Many of you may remember my wave of enthusiasm as I read the Possession books, Possession, Surrender, and Abandon. Well, on the same night during which I reviewed Abandon, I also wrote a spoiler-ridden review to get some of my . . . Emotional blockages out of the way. During a recent laptop overhaul I discovered this review that I had intended to post at some point, and decided that the time is now. There will be spoilers. You probably won’t get it if you haven’t read the book. You might not get it even if you have read the book. I hope this gives you a little bit of insight into how my brain actually works, as there’s quite the difference between the reviews I usually post and the initial spasm I experience after finishing a book. I hope you enjoy it despite or because of those reasons. Here, in its entirety, is my spoiler review, sans edits since my original brain splat.
Though I really loved Possession and Surrender, there was something about Abandon that made it so perfect I couldn’t breath while I was finishing it. It wasn’t even that late at night when I was reading, so I can’t blame exhaustion for my overemotional breakdown like I can with most of the books I’ve lost it over. I was sitting there, nine thirty at night, huddled in a corner even though it was 85 degrees in the dark, and I couldn’t believe what’d just happened. This happened three times, with building intensity.
First, Laurel fell. I had to read everything from both Zenn and Jag’s point of view several times because I could not comprehend what had just happened. When I did get the basics (Vi’s mom just fell off a hoverboard, everybody freeze and decide that since she knew the risks it’s okay she died), I thought for a few minutes that Zenn had killed her. I felt relief, because I was ready for Zenn to freaking commit to a side already. I also felt despair, because a. Vi had lost her mother and b. Thane had lost his wife without really reconciling with her like I’d hoped he would. Also c. d. e. and f., but that’s more detail than I need to get into.
Then, Thane sacrificed himself for the good of the Resistance. That was the way for him to die. It was perfect and beautiful and so, so tragic. My jaw actually dropped, which I’ve been noticing happening for a long time, but haven’t noticed often. It dropped lower than it’d ever dropped, I do believe. The emotional cascade nearly made me stop reading. But I kept on.
And then Zenn happened. I was literally, really, truly, curled in a ball, dripping tears onto the pages of my pristine copy of Abandoned. I didn’t even have the presence of mind to care. I had expected Vi to be the one to go, and I was going to be flat out enraged if she dropped off. I was so surprised. I, again, couldn’t figure out what had happened. I hadn’t even thought to mentally prepare for Zenn dying. I had expected to be left with the opposing points of the love triangle, a bitter old lady with a thousand cats still wondering what would have happened if Vi had survived. Instead I was a blob of person-mush, falling apart for someone I had barely tolerated for most of the book. Me and Zenn had some problems, to say the least. But everything, and I do mean everything was redeemed with his last italicized thoughts, and I am still trying to deal with his death. I don’t think I’ve fully accepted it yet.
I am now forcing myself to move past the deaths, and focus on some of the other things, the thing I’m focusing on being the plot. I read all three books in a few days, really back to back, so the plot is kind of a flowing line through the whole story span (not really plot arc. There are a ton of those within the story span. It’s very confusing), but I ran into a bit of a hitch in my flawless reading plan when I was about ¾ of the way through Abandon. It corresponded with the weather taking a turn for the hot, I do believe, but I went to bed late one night and when I woke up didn’t feel the need to read my book for like eight hours, which was a lot for me. It was a good thing for me personally, actually, I did a ton of classwork and worked out in the time I spent away from my book, but I did lose a little bit of that fluidity with the plot line. I went back later in the day and nearly died from plot angst, though, so I apparently didn’t lose all of my memory.
There wasn’t one event that drove me away from the book, but about 105% of the reason was because of Zenn’s narration, I do believe. I got really tired of him and Saffediene and Vi and all that suck, because two love triangles is just too much for a book to handle. I got tired of him worrying about which side to pick, as I’d already mentioned. He needed to just commit, to a side, to a girl, to an ally (the thought of him leaving Jag again was also not attractive to me). I needed to get out of his head for a while, I think. I started back on with a Jag chapter, and I think that was really good for me because I regained my faith in Elana Johnson’s (awesome) writing expertise and remembered that I really loved everyone except for Zenn.
Hope that was entertaining if not educational,
The final installment in the Possession series, Abandon was a very emotionally taxing book. I was finishing the book in a semi-public place, and as surprise after surprise attacked my metaphorical heart I had only a few seconds to be embarrassed that I was crying and both of my arms had been thrown over my head. I’m not much of a book crier. I cried (okay had a mental breakdown) at John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. I cried at The Book Thief and Mockingjay when a certain sugar-cube wielding character from the 75th Hunger Games met his end. But it takes a lot to get me. I won’t be posting a spoiler review here, but I do have one, so look for that one way or another eventually (no promises).
I don’t want to do too much of a teaser/synopses/summary (whatever you call these things I put after the intro and before I squee) because I worry about ruining the ending for all my lovely readers, because I accidentally read the most offhand comment while looking at Abandon on Amazon and it screwed up the book for me a little. I will not tell you what that spoiler was, though, because then I would be doing the same thing to you and that would suck. Getting back to the point, here goes:
Vi, Jag, and Zenn have made it through some tough times. Some of those times have seen them more friendly with each other than others, though, and they have quite the history to deal with as they run the Revolution and also make out a lot. Who with, no one really knows. But everyone cares.
As the brotherly jealousy and romantic malice unfold, the Resistance is growing. But the Association is growing something else, and it began with a little someone named Cash in the Evolutionary Rise, if you know what I mean. Both of these things will be cause for much frustration and anguish to the twisted love triangle (or perhaps square ? . . . oh my). Which one will end it all? No one knows. No one wants to find out, either. Someone’s been leaking secrets. Everyone’s afraid of who it is. Could it be Vi, brainwashed and broken, heart torn in two? Or Zenn, tired of playing both sides but unsure which one he’s actually working for? Or Jagg, exhausted, broken, and choked with not only his love for Vi, but his rage at her love for another? Gunn doesn’t know. Thane doesn’t know. It’s a game of Clue that will decide which side wins, and which side dies.
I loved Possession. I loved Surrender. I loved Abandoned. As I professed, these books got better as they went along. This book was not haunted with the += situation, nor the yeahs. Some becauses sneaked their way in there, but they were not so noticeable as to ruin even 1% of the rest of the plot. And did I mention the plot? It was fantastic. I sat their huddled in a corner of my dark room (dark because I hadn’t been able to get up to turn on the lights since before they were necessary) and tore through the gripping tales that were so linked and interconnected I could never really figure out what was going on. But I liked it.
Remember the last review? Friday . . . Surrender . . . Me listing my hopes and dreams for the next book? It definitely was more than I’d hoped. Let’s review them now, and then I’ll add some extra points I didn’t anticipate.
–It is narrated by at least one of the points in the love triangle from Possession (most hopefully Jag, but Vi was great in the first book and I wouldn’t mind reading from Zenn’s point of view).
Indeed, it was. Jag and Zenn grace the pages of the lustrous purple brick, trading off narrations like Gunn and Raine did in Abandon. Don’t be discouraged, my lovely love-triangle-side-pickers. It’s worth having to suffer through your not OTP’s events to get to the beauty that is the end of this book.
–It is at least 600 pages long.
Alas, it is not. It’s also not 464 pages long like I’d earlier said, at least not in hardcover. It’s only 446 (actually maybe I’m just losing my mind. Probably the real reason). The 600 page goal was only wishful thinking, and I knew that from the moment I wrote it. I still wish it was 600 pages, but I feel fulfilled after reading the ones the lovely Elana Johnson instilled with her gorgeous and masterful prose.
–There is no resurfacing of the yeah and because, even if Vi is narrating.
4/5 here. Hardly any yeahs, and only a few becauses that were very suitable to the plot and I wouldn’t have noticed had I not alerted my senses. And, since I know you’re still hoping, Vi’s narration graces exactly zero pages of Abandon. I know, so sad, but it’s alright.
–There is ZERO ‘it was all a dream/all government orchestrated’ plot work.
HURRAH! Followthrough! And zero bad plot devices here. Thank you, esteemed Mrs. Johnson.
–The ending is closed. No room for interpretation or continuation, everything’s been worked out.
Not spoilin’ here. I was okay with the ending, though I have to admit the pages were pretty blurry while I read the last chapters, so maybe I didn’t see everything correctly. I will edit if I have second thoughts, promise.
A few additions I feel the need to make now I’ve been shown the Elana Johnson light:
– Skillful dealing with the love triangle aspect of the plot.
– Not making the reader (me) long for the other three narrators.
– Not getting thrown at anything in my house or the surrounding areas. (Check. Also didn’t get punched (happened with the last two HP books when people died). I was too spellbound to move, let alone close the book for long enough to injure the beautiful purple cover (or, more likely, my hand on the sharp hardcover binding)).
I don’t know what I can say to convince you if you haven’t already picked up Possession, but really, do yourself a favor and at least give it a chance. The sample pages on Amazon will probably be enough to convince you of what I’ve failed to convey.
Also, did I mention there are two more tie-ins? One is available on Goodreads, the other one it might take me a few weeks to track down, so wait patiently for more Possession series enthusiasm hitting Bookmarks soon. I will post about something else between this and the other pieces to the lovely Possession series set, but probably not very many times.
Being in love with a series feels great,