Let me stop and catch my breath! Man, this one was packed full. After the way the last book left off, I was expecting it, but still. My stars! This was a tough grind through most of the book where Celia was forced to go it alone as terrible things kept happening to her and those she loved. It was hard to read as things got pretty bleak and dark. There was a huge series of scenes near the end that had me in tears for the tough losses that took place to win this round with evil. Celia and the rest of our band of heroes really went through the wringer. It felt like a grand finale book even though its not. Exciting, powerful, emotional, and it’s still not over. This is an incredible series that I savor down to the last page and am left hungry for more.
This is the fourth book in the Weird Girls series and it is definitely a series that is tied together so tightly that it has to be read in order. One could fit the novellas in hither and thither, but whatever you do, get the novels in order.
It’s a magical world full of weres, vampires, witches, demons and a group of cursed sisters that don’t fit into any specific magical race. Celia, her sisters, and her friends Bren and Danny moved to Tahoe to be near their own kind and in so doing have found themselves in many dangerous adventures and passionate moments while they content against the big bads that are intent on domination or destruction of the world. The sisters maybe thought of as abominations by most and feared for being different by many, but they stick together through thick and thin with sass and pizzazz each finding a chance at love that alternately leads to joyful passion and many times heartbreak. Nothing is easy or safe and the cost of good over evil is always expensive.
In this particular installment, Celia is given an ultimatum by a very powerful member of the were council. She can cut off contact with her mate, Aric or she can watch him and all the others she loves get destroyed. And this will happen anyway if she breathes a word about it to anyone and he will know if she does because she will be watched. This begins an agonizing chain of events from Celia that take her to her absolute lowest. She has been forced to isolate herself from all she holds dear in order to protect them and at the same time her actions hurt them and make her sacrifice feel like betrayal. Her enemy is not content with this and seeks to grind her down even further. Just how much can Celia take before she will break. Has she done worse by her lover, her friends and family by her actions? Meanwhile, their enemies are not idle and Celia must once again enter the fray on behalf of someone she cares about.
The series has been leading to this point. Celia and Aric have had to fight so hard to be together because he is a pureblood were and she is an abomination, but in the past, Celia has always had the love and support of her sisters and friends to get through the tough stuff. In this one, it is less the action and intrigue that the others offered and more an internal struggle. Oh the other is still there, but it doesn’t take the forefront. It’s a very hard emotional read. I wanted so badly for Celia to just tell everyone why she was doing what she was doing because I trusted in the power of all those good people working together, but I also understood her choices too. I would have done the same to protect the people I loved.
The last quarter of the book was fast and furious in comparison to the steady, grinding pace of the early time. Survival, war, loss, more loss, and then some big reveals for the series. It ended in a good place so one doesn’t feel a jarring cliffhanger, but there are still a few threads that I really want to pull hard to get to the next piece of the story.
There’s a bit of a tug o war over Celia as there has always been between Aric and Misha, but its not really a love triangle. Emme’s love life is on hold though I saw hints of something interesting for her future if I’m guessing right. Taran and Gemini might have a bit of trouble brewing that cropped up near the end though I’m not sure what. Shayna and Koda are still the golden couple which is a relief amongst all the turbulence of the others. Oh and lets not forget Danny. I just knew that nerdy, serious and loyal guy would come into his own. He is totally the hero of the hour in this one. But the big money couple is still Celia and Aric. Their forbidden love is really put through so much in this one. It was heartwrenching.
It was not all doom and gloom though. There were a few scenes that I snorted and giggled through to the point that tears came. Misha and his vampire crew are always good for kicks and giggles. That spa day that Taran arranged for all the sisters involving Celia getting her first anal cleanse had me just limp after all the laughing. I am so with Celia on that stuff even if I get the purpose.
In summation, it was big and hard hitting and just keeps delivering with each new release in the series. It’s Urban Fantasy in feel, but it is also flavored with paranormal romance elements. The romance side tends to be more tragedian in nature leaving the lovers apart more than together. It gets hot, but not descriptive when they do have their stolen moments between crises. I love the writer’s voice, tone, characters and her creative worldbuilding. I definitely recommend this series to those who enjoy a romantic Urban Fantasy that leans more toward the action, intrigue and inter-personal connection more than the passionate romance.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.