Read on 30th June, 2014
Author: Anna Banks
This review is told through a series of snapshots as I progressed through the book.
Read from 16th-22nd June
Author: Julie Kagawa
5 Stars 🙂
Here it is at last! After $3.50 of overdue fines; weeks after I read it; hours of typing; not-the-best-quality-one-of-a-kind-review (I am NOT spending this long typing something up again), I bring my review on Julie Kagawa’s “The Forever Song”.
Brilliantly written, the thrilling conclusion of the acclaimed “Blood of Eden” trilogy, “The Forever Song” cannot be justifiably reviewed without spoilers. This review also contains excerpts from the book so, please, read the books first and then we can discuss! Beginning with “the Immortal Rules” this series is one of my favourites and highly recommended.
* * * SPOILERS * * *
“Why, James, don’t tell me you feel sorry for the walking meatsacks,” I taunted, because sometimes, goading Jackal was the only thing that kept my mind off everything else. He rolled his eyes.
“No, sister, I’m annoyed because they don’t have the decency to be alive so I can eat them.”
“Typical.” He snorted. “Silly me, thinking you actually had potential. I thought, Finally, she’s realised she’s a vampire. Now we’re getting somewhere. But now you’re just a big fluffy bunny with sharp teeth.”
“Would it kill you to have a little faith in your older brother?”
“Home, sweet home.” Jackal sighed. “Or it will be, once I slaughter all those bastards who turned on me, stick their heads on pikes, and decorate the city with them. Maybe shove a torch through their teeth and use them to light the walkways, wha’d’ya think, sister?”
Jackal snorted. “Sneak into my own city and skulk around like a sewer rat,” he muttered darkly, shaking his head. “Oh, heads are going to roll for this. I’m going to set up a special lane and use their skulls for bowling balls.”
“Who cares what he’s up to? He can be planning to fill the world with puppies, and I’m still going to rip the shrivelled black heart from his chest and shove it down his throat until he chokes on it.”
“Well, shit.” Jackal raked a hand through his hair. “I forgot about that. Now I’m kinda embarrassed.”
Oh, how I love Jackal… He’s just so brilliant and amazing and when you think you’ve got him all figured out, he does something that throws you off completely. He’s most certainly on my list of book boyfriends 😉
Slowly, I turned. The body in the chair hadn’t moved, still slumped forward with its head bowed. But as I watched, it stirred, raising its head… and I felt the earth shatter as his familiar, piercing blue eyes met mine across the floor.
“Hey, vampire girl,” Zeke whispered, his voice slightly choked. “I knew… You’d come for me.”
“I can’t believe you’re here,” I whispered, feeling one arm slide around me, the other reach for something at the small of his back. “I thought Sarren killed you.”
His voice sounded flat now, cold and flat. Puzzled, I tried to pull back, but his arm tightened like a steel band, holding me close. He was strong, much stronger than I remembered. Putting both hands on his chest, I started to push him away, but stopped in horror as my nerves prickled a terrified warning.
Zeke… had no heartbeat.
Chilled, I looked up, into his face. I could see myself reflected in his eyes, as he gave me a familiar, too-bright stare-the gaze of a predator-and smiled.
“He told me to say hello,” Zeke whispered, his fangs gleaming inches from my throat.
And he plunged a blade into my chest.
“Any last words, Allie?”
“Why?” I whispered, gritting my teeth against the pain, the woodenness of my body. Blinking away tears, I looked into his face, searching for any hint of the boy I knew, but his face remained cold. “Why…are you doing this Zeke?”
Zeke’s cruel smile didn’t change. “I died, vampire girl,” he repeated, as if it were obvious. “And Sarren helped me forget. I forgot the pain of being mortal. The human you knew before…he’s dead. Dead and gone.” He stepped forward, raising the katana above his head, eyes bright with glee and madness. I could barely see his features through the haze darken ing my vision, but his voice rang out, cold and ruthless. “And now, you can join him.”
NO!!!!! NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!!! ZEKE!!!!! I know you’re still in there!!! PLEASE!!!!!!! Don’t kill the love of your life!!! Don’t listen to the evil psychopath!!!!!!!!!!! – That’s pretty much my internal dialog as I was reading this. And yet, I couldn’t help but feel that Allie was being stupid and naïve in believing that Zeke was still in there, you know? But then he was and I was so relieved and happy for them! XD
“Sarren did not simply Turn Ezekiel, as I did you. No, he went further. He made him a childer.”
As Kanin went and explained what a childer was, my heart just broke for Zeke and Allie… It was just so horrible, and I knew SOMETHING was going to happen – a lot of things were going to have to happen – before they reached Sarren because we weren’t even through a third of the book yet. *tears up*
“Make your decision, vampire girl,” Zeke snarled, and at that moment I wasn’t sure which personality was in control. Or if both were speaking. “You’re running out of time.”
Tears streamed down my face, and I shook my head, frantically trying to think of something. Dammit, there had to be something to shock him out of it. What could stop a vampire in its tracks besides a stake to the heart? Was there nothing I could do? Only watch as Zeke slipped from me once more, and in the end, be forced to destroy him after all?
No, I couldn’t. I would not lose him again. Not this time.
“Allie,” Zeke groaned, and I sensed him slipping, changing into the thing Sarren had created. He tilted his head back, squeezed his eyes shut, and I made my choice. As Zeke opened his eyes, his expression savage once more, I dropped the dagger, stepped forward, and sank my fangs into his throat.
Wow. Okay. What I’m wondering about now is how she thought that was a good thing to do. I mean, she experienced the pain of a fellow vampire’s bite from Kanin in the last book, so she knows that it’s going to hurt – a lot. But I suppose she justifies that it’s better than killing him.
And then I read on, right? And I’m like what?? Somehow, the bite doesn’t hurt but is as if their souls are binding together, dancing. And it’s a very intimate moment amongst the chaos that – thankfully – does shock Zeke out of it. And whilst I’m somewhat confused I’m jumping with joy and quite ecstatic about where this is heading – I’m literally doing a virtual happy dance.
But just when we think everything’s now going to be awesome because Zeke’s back and, you know, even though we know it’s still going to be hard it’s bearable because we have Zeke back and so everything’s going to be okay. Right? RIGHT??? But, no. Zeke, because he’s back to himself, can’t deal with the fact that he’s now a vampire and what Sarren’s made him do. He can’t see the good that’s to come – that he’s got Allie back and now they can have their forever once they defeat the evil psychopath. So what does he do? He runs away and tries to kill himself.
He gave me one last, anguished glance. “Thank you,” he whispered. For…bringing me out of it. For helping me remember. I… What you showed me… I don’t deserve it. Not now. But at least I’m free of Sarren.” He glanced up at the ceiling, at the open sky overhead, his expression resigned. “Kill him for me, vampire girl,” he murmured. “Promise me you’ll kill him. Send him to hell, and then I’ll finish the job myself.”
Ice shot through my veins. “Zeke, no.”
But he turned and fled, covering the room in several long strides, ignoring my cries for him to stop, and vanishes from the chamber.
I’m screaming at him to STOP, to GET AWAY FROM THE SUN but he’s not listening to me!
So when Allie turns up I’m relieved, because surely he’ll listen to her, right? But we have these tense moments when we fear that he won’t, that Allie will lose him all over again just when she’s got him back. It’s a touching scene, really, but it’s chock full of emotion and makes me want to cry.
A lean figure in black stood across from me on the rooftop, facing the oncoming light. He perched at the very edge of a metal girder, suspended out over nothing, the wind tearing at his hair and clothes. My vampire instincts were screaming at me to get inside, away from the killing rays if the sun. There wasn’t any time left. But I forced myself to walk carefully across the roof, easing around the gaping pit, to where the lean, pale figure stood, awaiting the dawn.
“Zeke.” My voice shook. Terrified, of both the rising sun and the thought of watching Zeke slowly erupt into flame right in front of me, I stepped to the very edge of the beam. So close and yet, a lifetime away. “Don’t do this.”
He barely inclined his head, continuing to face the rising sun. Go back inside, Allison,” he whispered, his voice calmer now. Resolute. “You don’t want to see me burn. From what I’ve heard, it’s quite painful.”
His voice trembled on the last sentence. I swallowed my fear, the instinct to take his advice and flee inside as quickly as I could, and inched foreword. “Not without you.” He didn’t reply, and my voice became desperate. “Zeke, please, listen. You can fight it. I can show you how.”
“No.” He whirled on me, his gaze feverish. The desolation on his face made my stomach twist. “You don’t understand. I remember killing those people. I remember tearing them apart and…and I loved it, Allie.” His face screwed up with revulsion and self-loathing. “Don’t you see?” he whispered. “I’m not like you. You’ve fought this thing inside you since the day you were Turned. I’ve…already fallen.” He blinked, and twin tracks of red slipped down his cheeks. “I’m a demon, and the sooner I take myself out of this world, the better.”
It was very bright now, or it seemed that way to my light-sensitive eyes. I didn’t know how much time we had left, but I couldn’t leave him here to die alone. “You’re not a demon,” I pleaded, as my own tears spilled over to join his. “You’re just as strong as I am, Zeke. You can fight this. It doesn’t have to control you-”
“I’m a vampire now!” Zeke exploded, his face anguished. More crimson lines coursed down his skin as he gestured violently toward the rising sun. “I died, Allisin. I’m dead! What kind of existence can I expect from now on? Feeding on humans, only coming out at night, constantly fighting to stay in control, to not rip people apart for fun. Living for eternity as a cursed thing?” He sobbed. I couldn’t answer, because my own throat was filled with tears. Wiping at his eyes, Zeke looked up at me, his expression desolate.
“My father is dead,” he whispered in a hopeless gesture. “I can’t go back to Eden. My family won’t have anything to do with me now that I’m a vampire, and I can’t ever go near them, because I don’t want to put them in danger. Everyone I love will hate and fear me, and they have every right to.” He gave another sob, closing his eyes and turning away from me. “I should have died,” he choked out. “Back in the lab with Sarren. I wanted to die. What’s keeping me here, Allison? Why should I stay?”
“Because I love you, you idiot!”
He blinked, looking stunned. I slumped, feeling the tears still trickle from my eyes as I looked up at him, beseeching.
“That night in the lab,” I began in a soft, resigned voice, “when you…died…I lost myself for a little while. I almost became the monster you always hated.” Shame and guilt rose up once more, mingling with the fear and desperation. Memories of the night I had nearly crossed the line. “I thought it would be easier to let go of everything that made me human, to feel nothing. But I didn’t let it win, Zeke. Because of you.”
Zeke didn’t move or look away from me. I met his gaze head-on, uncaring of the red lines down my cheek or the sudden, instinctive fear of those three words that left me wide open. “You told me once that I wasn’t evil,” I said firmly. That I wasn’t a demon, and I believed you. I still believe you.” I took a careful step forward, so that I was right at the edge if the girder. Just a few feet away if I reached for him. “And I swear to me Zeke, I’ll help you fight it. Every step of the way. I won’t let you become a monster. But you have to trust me now. Please.”
The top of the sun broke over the horizon. Faint orange light spilled across the rooftops, and a blinding pain speared me right in the eyes. I hissed, half turning away, feeling the skin on my cheeks, forehead, hands, everywhere that wasn’t covered, erupt with pain.
“Go back,” Zeke choked out, his voice right with agony. I peeked up and saw him silhouetted against the light, tendrils of smoke beginning to curl from his bare arms. His eyes were anguished as they met mine. “Allie, get inside. Leave me.”
“No.” Straightening, I turned to face the sun, feeling the light sizzle across my face. Putting one foot on the beam, I held out a hand, my fingers already red and raw. My tears felt like acid, searing down my cheeks. “I’m not leaving without you,” I said hoarsely. “So, you either come with me, or we both burn.”
Zeke closed his eyes. For another moment, he stood there, head bowed, fighting with himself. Finally, he let out a sob, a heartbroken, defeated sob… and stepped forward, placing his hand in mine. I pulled him from the edge, hurried to the gaping hole in the roof, and dropped into darkness. As the sun climbed fully over the rooftops and painted everything behind us in an orange light.
This is one of my favourite scenes (hence why I bothered to write it out in its entirety) Heartwarming, real and chock full of emotion, what’s not to love?
I stood quietly, sword in hand, waiting to see what the humans would do. I felt like I should say something, but Zeke and Jackal seemed to be handling it well in their own; they were the vamps who had been in charge of this city, not me. And Kanin, by definition, was a Master and someone you’d best pay attention to. I just had to stand here and look dangerous-well, as dangerous as a thin, seventeen-year-old with a katana could look, I supposed. Hopefully the fact that I was a vampire made up for my height.
Love it!!! Allie, you just come up with the most hilarious things! *chuckles* I can relate to that, too. I’m WAY short (unfortunately).
For a moment, I was confused. Then my eyes widened in shock, and I turned to Jackal, who was standing in the same place with his arms crossed, looking annoyed. “Jackal?” I spluttered, and he raised an eyebrow. “You decided to come back? Why?”
“Don’t read to much into it, sister.” My blood brother sneered at me, golden eyes mocking. “I didn’t come back to save you from the big bad minion army, trust me. And I wasn’t about to let lover boy get away with stealing my city. And I figured you wouldn’t have the balls to off him yourself, once it really came down to it. Looks like I was right.” He snorted and rolled his eyes. “I came to cut off a head and take back what’s mine, nothing else. So, don’t get all mushy on me.”
Sure Jackal, you keep telling yourself that. We all know that you have a heart behind your sarcastic, big bad vampire exterior. MWAHAHAHAHA!!! I don’t know why I just did that… Oh well, rolling with it 😉
“Why don’t you tell us what he’s up to?” I challenged. “You worked with him back in New Covington. I’m sure the pair of you had plenty of chances to bond.”
“You’d think so, but not really.” Jackal didn’t miss a beat. “Turns out, crazy psychotic vampires are really difficult to pal around with. They tend to be irrationally paranoid, and his poetry was about to drive me up a wall. So I’m afraid I didn’t get any useful information out of Sarren because I was busy…oh, what was it again? I forgot why I was there.” Jackal mock frowned, then snapped his fingers. “Oh, yeah! I was saving your skin.”
“Funny, I was going to say setting us up.”
“You’re never going to let that go, are you?”
“If the two of you would like to walk to Eden,” Kanin said at last, not taking his eyes from the road, “I can stop anytime.”
As we cleared the bridge’s ominous shadow, the van shuddered, gave one final squeeze, and stopped moving. Kanin tried coaxing it to life, but no amount if prodding could revive it this time. It was well and truly dead.
“Great.” I glared at Jackal as we piled out onto a lonely highway that stretched for miles in either direction. The trek to Eden had just become that much longer. And we didn’t have time to spare. “I know it’s irrational,” I told him, “but I blame you for this.”
Jackal groaned. “Oh, yeah, stroll merrily up to the van reeking of blood, placed very conveniently in our direct path. That doesn’t sound like a trap at all.” But his dinged, bloody fire ax emerged from beneath his duster, and he gave Iran easy twirl. “Rescuing bloodbags and saving puppies.” He sighed. “That sounds about right for this group. You bleeding hearts are going to be the death of me, I just know it.”
I looked up, met Zeke’s gaze, and my insides fluttered. He was gazing at me with a faint, familiar expression, one I hadn’t seen on him since he’d Turned. The icy mask had cracked a bit, admiration, respect and a little awe filtering through the terrible blankness in his eyes. The corner of his mouth curled, very slightly, and he shook his head.
“Still incredible, vampire girl,” he whispered, sounding almost like himself again. “Dangerous, beautiful and unstoppable. You haven’t changed.”
“Oh, isn’t this sweet,” came Jackal’s loud, mocking voice before I could reply. “Let’s make goo-goo eyes at each other in the middle if a stinking corpse field, how very romantic.” Ignoring my glare, he kicked an arm out of his way and sauntered forward, his ax vanishing beneath his sister once more. “But before you two start making out, maybe we should check the thing we fought all the rabids to get to?” He glanced at the back of the semi and rolled his eyes. “Don’t want Sarren’s trap to go to waste, after all.”
Ahh, family bonding. If I was part of their family I would be quite useless for I would be in a constant state of laughter… Wouldn’t that be a sight? Jackal would surely crack it at me… But doesn’t he always?
“… Remember what you told me, then? You said I’m not a monster, and I’m not evil. Why is it different for you?”
“Because I am a monster!” Zeke snarled back. His fangs flashed as he whirled around, glaring at me. “This is what I am, Allison! I’m a demon-you know it as well as me.”
“Oh, for f**k’s sake!”
Jackal abruptly shoved himself off the truck and came stalking forward, eyes glowing yellow, his lips curled into a grimace of disgust. “Puppy, I am getting so tired of listening to you wine about this,” he snarled to Zeke. “This isn’t rocket science. If you don’t want to be a monster, don’t be a bloody monster! Be an upright stick in the mud like Kanin. Be a self-righteous bleeding heart like Allison. Or you can stop agonising about it and be a f**king monster, it’s actually a lot of fun.” He narrowed his eyes at Zeke and I stared at him, stunned. “But for the love if piss, make some sort of decision. If you don’t want to eat babies and nail bloodbags to walls, that’s your choice. What Sarren did or made you do in the past has nothing to do with it now. You’re a vampire. Do whatever the hell you want.”
Okay, so I LOVE that quote and the scene afterwards between Zeke and Allie but I simply CANNOT be bothered typing it up so I have attached photos of the pages. I do apologise if they are hard to read, but my camera is pathetic. You can ignore them if you wish, the page numbers in the paperback is ppg. 214-219.
“This asshole had better open the door,” Jackal growled, spinning his fire ax in a graceful arc as the horde came on. “I didn’t come all the way to Eden to be eaten at the damn gates. Some might call it ironic, but that just pisses me off.”
Okay, so they get into Eden and at this point I’m mightily confused. They’ve seemingly gotten to their destination, so why is there still half of the book to go?? I learnt soon enough… 0.0
But his eyes, tiny and black, regarded me with a sharp, piercing gaze, one pencil-thin eyebrow raised in surprise. “This is the vampire?” he asked no one in particular. His voice was surprising, too. High and clear. “A girl? I wasn’t expecting her to be so…small.”
We can’t all be walrus men, was the retort that sprang to mind, though I didn’t voice it out loud. Dealing with volatile vampire Princes had taught me the value of diplomacy, especially when talking to people in charge. Jackal, of course, snorted a laugh, and I glared at him.
“She’s stronger than she looks,” Zeke said in a quiet voice, making the mayor blink at him. “Trust me on that.”
“Yes, but…” The mayor peered at me intently. “When they told me a vampire was being kept at the barracks, I was picturing someone…older. Not a girl. She looks young enough to be my niece.”
I held my tongue again. You wouldn’t know a vampire if it walked up and bit you, I thought ungraciously. you have four vamps standing in this room right now, one if whom is a Master, and you’re making comments about my age? How did you get to be the mayor of Eden, anyway?
I love Allie. She cracks me up. *wipes tear of laughter away from eye* Seriously though, ‘walrus man’ made me think of OUR overweight people, when more likely than not he’s only slightly overweight. Is it bad that even later on, I dislike him? And it’s not on any reasonable case either, it’s because he appears to be stupid. I know it’s harsh and probably untrue – after all, somehow he made it to be the mayor – but I just can’t shake it. Am I the only one?
Again, there is a ridiculously long scene (to type up, anyway) that I would love to share with you – it’s my favourite – but I can’t be bothered typing it. The page numbers in the paperback is ppg. 264-272 (you see what I mean about long???). It is just the most touching scene and it just made me so happy inside. ^_^
That last line made me feel a mix of cheesiness and apprehension because there was still a third of the book left and, being the series finale, they were not going to come out unscathed – authors simply don’t do that.
Jackal leaned against one of the rails and alternated between gazing out over the water and shooting me knowing smirks. When Zeke and I first arrived at the dock, my blood brother had taken one look at us and barked a laugh, though, shockingly for him, the only comment he made was a rather triumphant “About bloody time.” I’d been waiting for him to say something else, bristling and ready for a fight, but so far he remained mute on the subject, which was rather disconcerting.
Jackal, Jackal, Jackal. You always know just how to play people, don’t you? Still, I was rather disappointed at his lack of reply… *pouts* I was rather looking forward to it, actually…
“You know,” Jackal said, kicking a rabid in the face, sending it reeling, “it seems that whenever I’m with you, in constantly fighting my way into places I really don’t want to be. The sewers, the Prince’s tower, a bloody freaking church.” A rabid clawed at him from the side of the stairs, and he slammed its head into the railing. “If I ever need a favour, sister, I hope you’ll remember this sh*t. All these life-threatening situations? Not really my thing. I should’ve cleared out a long time ago.”
“Why didn’t you, then?” I snapped back, dodging a rabid’s claws to my face. “No one was stopping you. You could’ve left anytime, just like that time in New Covington. Or are you waiting until you find the cure to jump ship?”
He snarled, whirled around, and smashed the rabid leaping at me into the concrete. “You are so bloody frustrating!” he roared, back dusting another rabid with the axhead. “Do you really think the cure is worth (italics) this? (Italics) You think I’d be here now if that’s all I wanted?” He turned and sliced his weapon through the air, beheading one rabid and sinking it into another. “Get your damn head out of your ass, sister!” he seethed. “And give me a little f**king credit. That’s not why I’m here.”
I knew you had a heart Jackal! Whoop! Allie, darling, you really should give him some credit. He (italics) has (italics) saved you countless times…
“Well,” Jackal muttered, dusting off his hands, “here we are. In a church. Vampires taking refuge in a church-that’s gotta be the most ironic thing of the decade. Puppy, you’d better tell me this place has a back door.”
I opened the door, and a body tumbled out of the refrigerator, landing at my feet with a gasp of pain.
You have NO IDEA how much I was hoping that would be Caleb or Bethany! But, no. They were someplace much worse and we had to have Dr. Richardson instead. It worked – I mean, it had to happen – but I was still very upset.
“Kanin,” I whispered as the Master vampire turned, his gaze narrowing. The screen was dark, except for a set of tiny red numbers in the very middle, counting down.
“Huh,” Jackal muttered as the whole room realised what was happening all at once. “That clever sonofabitch.”
Okay, so it’s just past 11 o’clock at night and I’m dead tired but I’m determined to get this done tonight. So, you guessed it, the next three scenes will be in picture form.
Okay, so I decided to just combine them all and make one giant section. In the paperback, it covers ppg. 316-341. Huge, right? But it’s the climax of the book-the series, really- and it’s absolutely jam-packed.
First, we have Jackal attempting to start up the boat to get them off of Eden with the pressure of who-knows-how-many infected rabids pressing in on them. Jackal has quite a few brilliant quotes here, but shattered my heart when he got infected. After all, it’s Jackal – he just CAN’T be infected!
We have a very cheesy but well-put one-liner at the end of chapter 17 by Allison, “The race to stop the End of the World had begun.” It’s the sort of book that you wouldn’t expect to have it in there, but all is forgiven because she timed it right. (If my rambling right there made ANY sense at all, be sure to let me know).
Caleb and Bethany. While I’m incredibly glad they’re alive, this was the last place I expected-or wanted-them to be. But then again, I shouldn’t have been so surprised as, after all, this is Sarren we’re talking about. It was the perfect ploy to take Zeke out of the equation, and it worked. So, the Four were down to Three.
I did not Jackal to leave them like that – anyone else might have expected it, but I was stunned. If I recall correctly, upon reading that, I sat and just stared at the page, my eyes not moving, wondering how he could do that to Kanin and Allie, for a good few minutes. The Three were down to Two.
The battle with Sarren. I don’t know what I was expecting. A battle of epic proportions where Sarren was quickly overpowered and they got to skin him, burn him, do whatever the heck they wanted to make him pay? (By ‘they’ I’m largely referring to Jackal.) That would have been pretty cool (although it does sound rather lame laying it in front of me right now) but it certainly doesn’t happen like that – it is much more realistic. In short, Kanin and Allie get thrashed; the ship can’t ve turned around; Sarren draws it out; Allie realises she can’t win against him so when the opportunity arises instead of attempting to kill Sarren herself, she throws Kanin her katana who finishes him off. It’s so much better than that, but whatever. Go read the book and you’ll understand.
Kanin. Oh, wow. Where do I start? How about WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DIE???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! I cried so much when he sacrificed himself because the cure was inside him and it all came full circle… How when he died the last emotion he felt wasn’t fear or despair, but peace, finally able to rectify what he’d done all those years ago… I’m babbling here but you get what I mean… And now Allie’s a Master vampire? How is that even possible? What I got out of it was that Master vampires, when created, are the last offspring of another Master before they die. Since Masters are the most powerful and hence rarely die, new Master vamps don’t really happen. My theory is, since the Master vamps don’t know that they’re going to die at the time of producing their last offspring, that offspring only becomes a Master (italics) after (italics) their sire passes. But that, too, doesn’t make much sense… Either way, I believe that Masters are only created to replace their sire. That way, there would always be the same amount of Master vampires in the world at one time – kind of. Well, that’s my theory, what’s yours? I’d love to discuss.
“No good,” he muttered after we’d crashed into it a few times to no avail. “It’s not going to open.”
I glared at the door, anger and desperation rising up to dance with each other. I’m a Master vampire, I thought, clenching my fists. Though the notion was still hard to believe-me, a Master vampire like Kanin? Like a Prince? But I trusted my sire, and I knew he would never lie to me. Kanin would be able to get through. And I’m not going to let those people on shore die because of a damn door. So, open up, you stupid thing!
I bashed into it once more, putting the last of my strength behind the blow. The impact jarred my body, sending a flare if pain through my almost-healed ribs, but the door flew open with a crash, and I stumbled inside.
WHOOHOO! I knew you could do it Allie! This girl really is a pillar of strength and inspiration. She’s physically and mentally exhausted, Jackal abandoned her, Kanin’s dead, the Hunger is roaring within her, but she’s persevering to save a city of humans who all fear her for what she is. It’s mind-boggling, really.
How the heck was Sarren still alive!!!???? I’m glad that both Kanin and Jackal had the satisfaction of delivering the final blow. Speaking of which, JACKAL CAME BACK!!! He DIDN’T abandon them!!! You have NO idea how happy I was when I found that out! *squeal*
“Jackal,” I whispered, as he raised a sardonic eyebrow. “You’re…still here? I thought you took off….”
He snorted. “With Requiem on the loose? Where would I go, exactly? We had to stop it here, but I figured if Sarren killed us all, the damn plague would begin the second the barge hit land and the rabids got loose. I knew I wouldn’t be any help in taking down the psychopath. So, I implemented a backup plan. That way, if he managed to kill you all, at least I could warn the meatsacks what was coming.”
“That was your plan?” I glared at him, remembering what he’d said on the boat, right before he pulled away and vanished over the waves. “I thought you were abandoning us! Why didn’t you tell me that earlier?”
Jackal gave me a smug grin. “And miss out on those lovely rants you do so well? What fun would that be?”
“Wait a minute,” Zeke struggled to sit up, his expression incredulous and skeptical. “You…you’re telling me you left to warn the town. To save the humans?”
“Don’t read too much into it, puppy,” Jackal sneered. “I don’t want Requiem to spread any more than you. It would put a rather large damper on my plans if everyone up and died. So, yes, I left to warn the bloodbags, who all agreed that we should try to stop this thing. Maybe pick off as many rabids as we could before they hit shore.” He raised his assault rifle. “That’s when I saw you and your girlfriend on deck with Sarren, getting your ass kicked, and thought I’d intervene. You’re welcome, by the way. I’m just a little sad I didn’t get to see Sarren’s face when it finally left his scrawny neck.” He snorted and looked at the pale, crumpled corpse lying several yards away. The head was nowhere in sight, having rolled off the deck when the ship ran aground. One corner if Jackal’s lip curled in a satisfied grin, before he sobered. “Too bad the old man never got to see it.”
A lump caught in my throat, even as I blinked at him. “You know.”
“I have a blood tie, too, sister.” Jackal smirked at me, though it lacked the bite if before. “I felt when the old bastard finally kicked it. It seemed to be what he wanted, so I’m guessing Sarren wasn’t the one who did him in. How’d it happen, anyway?”
I swallowed hard. “Kanin,” I began, trying to keep my voice steady, “discovered the cure…was inside him.” Jackal’s eyebrows arched, and an incredulous look crossed his face as I continued. “That he carried the cure for Requiem in his blood. He gave his life to make sure the virus wouldn’t spread to the rest of the world, that it would end right here.” M eyes went blurry, and I blinked hard to clear them, my voice coming out a little choked. “He saved us. He saved everything.”
“Huh.” Jackal blinked at me, his expression unreadable. Turning, he gazed back toward the platform, where the rabids had been minutes before. “Well, old man.” He sighed, and his voice wasn’t smug, or sarcastic, or mocking. “You’ve been waiting for this day since the rabids were first created. I hope you found your peace.”
Suddenly, he winced, sinking down on the deck, the assault rifle clattering beside him. Alarmed, I straightened, reaching out to steady him, but Jackal slumped to his back on the deck, putting an arm over his face. I could see the ugly bite wound on his neck, glimmering and black, turning the skin around it black.
“Well, isn’t this f**king hilarious.” He sighed as the wind blew over the railing, swirling around three vampires slumped together on deck. “We saved a bunch of bleating meatsacks, killed a psychopath who is older than dirt, stopped another world-destroying plague…and we still don’t have the cure. God really does hate us, after all.” He sighed again, letting his other arm rest on his stomach, like he was getting ready to take a nap. “Seeing as this is probably my last hurrah, I don’t suppose I could get you two bleeding hearts to massacre a village with me? For old time’s sake.”
“No,” I said, as Zeke frowned beside me. Though I was starving, and I would have to feed soon, as would Zeke. Hopefully, Dr. Thomas could spare a red blood bag or two. “You’re not going to slaughter the humans we worked so hard to save,” I told Jackal, who snorted without looking at me. “Besides, you’re not going to die.”
“Oh?” He lowered his arm, eying me with resignation. “Got the cure up your sleeve, then, sister?”
“Actually, I think I do.”
They both stared at me. I looked at Zeke, and Jackal, and felt that tiny flicker of hope grow steadily into a rising flame. Kanin had been injected with Zeke’s blood in New Covington, but he wasn’t the only one. Just to be certain, I felt along my neck were the infected rabid had bitten me, finding smooth, unbroken skin, and smiled.
“I’m a Master vampire, I said, to their stunned expressions. “The cure is inside me, as well.”
Love that part! And the ending is just so beautiful. I can’t believe it’s now over! Please, discuss with me! Otherwise I fear I will go into Blood of Eden withdrawal… I do apologise for the long wait, as well. I’ve had exams and everything’s just been hectic. However, I’ve got no homework over the break and a ton of books to read so you’ll be hearing from me again soon (I hope).
“I sat down in the wilderness with my books, and wept for joy.” — Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olandria
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