Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly #3), by Susan Dennard
Publish Date: July 22, 2014 (audiobook published November 6, 2018)
Published by: HarperTeen
Audiobook Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 11 hrs 53 min (387 pages)
Genre: YA Paranormal/Historical Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)
It has been a tumultuous time for Eleanor Fitt since life as she knew it in Philadelphia came to an abrupt end. Although the Spirit-Hunters—Joseph, Jie, and Daniel—have helped her survive, Eleanor has lost almost everything.
And now, Jie has been taken by the evil necromancer Marcus. Eleanor is determined not only to get Jie back but to finally end this nightmare. To do so, she must navigate the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt amid the rising Dead, her unresolved feelings for Daniel, and her volatile relationships with Joseph and with Oliver, her demon. But it won’t be easy. Because Allison, her friend from Philadelphia, has tagged along, becoming strangely entangled in Eleanor’s mission.
Well this was definitely a conclusion worthy of this trilogy. It was a strong finish, with character arcs coming to strong ends, painful moments and ones of extreme action and suspense, and of course my emotions running all over the place.
[SPOILER]Of course that ending killed me. It hurt. Somewhere in the middle, when Daniel had that sudden chill, I just knew. I knew what was going to happen. (Then I started having flashbacks to The Sweet Far Thing and oh let’s not go there shall we?). But I hoped against all odds that my instincts were wrong but they weren’t and…my heart hurts still. [END SPOILER]
I really enjoyed the strong character arc that Oliver had in this book, and how his relationship with Eleanor grew and changed over the course of this novel in ways it hadn’t in the last book. More, I loved how Eleanor grew and changed because of him, and how she realized how she had been acting and treating him and the others as her focus on revenge stole away all her other cares. It was a really strong and powerful friendship and I just loved how much they came to care for and depend on one another, despite their bond.
I think I would have liked to have seen more intimate moments between Eleanor and the other Spirit Hunters, such as we saw with her and Oliver, but understandably her focus was elsewhere. But those moments with Oliver just made me want to see similar scenes between Eleanor and Jie, or Joseph, or even more with Daniel besides the romantic stuff (I mean, don’t get me wrong, I lived for those moments, but I miss what they shared in the first book as they learned about one another and struggled with putting aside their first impressions of each other).
This was definitely a good ending. It kept the action going, brought everything to a close, had me trying not to cry, and brought closure to as many of the characters as it could. I know the ending was where it needed to end, not only because my gut feeling said it was going to happen, but because, in the moment, it made sense that it would happen that way. Doesn’t mean it still doesn’t hurt.