Strange and Ever After

400p. HarperCollins/Harper. Aug. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062083326; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780062083340.
Gr 9 Up—This final installment concludes the gothic zombie tale set in 19th-century Paris. Eleanor Fitt and the three eclectic Demon Hunters were able to stop the rising tide of "les Morts," the reanimated dead who were overwhelming the city, by killing a demon named Madame Marineaus. However, their nemesis Marcus escaped in the process and kidnapped one of their own. Strange and Ever After chronicles the Demon Hunters' disaster-riddled pursuit of Marcus from Paris to Egypt. He always seems one step ahead of them as they all try to be the first to uncover the secret behind The Black Pullet, a legendary bird said to hold the secrets to immense power, endless wealth, and immortality. While some of the skirmishes with zombies do seem redundant, the hunt for the mystical bird and the rich Egyptian backdrop inject enough thrills to make this an exciting, quick read. The author adds dimension to and deepens the characterization of several of the protagonists while exploring the nature of the soul and the human capacity for change. Some readers may be disappointed by the unexpected twist in the romantic subplot, but overall, fans of the series will enjoy it immensely.—Sunnie Lovelace, Wallingford Public Library, CT
As the Spirit-Hunters travel to Egypt to stop their nemesis Marcus from raising a malignant creature from the dead, Eleanor struggles to balance her loyalty to the Spirit-Hunters with her attraction to black magic. This magic, channeled by (mostly) trustworthy demon Oliver, proves a double-edged sword in the final battle. Eleanor's poor choices and arrogance can be aggravating but contribute to an action-packed conclusion.

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