How is Iniquity by Amy A. Bartol? Perfection.
That is one word I do not take casually. I mean, a birth of a baby? Ya. A warm chocolate chip cookie? Duh. But a book? No, that isn’t something I would say lightly – especially with the sheer number of tomes I consume in a year.
Bartol, whom I affectionately consider to be the “Queen of Emotional Foreplay”, has kept her fans waiting for three years on the final chapter in her Premonition series, so the chances of “perfection” were slim. There are a number of reasons I say this so I will break them down (and please excuse me while I digress slightly).
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Fans of this series have had a great deal of time to read, reread, analyze, fall in love, pick a side, change sides, reread, reanalyze, etc. When the fan base has that much time to build expectations, it would be nearly impossible to satisfy even remotely. Frankly, how could the book reach the heights that the fans have set? Unlikely.
- Changes of pace. Amy released another full series since Incendiary – the previous book in the Premonition series. She went from indie to publisher. She’s been attending a ton of shows and tours, and developed partnerships with other authors. Those things are all bound to affect her, her writing style and frankly, the product. How could it not?
- The Kricket debacle. I loved Darken the Stars. I thought the ending stayed true to the main character and I was satisfied, but I know that there was much turbulence about that book and how it ended that trilogy. Fans were angered, dismayed, disappointed, disillusioned, etc. When you face that sort of backlash, you cannot help but be affected. Amy’s human, even if her characters are not.
With these points in mind, I was worried. I mean, you have a strong female lead who has literally evolved through a story that has constantly evolved with her. We don’t know what she really is, why she is, what the endgame is, why she doesn’t remember… and after DTS, people know that Amy won’t just go with a HEA arc; she stays true to what she thinks should happen.
Then you have the love interest quagmire.
Amy has given Evie not one, not 2, not three, but four possible outcomes. And with all this time, those four men have some seriously entrenched camps on whom they want to be her forever… or will she just walk off alone a la Kricket? It’s been a real concern among fans.
OK, OK, so I have rehashed it all… you want me to get to the point… is it good? You can judge by the star rating I liked it. What you might not get is that it is amazing. This book is so good, in fact, that I had to stop and TELL Amy on facebook just how blown away I was before I even finished.
Even before finishing, I felt it was one of the best books I have ever read… but I was withholding judgment until I saw how she finished it.
She doesn’t disappoint… well, at least she doesn’t disappoint me.
Clearly, not EVERYONE can be satisfied with parts of the conclusion. Unless Evie is some sort of raging hussy, or her clones become real women and move on to start their own lives (this does NOT happen lol) she cannot be with all these guys… but she CAN find contentment, purpose and happiness. She can stay true to her mission and still keep the love she has wanted for more than a lifetime – a love that transcends the last year of her life. But that isn’t going to please everyone. The irony is that this description suits more than one of the men in question, and I have no intention of ruining the conclusion for you!
My concerns about the gap in time were definitely unwarranted. Bartol’s writing style remains the same, and the characters retain their unique voices. In reality, the gap is more so probably just on “our” end, since it seems Amy was writing this book for quite some time. It was easy to read the end of Incendiary and jump right into Iniquity, like it was the next chapter. WELL DONE!
I loved the sexiness between Brennus and Evie, and I think Bren fans will be totally pleased. For more, it was fun to get more into Finn’s backstory, but I would have also loved more Zee… he is kinda my #MCE (Man Crush Everyday 😉 )
The final question is whether it can possibly live up to the expectations set by “years of foreplay” and the simple answer, for me, is yes. I loved it. It is, by far, one of the richest, most engrossing books I have read. No, it does not go into EVERY back story of EVERY character. No, I do not believe that everyone will be satisfied, because frankly, with so much time to “study” this series, the bar is just too unreasonably high and it would take 1000 pages to accomplish – not that anyone would complain, given the emotions when people noted on Amazon it was listed as having 24 pages. 😉
Some things to note…
- I can see some open air at the end of this book that could imply another edition. I do not get the impression that is her plan, though, so fans, don’t get too hyped
- This book is about Evie and her mission. Ancillary character time is limited, much to my chagrin *cough ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEE cough*
- Not every question is answered so don’t expect that, but after talking to Amy, there may be some novellas on the horizon and hopefully she’ll do one on a few of my fave characters! *cough ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEE cough*
In the end, this book is about a strong soul and the love she chooses for herself – and though I do not think it’s the intent, the love she chooses is the family she creates. From field hockey wins and Delt wars to bipolar vampire faeries, a family has formed around Evie that she needs to make it through the final twists and turns in this storyline – and there ARE twists and turns. But that family of angels – and demons – may be her only way to survive.
Soooo… what does this all mean? This series was great but this book is WONDERFUL. It will not give you everything you want, but smart people know that perfection is seeing that the best things in life are not exactly what we thought we wanted because that’s boring and it’s not real.