Book Review: Until I Die






Until I Die
By Amy Plum
May 8, 2012
Ages 14 and up
Reviewed: ARC (from publisher)






Ah, the middle book in a series… Typically, one worries about whether or not the installment would have “middle-book syndrome”. In this case, I wondered if I would like it more than the first book. Thankfully, for me, UNTIL I DIE was better. Much better.

Plot: 8

Until I Die starts off where its predecessor, Die for Me, left off. Kate has been accepted in her true love’s family of Revenants. She has survived the ordeals of the first book and is a stronger person for it. But now Vincent is keeping a secret from her. He won’t tell her exactly what it is, she only knows that it affects his lively hood, his immortality and his ability to grow old with Kate. But she is determined to find out what he is up to, even if it means taking matters into her own hands… In the meantime, new characters are introduced and new dangers are afoot. You know it’s all going to build up to one explosive climax; albeit, much like the first book, rather slooowly.

Characters: 7

Aw, gee. A 7… but let me explain. Gone, for the most part, are the traits that made the characters in the the first book seem like clones of those other, more sparkly, immortals. Gone is the angst and uncertainly that drove me mad about Kate in the first book. But unfortunately, gone is Vincent for a large part of Until I Die. And he is sorely missed. I clung to the moments where he and Kate were together; for in these moments, Vincent was a charmingly swoon-worthy, if not “under the weather”, immortal. I loved how their relationship was dealt with in this installment, although I still wonder why they insist of “keeping secrets” in order to “protect” each other… In addition, I love the way that Amy pulled Kate’s grandparents even further into the story and into Kate’s life. What I didn’t love was the inclusion of some new, rather predictable, new characters. The lack of Vincent and the inclusion of these new characters were what dragged the Characters score down.

Setting: 10

Just like in book one, Amy does a very nice job of taking us up and down the streets of Paris, into the theatres and markets that are scattered throughout the town. The sights and sounds, you will be pulled right into them along with Kate and co.

Pacing: 7

While much better paced than book one, Until I Die still suffered from a slightly slow middle. For a large portion of the book we are either hanging out with Kate and her new “gal pal” at the theatre, going on dates with Vincent or researching the Revenants all over town. We join Kate in her search for more answers about Vincent, the numa and being a Revenant. What we discover is, at times, quite surprising and very much worth the wait. Yet, the whole time I was reading I knew that we probably wouldn’t receive our big WOW Moment until the very last pages. Granted, when that WOW Moment did appear it was one very BIG “WOW!” indeed.

Style: 8

Amy ups her game a bit with this installment. She has added some extensive (albeit, made up) research into her story and the way she goes about revealing it is a fun adventure for both Kate and the reader. I like her Revenant mythology and was surprised by some of Kate’s findings. I think she needs to work on her ability to keep the story from being too predictable. Though, considering the twist that she gave us at the very end of Until I Die, I doubt we have to worry about that issue in book three. Or, at least, I hope not.

While book two is not without its faults, I know I’ll definitely be sticking around to find out what fate has in store for the two star-crossed lovers in the final book, If I Should Die. The HUGE cliffhanger at the end of Until I Die cinched it.

Grade: 90