Featured Review: The Ever After (Amanda Hocking)
About This Book:
Amanda Hocking, the New York Times bestselling author of The Kanin Chronicles, returns to the magical world of the Trylle Trilogy with The Ever After, the final novel in The Omte Origins arc.
Ulla Tulin has lost a month of her life. Her journey to learn who her parents are has brought her to the attention of the Älvolk sect―and a man claiming to be her father. But instead of a long lost family reunion, Ulla has forgotten her time there, and fears something terrible happened.
The Älvolk released Ulla alive for one reason only, to exchange her for a rare flower with mystical properties. Determined to break her amnesia, Ulla risks her life against a dark enchantment capable of killing her to remember the Älvolk’s secrets―to use the flower as part of an incantation that will open the bridge to Alfheim, the First City.
But opening the bridge will unleash a menagerie of monstrous creatures upon Earth that will consume everything in their path. Knowing she may lose Pan Soriano, the love of her life, Ulla nevertheless gathers an army of Trylle to stand with her and defend humanity as well as her own kind. And it is Ulla’s very heritage that holds the key to victory.
*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*
THE EVER AFTER is the final book in the YA fantasy Omte Origins series, and it goes out with a bang. At the beginning of the book, we join Ulla on a plane that she cannot remember getting onto and at a time that is later than the last she remembers. As for what happened during her missing month, she knows that it must have been important, and the hints of memories she gets suggests that horrific things were done to her and her companions.
As Ulla tries to put together her missing memories from that month, she and her friends must learn quickly - as they soon begin to learn that the fate of the world may depend on their memories and action on those.
What I loved: This world is fascinating with trolls, magic, and connections to other worlds. Ulla is on a quest to figure out who she is and why she was abandoned as an infant - and the answers have been anything but forthcoming. She was led to a man who claims to be her and other trolls' father, leaving many dead in his wake. Her quest for family and belonging is understandable and the questions that arise during this search lead her to reevaluate the importance of blood vs found family. I found these themes intriguing, though they are definitely overshadowed by the mysteries of the missing memories.
The plot moved really quickly at first as we puzzle through the sparse memories with Ulla. The end switches gears a bit, but I really enjoyed the first parts of the book and the search for memories and family. I also really loved that the conclusion surprised me with its reveals about this world at large.
What left me wanting more: The latter part of the book suddenly changes points-of-view to give other characters' perspectives, and I found this a bit jarring to keep switching perspectives, and it took me out of the story a bit. There were also some leaps made in terms of the plot that were at times hard to go with the flow, as they created a lot of questions, but they were necessary for the story - I would have liked a bit more explanation around certain things so that I could understand why particular characters did what they did/switched gears at times. The romance also felt lackluster to me, but it was a background plot by quite a bit, so this did not bother me as much.
Final verdict: Overall, THE EVER AFTER is an intriguing conclusion to the Omte Origins trilogy. With mystery, action, and found family, this series is perfect for fans of YA fantasy and Hocking's earlier books.
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