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ARC Review: Destined (#4) *no spoilers*

The following review contains

my thoughts in a few sentences: War has come, on a dark wave of thick sludge that can't be clogged. The fight has come, down to every last man, woman, and child, and no one is safe. The Avalon we know and the faeries we love are on a deathly brink of hopeless extinction, and everyone is needed, everyone's strength, will, and courage is tested. Survival is a dim wish escaping with the breeze, falling with the sun. And Death waits for all and pardons few. Tears, anguish, hope, they all collide in our chests and set a foreign rhythm to a once calm, warm place. Destined is the captivating peak in a series that rips us up and reattaches us in a way in which we are never the same, the final story we've been waiting for.

intriguing first line: "Tamani pressed his forehead against the chilly windowpane, fighting back a wave of exhaustion."

HarperTeen • E-ARC Request • Paranormal Romance/Fantasy • 5/1/12 • $13.49

Destined (#4) by Aprilynne Pike


Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful—and deadly—of all, and she is working with Klea to conquer and destroy Avalon. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares for a fight she never thought she would have to face.

Filled with heart-pounding action, sweeping romance, and higher stakes at every turn, Destined is the series conclusion that readers have been clamoring for—with a twist that will leave them breathless.

Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to touch her hair behind her ear. He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn't kiss her, just held her face to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching. She hated how much it felt like good-bye.
I've gone from hating this series at points, loving it at others, but it wasn't until I actually had to twiddle my thumbs in a show of helpless waiting for this final showdown that I realized I'm terminally in love with this series. Despite our differences, our ups and downs, I'm a character girl and Pike's characters have stitched their way into my heart. I can't forget them, I won't stop loving them, and Destined by Aprilynne Pike, this last story, is my every hope shining back at me within each word. Our emotions are drained until we are left hollow one moment and everything comes waterfalling back in the next, and Pike has one of her talented hands on the faucet knob and the other on the drain plug. Everything is so fast-paced, the action almost instantly begins, and so our moods are a thing of speed and pain, like whiplash. Sobs are covered by quick hands, our eyes mourn too, drowning in a pool of liquid salt, and, for a while, smiling is a ghost with no home, an apparition that taunts our desires for joy, joy for ourselves and for these wonderful characters. Destined by Aprilynne Pike is fatally emotional.

Death cries all around us, the characters, and his black tears wash over so many, soaking our own hearts with surprise and suffering as he stops others. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers in arms or in blood, defend their families, their neighbors, themselves, and battle with crashing tides of near-invincible enemies. Magic and animals rise to surf and cut through them, in a way like we've never seen in the series thus far. Pieces fall from their hiding spots and connect to materialize the truth. Yet so much more is needed. Finding the answers isn't enough. Putting them into action to combat all that lay astray is. Struggling past falling, breathless bodies, dodging poisons and potions designed to kill, Laurel and those she loves hurry against fading daylight to rescue many and refortify Avalon's defenses to arise victorious.

Romance is rightfully assigned the backseat, but hearts entwined are never far out of each other's reach, always worrying, always ready to defend. Friendships are risked with demise around every corner, but friends are indeed necessary to stop what has arrived. Thankfully, personalities brighten the pages and shine truly with all that they are and more. The bond that is forged between each character in this circle of confidants is unshakeable and more pure, despite all the hardships and turmoil of the last three books, than any true friendship can be, full of heart-melting love and deep understanding, a strong tie woven in the midst of endless blood and loss.

The end showers over us and brings us poignant pangs, wide, watery smiles, and a love for this series that is almost boundless, because, fabulous world-building and plot twists aside, the characters are a lovable bunch, a fortified wall of support who can lean on each other in all the troubles of the future yet to come. The ending isn't necessarily over once we hit a special Author's Note explaining that there is one thing for Pike left to share, a bittersweet gift we can choose to accept or return that nonetheless arouses are curiosity enough to gain inspection. After reading those final few pages, the tears come in unstoppable twin rivers of aches and happiness.

Destined by Aprilynne Pike is a vital read for fans, and the perfect incentive for newcomers to the series to get started.

Rating: Perfect Bed Partner
"I have seen your work. You're no destroyer. You're stronger than that."
What's stronger than destruction?
"I could," Laurel insisted. "I could do it!"
"No, you couldn't," Yeardley said calmly. "Not like this. And that's not a weakness, Laurel. It is its own kind of power—the same power that makes you a great Mixer, the kind of Mixer *blank* could never quite be. Anyone can pluck a flower, Laurel. True strength is knowing how to give it life." (61%)

Be sure to check out my other reviews of the first three books in the Laurel series:

Got something specific in mind? Dare I believe I might NOT have covered something you wish to know? If so, let me know down in the comments section. Don't be shy!


Brodie said...

So interesting how this series has made you feel such a plethora of emotions! Hate, love and now you realise it owns your heart. Aww, a reader/book love story that spans the ages <3

This sounds like such a brilliant conclusion and one that has affected you emotionally. To me, THAT is how a series should end. With tears. Whether in despair or sadness or happiness for whatever the author has thrown your way and simply for having to say goodbye to characters you love.

Thanks to you, I need to add these books to my TBR now *GRUMBLE* WHY YOU SO PERSUASIVE?! Amazing review! <3

Asher Knight said...

Yup, it was very love and hate up inside me. Constantly tug-of-war because I wanted to punch Laurel one moment then was sighing in envy over the fact that Tamani was all over her.

Tears are the way to go. That's how you know they reach you, that you FEEL everything. I felt like that by the time I was done. I couldn't believe it. It was then, I think, that I realized how deeply I adored the series as a whole.

YES. You totally should. You'll probably have more tolerance than me, because you seem to be a bit more understanding toward characters, Brodie. So maybe it won't make you as crazy *lol* Thanks, <333