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This book was excellent. Excellent. Admittedly I did not like it at first, but it got better and better as I kept reading. By the end, my eyes were ga-lued to my Nook, and I could not believe that it ended, or how it ended for that matter. I did NOT expect the book I got, but that by no means is a bad thing. Every moment held suspense, and there were so many heart-pounding moments that I thought my heart would just rip itself out of my chest. Just, oh my god, this is a heartbreaking book. I could not believe what Ms. DeStephano was putting her characters through. But I will say it all made sense, and I can NOT wait for the final book. We went from a sadistic carnival to the streets of Manhattan and all these new places. I loved this ride even though it damn near broke my heart. Everything was so well written and just plain good.
Rhine is still an amazing heroine. I admire her strength so much, having to go through all that she did. My heart broke for her, and all I wanted was for her to be happy with Gabriel and to find her brother. Her development was excellent, and she grew so much in the short span of this book. Speaking of Gabriel, he also got great development. I also still love him very much, and I loved how he adapted to everything around him, his love for Rhine never fading. Speaking of, their relationship is still one of my favorites. They grew with each other, fighting but always loving each other. Their banter still makes me smile, and I also nearly weep every time they show affection. The new characters like Maddie and the various other were so rich with character that I fell in love with them. Madame scared the hell out of me, as well as making me so freaking angry. And of course there was till Vaughn, who still chills me to the bone every time he's mentioned or around. I mean holy eff, he is a SCARY dude.
Ms. DeStephano has improved so much. I loved the expanded world, however sketchy it was. She showed a bleak world trying to get by, ravaged by disease. She has a fabulous writing style and knows her way around a story. I can not wait for the final book, and anything else she writes.