My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First off, I totally don’t love this cover much. Yes I like the colour. Yes I like the girl (Evie) in white, and Death, so obviously in black. But I dunno, I feel like the eyebrows on the guy don’t do him justice. My favourite part of the cover is the back of the novel. The guy on the back is totally my impression of Jack. Much better than the one on Poison Princess! See:
And now….to the review.
Endless Knight begins right where it left off in Poison Princess where Jack is gaping at Evie in belief right after she annihilated the Alchemist.
Of course Jack is obviously repulsed, and for a good fifty pages or so, he avoids her. But yet, after it turns out that he stole the Alchemist’s recording of her story, that he realises all that she’s been through. Okay so yeah, Evie’s privacy has been invaded again – I always did think it was a little creepy that Jack stole things that belonged to her so that he could find out more. BUT, it totally makes sense a little later on in the story, and not as creepy as it seems when Evie discovers that Jack’s obsession and apparent insta-love for Evie was actually stemmed from something else.
Which brings me to the fact that, one of the reasons I had disliked Poison Princess (one of the few, I should add), was because there were too many coincidental events, like Evie’s mum dies in time for them to leave, and so on. So I had my eyebrow rising on the bs meter a little. But yet, when you read from a well seasoned writer, you find that your questions are answered as you read. In Endless Knight, the me who was a little unconvinced about bits and pieces of book 1, was convinced in this one. And then the questionable me, discovered that there were even more questions than anwers rising in this installment. Which, I’ll bet, will be revealed in Dead of Winter.
As for the plot. It’s riveting as Poison Princess. And it also is lulling. You lull a lot of the time, which is a little different to Poison Princess where you were on your feet avoiding baggers most of the time. But in this one, there’s a massive lull period, because where else has Evie landed herself, except at Death’s house?
We all knew as readers that there was something between Death and Empress. It wasn’t as evident in Poison Princess, but it was very clear in Endless Knight. As the title of the story reflects, this is Death’s story. Poison Princess is about Evie, her powers and her past. But Endless Knight is about the Empress’s past with Death, and Death himself. It was all very touching, smoking and smexy, and when plot twists are revealed about Jack, there’s a whole lot more Death and Evie time than there is Jack and Evie.
But before I get to the part about romances, I want to talk about the world. The world in the novel is apocalyptic with baggers (zombies), cannibals, and a raging, brutal army. I’m not going to judge the world on plausibility, because helloooo~ I haven’t even lived through an apocalypse yet, so who am I to judge? So this world is more of a fantasy for me. I already mentioned how cool I thought the idea of a story based around Arcana was. They even play Tarocchi in the book – you know Tarot cards weren’t always specifically for fortune telling, right? They were also used as a trick card game. Anyway. So I love the world Cole has built. I love the whole Arcana cards idea, and I think it’s cool. I think she’s done a great job building the world and telling the reader bits and pieces about what has happened and why. I also like the game. There’s a really strong foundation for the story to be told. Which adds to the excitement, fear and thrill of both book 1 and 2. Sure, I still have a ton of questions, but I’ll wait for them to be answered.
The romances. Hm, I don’t like love triangles. Most of the time in YA they’re completely unnecessary and totally flimsy. What I like about the love triangle in Endless Knight kind of reminds me of the love triangle – however sudden it was – in Eona: The Last Dragoneye. It’s the type where there’s the guy around the same age as the protagonist who’s been with them for most of the story, and then there’s the other guy who’s slightly older, and has a history with the protagonist from a previous incarnation(s). So, essentially, both have really strong ties to the protagonist. And therefore, I don’t hate this love triangle much. Most likely because Evie still loves Jack by the end of Endless Knight, even though she does admit, she feels some love for Death.
But the problem I had was, once Evie has the dream about that final betrayal against Death, the dream is very cold and collecting. It makes everything afterward seem a little awkward for me, because Evie is guilty over the fact that she betrayed him, but I couldn’t help but think: it wasn’t that much of a betrayal when your past life did it, and you haven’t yet. But I’ll give Cole tops for creating an incredibly constant and empathetic character in Evie. Which is also probably why Evie is more susceptible to Death as she learns about him. Becuase unlike her previous reincarnations, she has learnt about the tarot or the game since she was a child.
Death is a really fascinating character. And though he is supposed to be evil, he to me did not seem evil at all. Just calculating. He was self-preserving, making decisions based on what would save his life. He is cold and he is a little heartless, but he is lonely. In many ways I do kind of like him more than Jack, because Jack is a big asshole to Evie a lot. Particularly in book 1. But of course, he would always try to save her and protect her, becuase he does truly love her in spite of everything, secrets and all. But Death, Death is suspicious and obsessed with Evie – the Empress – he loves her and hates her at the same time, mainly because she is the only person he can touch, when he can touch no one else. They spend a lot of time together during the second half of the novel, and there’s plenty of time for Evie to get to reknow Death. And she does bit by bit. During the day, there’s so much sexual tension between them, mainly on Death’s part, but also on Evie’s. But during the night, and this is where I got a little confused, because I got the idea that Death and the Empress didn’t get to have sexual relations, yet. During the night, Evie dreams of her past with Death, dreams that were given to her by Matthew, she dreams about sexual things related to death, though now that I think about it, it never did go past kissing – just really intense, hot kisses.
The romance bits with Jack though, happen at the start of the novel before she’s a captive of Death. Once he gets over his shock at Evie’s transformation, they talk things over, and well eventually sleep together. Yep, it’s actualy sex in a YA novel. Not explicitly graphical like in an erotica, but definitely enough details that it can’t really be called vague either. But then we don’t see Jack and the rest of Evie’s crew for the rest of the story once she’s in Death’s lair.
Overall I am babbling on too much about nothing, hopefully this review in some way makes sense and makes the book appealing, because in my humble opinion, it’s definitely worth reading. It’s enjoyable. It has a decent plot. The love triangle is smexy. Relationships are in depth not just thrown in and allied lol. It’s intriguing and I can’t wait to read the next installment!