|Available March 8, 2011|
Poor Bianca and Lucas.
We've followed these star-crossed lovers as they faced insurmountable odds. Not only has their relationship survived Bianca being a vampire and Lucas being a human--a member of the vampire hunting group Black Cross, no less. But in the previous book, Hourglass, we witnessed a distraught Lucas standing by helplessly watching Bianca die and become the one thing both vampires and humans feared. A wraith. The weight of his loss lead Lucas into a fight that left him becoming the one thing he feared most. Turning into a vampire.
And this is where Afterlife begins. Bianca, seeing Lucas struggle to accept his existence as a vampire, convinces him to go to the one place where he can learn how to control his desire for blood. A place where neither of them are truly safe.
Miss Bethany has never shunned a vampire seeking refuge, and even with Lucas' history as a spy for Black Cross, she welcomes him back with open arms. The vampire students who all too clearly remember Lucas' part in the attack that nearly destroyed them aren't as forgiving. And Bianca, invisible if she chooses to be, isn't fairing much better. As Bianca dodges traps set to capture wraiths planted inside the school and Lucas fights for control of himself, they work to unravel Miss Bethany's plans. Why is the strong headmistress purposefully bringing wraiths into the school? The answer is sure to surprise.
A little over halfway in I was certain I knew how Gray was going to tie up this story. A few more chapters in and another option became possible. But the final ending left me pleasantly surprised, being neither of the two I expected. While not quite as adventurous as previous books in the series, Afterlife does well in rounding out the series. The plotting is solid and reveals some unique takes on a now well-covered trend in YA (vampires, ghosts, etc.) Best of all is Gray's ability to hold true to previous books in the series. Nothing will come easy to our couple and everything has a price. With a heavy emphasis on love, and less on the scorching love scenes infamous for the series, Bianca and Lucas are able to show a maturity to their relationship (don't fret! There's still some heat packed in a scene or two!) But Bianca's destiny and the choices she must make to get there will keep this book glued in your hands until the last page.