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Monday, February 6, 2012

Until I Die by Amy Plum

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love. As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy. In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series

 So last year I read Die for Me , the first in this planned trilogy about renevants. I enjoyed the story but it had some flaws, and for a while I almost regretted buying the book. But I was interested in reading the next book, and when a friend of mine offered to send me her ARC, I gladly accepted. Now, after reading the second book, I've decided that I do like this series, if it has some flaws, and I don't regret buying book one anymore. 

Until I Die was a sweet read, a bit predictable and unsurprising but still good.

The book picks up again in Paris, France, where Kate and Vincent have continued their relationship. Due to Kate's issues with the "death" part (ie, when Vincent rescues someone from death he dies for a short amount of time) of Vincent's abilities, Vincent has decided to try not to die so they can have a stronger relationship. Charlotte and Charles, following a battle with the numa (renevant enemies) have left the home for protection and safety. The numa seem to be in hiding and all the renevants are on high alert. Jean Baptiste, to replace Charlotte and Charles and keep the renevants' safety intact, has sent in two new renevants: Violette and Arthur. Kate and Vincent continue their relationship in peaceful bliss but soon Kate realizes that Vincent's very immortality is in danger. Now, I found the plot to be pretty predictable. I guessed who the mystery person hurting Vincent was right away, Kate's reaction to said person, and the ending I spotted from a mile away. The ending is kind of a cop-out. [ Vincent gets killed by Violette. (hide spoiler)]. It's really all set up for the sequel. The mystery isn't as strong as it was in the first novel, and this book at times falls prey to "second book syndrome". The ending is really set up to show how Kate is vulnerable, and how her life has changed. Until the ending, though, the book seemed very strong plotwise. Plum introduces new plotlines often but they were done well and made sense for the story. The story seemed accelerating for a good ending, but the ending messed up, frankly. The plotting was very tight and strong but everything fell apart at the end; otherwise the plotting was strong.

The characters, I think, remain my favorite part of this series. Kate is a strong heroine who's capable. She goes and hunts things out, tries to help her friends, and wants to be helpful. She doesn't moan and complain about woe is me, I can't be with my true luvvvvv... instead she tries to enjoy her relationship nonetheless. She was very strong. However, sometimes I thought Kate seemed almost too mature for her age. She had flaws but came off much older then she would probably act. I understand that the situations she was in -- her parents' death, being exposed to a *new world* would make her mature more quickly -- but sometimes she seemed so much more like an adult than a teenager. Vincent was a bit more of the brooding hot guy in this one. He has more secrets and refuses to answer Kate's questions. He intentionally hurts himself to try and protect her, and tries his best to not "die" for her sake. It was sweet, if a bit unlikely. Still, I did feel sad with what happens to him at the end. The other renevants are just great. My personal favorite is Charlotte, and Plum really develops her in this book, unrequited love and sadness abound. She handles it well, though, and she's a strong character. If Plum was ever to write some kind of spinoff, Charlotte would be a good lead for a spinoff. Ambrose and Jules and Gaspard and all the boys were awesome, very strong and protective as well as being hilarious. I liked how the author handled Charles, putting him in a situation with others who were having the same issues he was.

The writing...hmm. I'm more unsure on what to write here. Plum has very crisp writing. Her writing's to the point, crisp, clear, and fluid. It's easy to read. Sometimes the French she included was difficult to grasp, and as some phrases were never explained I became confused. The writing was easy to read, though. That's really all I can say -- it's an easy read due to the fluidity of the writing.

I'd recommend this more if you liked the first novel; a lot of the same issues people had with Die for Me cross over into the sequel. I found the ending to be unsatisfying and the mystery predictable, but I enjoyed reading the book nonethless. If you like romance books, books on mythology, or enjoyed the first novel in the trilogy this would be a good book for you.

4 stars.

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