There was one thing holding me back from loving the first two books in the Dreg City series. That was the fact that Evy, the heroine, could not make peace with the new version of herself that was raised from the dead. She fought her feelings for the man who loved her, alternately pulling him close and pushing him away. She was at war with her own mind, her new body, and her heart. She lashed out when it wasn't fair to do so; she hurt people - people who tried to help her. And it cast a shadow over the great plot-lines of both books.
I say all this because that problem is gone in this third installment. Evy's waffling and her angst about who she is and whether she can trust her feelings... Poof! Over. Finished. And in its absence, I totally and completely loved this book.
The story picks up just a day or two after the events of As Lie the Dead
. Again, Evy is exhausted and hoping for a respite from the constant barrage of crap that's been hurling her way for the past few weeks. But again, that is not meant to be. A third partner is revealed in the evil plan that set Evy's death in motion. This man is the scientist who created all of those monstrous hybrids they discovered caged up in the lair of one of the other villains. And he has even more horrible creations in his arsenal, targeting Evy. The mad scientist wants Evy to be his ultimate experiment --and manages to stay one step ahead of her time and time again.
The action and plot progression are fantastic and the book virtually flies by. There's danger and a lot of bloodshed. But as nearly frenetic as it all was, I felt even more of an emotional connection to the characters than I ever have before. I loved watching Evy finally accept her love for Wyatt and allow the relationship between them grow and thrive. It made it even more poignant as they faced the possibility of losing each other again. I cried for Evy in this one. A fat, snotty cry... for her suffering, for her sacrifice, and for everything else that got her to the point she was ready to die again. I won't spoil the details of her journey, but I thought it was gripping and just... amazing.
This was the book that reached the potential I knew this series had. Evy has grown into a character that I like and respect. I'm crazy about Wyatt for his unwavering love and loyalty. I am still a big fan of Phin and I'm even growing to care for members of the Triad, who for the first time, are becoming three dimensional characters instead of faceless, hired guns. There are dark parts to the story, just as the first books had, but they never felt gratuitous. And while there were times I felt despair, I also felt triumph and hope and potential and love.
Very, very good. I can't wait to go start the next book.