Dead Beautiful Trilogy – Yvonne Woon

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Rating: 4.5 stars

This series has been one of my favourites since I read the first book a few years ago. It is an Urban Fantasy trilogy that has quite an original take on the supernatural. I am so glad I decided to pick up this series again and finally finish it as it really does come to a fantastic conclusion and there is so much to be gained in reading the second two books in the series.

One of the best things, in my opinion, about this series is that the fantasy world is not just very well thought out, but has very clever and plausible links to the world as we know it. This results in an extremely believable feel to the whole series. Throughout I almost felt convinced that this other part of our world was right there, unbeknownst to most of the population, and I really think that this is a sign of a well-written Urban Fantasy novel or series.

Also along these lines I appreciated how towards the beginning of the first book a universe was established and then all the way through the rules of said universe were adhered to. These rules were never bent or broken to fit a part of the plot the author wanted to include, as so often happens in similar books. I do have to say however that in my mind there was one continuity error at the end of Dead Beautiful and beginning of Life Eternal that was vaguely explained but was never explicitly addressed. With certain aspects of the plot this “error” could potentially make sense, but I feel that it should have been explored more specifically within the books. To not spoil the books I will not state what the error was but this is my only negative comment with this series.

 

Dead Beautiful

2017-08-27-10-58-12-1_wm.jpgI thought this was a great opening book to the series, it really drew me in right from the beginning and was gripping the whole way through. I found that even though I was re-reading this book and remembered most of the key points of the story I still couldn’t put it down.

I thought all the characters in this were really interesting and completely believable, and also there was great development and variation where it was relevant for there to be some. One thing I really loved about this book was how it had the feel of the stereotypical YA romance and I thought it was going to be relatively clichéd but then one huge twist makes it totally conceivable and takes all formulaic aspects out of the story.

Another intriguing aspect of this book was the clear links to the real world and the history we already know. For example there are references to Renée Descartes, Romulus and Remus, and also to the origins of burial rituals that are common worldwide. The links used to all of these were exceedingly clever and really added to the reading experience for me as it made this book feel even more like it was happening alongside the world we are aware of, instead of in a totally separate reality.

Overall, this was a fantastic opening to the series and after this I could not wait to sink my teeth into the next book.

 

Life Eternal

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This book really picked up right where Dead Beautiful left off and was a great continuation of the story and developed both the plot and the characters very smoothly. After finishing the first book I was unsure how Woon was going to continue the story as it felt like it had almost come to a natural conclusion at the end of Dead Beautiful, but the way the story progressed did not feel prescribed or forced in any way. Both this book itself and the series in its entirety had a lovely, natural flow.

One thing I hugely appreciated was how the continuity error from the end of Dead Beautiful was at least slightly explained, though I still believe it should have been dealt with better. How the plot continued did slightly give reason for the error, although I still believe that Dead Beautiful should not have ended how it did. But I understand that this did introduce a really interesting plot point later in the series.

Again, like the first book, this was totally captivating and did not lose any of the pace that was established in Dead Beautiful which was very exciting as often sequels do not live up to the standard of the first book in a series.

 

Love Reborn

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I truly think this was a fantastic conclusion to the series. Once again, this book flowed really nicely on from where Life Eternal finished and really kept up the drive and pace of the other books in the series, resulting in another book that I could not put down.

I thought this book finished the series off very cleverly, I loved how the ending was both completely unpredictable and yet felt like this was exactly how it should have happened. Although the ending was neither what I expected nor what I thought I wanted, I do think it was absolutely perfect and fit exceptionally with the overarching plot of the series. I really appreciated how this book didn’t follow the route that so many YA books do and make the ending purposely unhappy or unsatisfying to prove a point, instead it held a very positive note that gave a lot of hope for the characters after the end of the series.

 

All in all this was a fantastic series from start to finish and I am thrilled that I finally read it and could not recommend it more!

– Maddie Browse

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