WARNING: If you haven't read WINGS and SPELLS, books one and two in the Laurel series, then it would probably be a good idea to stay away from this review.
Illusions (Wings #3) by Aprilynne Pike
Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.
But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.
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Why, after reading one of Aprilynne's books, do I feel like she's dragging the series on longer than necessary? Honestly, why couldn't the series be wrapped up into a great trilogy? Instead, it feels as if the author is intentionally stretching it to fulfill a series. If you've read my reviews for Wings and Spells, the first two books in the Laurel series, you'd've noticed that I'm torn between loving or hating these books, for a variety of reasons, which I am forced to revisit in this post for ILLUSIONS.
I dared to hope that ILLUSIONS would pick things up, take this series to new, unfathomable heights; but I was wrong to get my hopes up. Again, I was pulled along on another lengthy journey to uncover the identity of a
I wanted POW! action! A magical war that will shape the fate of Avalon! Something. But, once again the trolls decide to play hide-and-go-sneak-attack for like half of the book. Okay, we've established that Barnes is, more than likely, dead. That Klea may be an enemy. So, why aren't these spectacular faerie creations doing anything interesting about it? I mean, what are they waiting for?? *head-desk* If I'm going through agony over the not-quite-there-yet relationship between Tamani and Laurel, through the excessive torture over Laurel's annoying indecisiveness, HAND ME THE ACTION, please! But, alas, it seems my faerie bookmother forgot to remove her earplugs.
And still, still, after all this time, I completely dislike Laurel. I cannot sympathize with the girl. I can't feel anything for her; there's just nothing there. Zip. Nada. And that stinks because she's the heroine. I can't just swap her out the way I would at the store if a pair of jeans didn't fit. But, I would like to. I really wish I could. And it's not just the aforementioned distressing indecisiveness, but it's also her attitude and outlook toward things. The way, sometimes, she just doesn't think. She can come off as selfish, too. I find myself muttering a lot when I read about her. There's no bond between us, and I'm afraid there never will be...
So, you're probably like: Asher, then, why are you reading this series? Why are you planning on continuing with it? And my answer is Tamani. There's just something about this wonderful faerie boy that makes me want to go through all of this fuss. It's not because he's The Gorgeous Boy. And it doesn't have to do with his wit or his charm. There's something so incredibly attractive about a boy in love, who's utterly determined to have that love reciprocated. It's his persistence, his unwillingness to give up hope in that one day he'll have The Girl. Tamani, over the course of these books, has put up with so much crap - a lot of it spewed by Laurel herself - and he hasn't surrendered. Not to David, not to the customs and societal expectations of Avalon, not to his own boss. And he's willing to do absolutely anything he has to if it ensures Laurel's safety, even if it hurts in more ways than one. SO, if he's able to suffer all this hell, than so can I.
But, I'm dying here. I'm hanging on for Tam. I PRAY that the next book in this series sits way better with me, and that I'll feel as if it was worth the time spent reading it.
He looked away, as though slapped, but he didn't look guilty. He looked pained. "I closed my eyes," he said, his voice so low and strangled she could hardly hear him.
"What?" she asked, not understanding.
Tamani held up his hand and Laurel realized he hadn't finished--he was having trouble speaking at all. "I closed my eyes," he repeated after a few shallow breaths, "and imagined she was you." He looked at her, his face open, his eyes honest, his voice a song of anguish.
Without thinking, Laurel pulled him to her and...
I wanted to die, right then.