Rating (out of 5): 5 stars
(NOTE: While there are no spoilers in this review for Afterlife, we specifically reference plot points in the previous novel, Hourglass.)
Before we discuss Afterlife, the final Evernight novel, it’s important to remember where Hourglass (Evernight #3) left us. Claudia Gray did what we would have never imagined and let our lead characters die. Of course, in the paranormal world dead isn’t dead. Former half-vampire Bianca is now a wraith (aka ghost) and her nee vampire hunter boyfriend Lucas has been turned into a vampire, his greatest fear.
I spent the months since finishing Hourglass contemplating how Gray could turn things around. How can Bianca and Lucas move forward? Love can make people overcome insurmountable problems. So, in Afterlife, we find our star-crossed pair fighting for their love as their world comes crashing down.
Bianca has abilities most wraiths do not — she can manifest corporeal form and she can move from place to place with a thought — and the other wraiths want her help. Mrs. Bethany, the Evernight headmistress, is hunting wraiths. So many are captured and going mad inside Evernight’s walls as a result of her seek-and-destroy mission.
Dismissing the wraiths’ requests, she makes her focus Lucas and aiding his adjustment to vampiric life. Her goal is to help him retain who he is amid his new bloodlust. And to keep him safe and make this process easier, there is only one place Bianca can take him: back to Evernight Academy.
Now Bianca is hunted. Lucas has to rely on Balthazar, the guy who wanted to be with his girlfriend, and his mom — the leader of the Black Cross — isn’t about to accept her newly vampire son back into the fold.
We’re keeping this one spoiler-free, so we’ll get to the point. Afterlife gives us just what we need: nonstop action, a realistic fight for love and lots of answers. We’re talking why Mrs. Bethany is the like that (oh, you’ll be shocked), why the wraiths wanted Bianca so badly and whether Lucas and Bianca will actually make it.
Gray managed to move this story along so quickly with enough turns for minor whiplash, and it works. It has the action I adored in Hourglass and emotional needs and secrets we were first introduced to in Evernight. We promise, Afterlife is a fitting end to the Evernight series.