We’ll be honest, when we first picked up Evernight at the bookstore we were expecting it to be so-so. Another vampire book set at a school. We’d just read Vampire Academy books, so the bar was set high. But Claudia Gray’s series following Bianca (not a vampire, but very close with them) and Lucas (part of a long line of vampire hunters) was different, engaging and got under our skin.
You often hear authors talk about how they like to abuse their protagonist. One has to throw all the horrible things at them, so they can overcome and grow. Gray doesn’t make things easy for anyone in her series. Bianca is torn between love for her parents and her need to be with Lucas. He wants to protect her, constantly shocked by her views on vampires that conflict with everything he’s been taught. Once their families and friends get involved trying to save one from the other, it becomes a real mess.
The third novel, Hourglass, was remarkable. I kept thinking “no, she wouldn’t do that,” “OK, Lucas will fix it” and I was left reeling wondering how things would work. Could things end well for these two? The ending of Hourglass was a shocker — and to an extent pissed me off — but was necessary to maintain the tension in this series.
The final book is called Afterlife and doesn’t release until March 2011. It’s been six or seven months since I read Hourglass and I’m still dying to find out what will happen. If you haven’t already read the series, I highly recommend it. The three currently-released books are Evernight, Stargazer and Hourglass. (All are available at The Book Depository.)
Here’s all we know about Afterlife, courtesy of Claudia Gray’s official website (has spoilers for earlier novels):
Bianca and Lucas have always believed they could endure anything to be together. When a twist of fate not only transforms Bianca into a ghostly wraith, but also turns Lucas into a vampire—the very creature he spent his life hunting—they are left reeling.
Haunted by his powerful need to kill, Lucas can turn to only one place for help… Evernight Academy. Bianca is determined to remain with him. But with the vampire leader of Evernight waging a war against wraiths, her former home has become the most dangerous place she could be, despite the new powers her transformation has given her.
A battle between wraiths and vampires looms, and Bianca and Lucas face a terrifying new reality. They’ve overcome every obstacle life has thrown at them, but is their love strong enough to survive the challenges after life?