By Johnny Worthen
Jolly Fish Press, 2016
(Disclosure: I received a free advance copy of David from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The book hits shelves August 16th, 2016)
After surviving the collision of every kind of angry mob Jamesford has to offer, Eleanor has been careful not to break the illusion that she died in the flames, so as not to bring any more pain and death to the people who dare to be kind to her. After months in hiding, however, she’s drawn back to Jamesford once more. To watch, to connect, or to say goodbye, she hasn’t decided yet.
Eleanor’s fit of masochistic self-pity, during which she refuses to go back to David for her own sake, or to consider for a moment that he might deserve a say in whether his life is better or worse with her in it, drags on for about half the book. Admittedly, this method of extending romantic tension is a particular peeve of mine and may work better for other readers, but it does make the first act feel a bit stagnant, and considering that this final installment of the trilogy is named for David, he’s disappointingly absent from most of it.
Midge, on the other hand, gets plenty of time to shine this book, and does so brightly. She’s the friend everyone should have to turn to. On a larger scale, the optimistic support of most of the town of Jamesford, which disagrees on the truth about Eleanor but mostly agrees on missing and caring about her, is a refreshing contrast to Eleanor’s doom-and-gloom natural wariness.
Eleanor’s shapeshifting is finally used to full effect in her covert return to Jamesford, hiding in plain sight and righting wrongs, and once she finally makes her choice about her own life, she’s the hero the series has always hinted she could be, with a thrilling final rescue mission to match. The tragedy of the sweet wallflower crushed by small town malice is over. Eleanor takes possession at last of her story and her powers.
Break out the tissues, our shy little shapeshifter is all grown up!
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