Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Review: Forevermore by Kristen Callihan

From the Back Cover:

Miss Layla Starling, the young, beautiful, and extremely wealthy heiress, is the talk of London. Until now, she's managed to evade the marriage noose. Despite the fact that she is unfortunately American, she's received a staggering number of offers. And turned down every one. 

St. John Evernight does not want to admit the relief he feels every time he hears that she has rejected one of her suitors. Which is unfair of him. Layla deserves to be happy. But he cannot offer her happiness. He will never be normal, never be anything but a freak in her world. So St. John resolves to keep his distance, until he is recruited by the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals to guard Layla. For she is in grave danger, and he is about to learn the full extent of his powers.

My Thoughts:

I have been a big fan of this series from the very beginning, and while I am sad to see it come to an end, Forevermore is one heck of a satisfying conclusion. It's hard to review the final book in a series without revealing what happened in previous books, or without confusing someone unfamiliar with the series, but if you're reading this review, I have to assume you've at least read some of them already, so here goes!

St. John Evernight, or Sin, as he's known to his friends, has been a familiar, if rather mysterious, figure throughout the series, and as the youngest member of the elemental family we've come to know and love, it seems only natural that the series would come to an end with him, and that he is poised to be the future of the SOS--the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals. A lot was revealed about Sin in book six, Soulbound, and you really do need to read that first to understand the demons Sin wrestles with. Layla, on the other hand, is a completely new addition to the series, unlike all of the other characters from previous books. She doesn't even know supernaturals or the SOS exist when the story begins. I wasn't sure how I felt about this at first, but it is soon revealed that she has very deep connections to the SOS, and she is, in fact, the one being who will determine their future. I won't spoil it, but I will say that her origins and her destiny make absolutely perfect, brilliant sense.

Sin and Layla were best friends as children on neighboring estates until Layla's guardian, Augustus, also known as the Father of the SOS, and also as a little thing called Divine Judgment, takes her away. Shortly thereafter, Sin meets the awful faerie queen, Mab, and his life becomes a living hell. But always thoughts of sweet, innocent Layla, living a comfortable and, most importantly, very safe life keep him going. Until she shows up in London, the toast of the Season. Sin watches her from afar, desperate to be with her but unwilling to let her see the person he's become. He's content just to be in her orbit again . . . until Augustus makes Sin an offer he can't refuse. Protect Layla from Damnation and save the world in the process.

Layla has never known who her parents are and has always trusted Augustus's guidance, though she's never quite forgiven him for taking her away from Sin. Strange things have been happening to her, and when Augustus reveals that she's not human, Layla is not too surprised. But she is shocked when he declares that she needs to marry to keep her safe from the demon hunting her, and his first choice for her mate is none other than St. John Evernight, or Saint, as she defiantly calls him, the only man she has ever or will ever love. Though he presents a completely different demeanor than the boy she remembers, she is soon able to see through it and reach his heart. But she has her work cut out for her convincing Sin that he is capable of putting his past behind him and being the man she and the world need. Because the ultimate battle between good and evil is upon them, and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.

Forevermore gives readers pretty much everything we want in a series finale. I love how this story brought some threads back together from previous books and showed how everything that has happened to our favorite characters was set in motion and why. It was really cool how Callihan sort of brought everything full circle, not just for the storyworld but for some of the characters, particularly Miranda and Archer, who introduced us to the Darkest London world in book one, Firelight. Threads are tied off, yet at the same time, a whole new set of complications arises for our favorite characters to face in the future, but we can rest easy in the knowledge that they will face it together, and that they have the power to succeed.

With all that being said, it's not quite perfect. I thought Layla accepted and integrated into the new world that had been revealed to her too easily, and I also didn't like that magical abilities available to her and Sin kept being revealed just when it was most convenient to have them. Stretched my ability to suspend disbelief. BUT Sin and Layla are just perfect for each other. Poor Sin has been through so much, he feels so unworthy, and Layla is just the ray of sunshine he needs to bring him back into the light and embrace his role in his family and in the SOS. She's the yin to his yang, in more ways than one. Their ending made me cry, and the epilogue made me smile. Forevermore is a riveting tale from beginning to end, and a worthy, powerful, and emotional conclusion to an outstanding series.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5


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