managed to be happy with this one! Having great series conclusions make things awesome c: Yeah the Zeke thing was pretty obvious. I think it could have been handled a little better though.

      Thank you! (:

  10. Yes to everything here! You girls pretty much summed up ALL my problems in this book. Zeke was basically Allison 2.0 and it’s so frustrating reading his angst issues when they were already covered by Allie in the first book. I never liked Zeke to begin with; I always thought he was a boring dude, but damn, here he oozed with an all-new level not only of boring but fucking redundant. Haha.

    Awesome discussion review, girls. Keep at it!
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    • Larissa says:

      Haha woop! (: Lol. YES. Omg Zeke was totally another less bad ass Allie. He lacked the katana skills. It really was like re-reading the first book. I actually did enjoy Zeke, but now? Not so much. Hahaha, you’re totally correct!

      Thank you girl [:

  11. Melliane says:

    I love your review! I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as expected. I really liked this one but I also agree that it was a little behind the others, but well I liked the end and I enjoyed it as well.
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  12. Alise says:

    Great review, ladies 🙂 I’ve seen your thoughts echoed on a lot of other reviews too, that Allie was somewhat annoying and this one didn’t live up to the Eternity Cure. Sad, because it’s the conclusion and you expect it to be mind-blowing.
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    • Larissa says:

      Thank you! (: Yeah, Allie was quite the disappointment for me, in terms of her repetitive behavior. The Entirety Cure Allie worked so much better for me. However I actually didn’t mind the conclusion to The Forever Song, actually did find it mind blowing

  13. Candace says:

    I started reading your review but then decided I’m going to wait. I kind of want to go into the book not really knowing much. However, I know to keep my expectations low. Which is kind of sad. 🙁 It’s disappointing that it didn’t have more WOW to it, but I guess we’ll see what I think.
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