Monday, February 18, 2013

REVIEW: Alexander Death by JL Bryan

Description: While Seth searches for Jenny, Dr. Heather Reynard of the CDC unravels Seth and Jenny's secrets.

Alexander opens Jenny's mind to her deep past, and to the full horrific extent of her powers.

Torn between her feelings for Alexander and Seth, and between her past lives and her present, Jenny must prepare to face her enemies while fighting against the powerful, ancient darkness within, which threatens to grow until it consumes her...

My Thoughts:  All right, I'm probably one of the biggest champions this book series has and will gleefully fangasm about it to anyone who stands still long enough to let me.  JL Bryan has still created one of the most interesting and complicated heroines I've read over the past few years, and hands-down the best female villain.  Ashleigh of the first book will never not be deliciously evil and clever.  

That being said, I do have to finally admit that the series is starting to suffer as it rounds into its third installment, so much so that I'm not sure yet if I want to read the fourth.  (I would feel this way even if the wear and tear hadn't become so apparent, as Alexander Death comes to such a natural stopping place that to open the series up to further books seems a little forced.)  Jenny has run off with Alexander in order to save her own life after Ashleigh's latest attack, Seth is trying to find Jenny again while being harassed by the Department of Homeland Security, Ashleigh is sadly marginalized as a villain, and Tommy...well, Tommy actually really disappointed me.  The potential for truly epic villainy or even a stance as a solid antihero expressed in the second book of the series just sort of *poofs* off into nowhere, but he still gets his happy ending without actually doing anything to earn it.  Throw in a fairly silly PSA about drug use and a what-the-hell black ops rescue, and I did a fair amount of giggling through my fingers at points of this book.  

This isn't to say that Alexander Death doesn't still have a great deal to recommend it, because it does.  Though she doesn't get as much to do as in the first and second book, Ashleigh is still absolutely electric.  (She's Randall Flagg with a better leave-in conditioner, people.  I'm telling you, even if I didn't like Jenny so much, Ashleigh alone is worth the price of admission.)  The descriptions of the kids' past lives are rich and varied, Seth is back to being the good-hearted goober we saw in the first book, and the final showdown ties together three books worth of themes and plot lines in a neat little bow.  It's a fitting end to the series, but who am I kidding? I already know I'm going to read the fourth book sooner or later.  It's like crack.  (So maybe I was supposed to learn something about Jenny's little stroll down the dark side, after all.)

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