Review: Eternal by Kristi Cook

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Eternal by Kristi CookEternal by Kristi Cook
Series: Winterhaven #3
Published by Simon Pulse on September 3, 2013
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: the author
Buy on Amazon

True love and destiny collide in the conclusion to the Haven trilogy, which Booklist called “a blend of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, the Twilight saga, and Lois Duncan’s thrillers.”

Forced to endure the violent punishment of the Tribunal for murders he has no recollection of committing, Aidan is slowly rotting away in a Paris dungeon. Violet is all but an unreachable dream to him now.

But unlike Aidan, Violet has not given up hope as she works tirelessly with Matthew, her guardian and protector, to prove Aidan’s innocence and unravel the haunting vision that plagues her thoughts—the death of someone closest to her.

Determined to set Aidan free, Violet discovers that a dangerous vampire war is brewing—and that Aidan may be at the center of it all. It’s only when the war reaches the doors of Winterhaven and tragedy strikes the school that Violet has to finally accept her fate. But that could mean losing Aidan—forever.

With no other option, Violet must choose between true love and fulfilling her destiny…unless she can find a way to have them both.

Eternal was the most satisfying conclusion to a trilogy that I have read… ever. Period. End of discussion. It was so good, I don’t even know if I can put it into words – minus spoilers – but I’m going to try!(I’m also going to apologize right now for babbling and fangirling, because it might happen… I can’t promise that it won’t).

I picked up Haven (the first book in the Winterhaven trilogy – although I didn’t know at the time it was a trilogy) when it first came out and I devoured it. It was an interesting, original, and refreshing read. The characters, the plot, and the twists at the end of Haven made it one of the most original young adult novels I had read in a long time. Next came book two, Mirage, and it definitely didn’t disappoint! Again, in a market saturated with, at the time, vampire novels and “she goes away to boarding school and discovers she’s not alone!” stories, Mirage proved, once again, why this was one of the most original YA series I’d read in a long time. I could tell right away that the end of Mirage set up for a third book, and I was really excited for it!

And then I read Eternal… And first of all, I was honored to be selected as one of only two or three bloggers who got an eARC from Kristi Cook herself. I’ve loved this series and these characters from the beginning, so I was just.. completely fangirling!

Eternal picks up right where Mirage left off and it jumps right into the important stuff, the action scenes. Almost immediately, something major is revealed to Violet and it set me on edge – I had a bad feeling that I couldn’t shake the entire time I was reading the book.

I absolutely love Matthew. He’s an amazing character and he takes his Megved duties seriously. He has more of a brotherly/protector relationship with Violet and though I can’t see them together – Because, duh, Aidan!!! – I still sort of want them to end up together because of their shared destiny. Something about it just always felt right. Matthew kind of reminds me of Alaric from The Vampire Diaries (the show, not the books). He’s that authority figure, the big brother, the protector.

Tyler was really annoying in Mirage. Like, I really wanted to slap him a few times. But I liked him a lot more in Eternal. He was.. tolerable, I’ll say. And a few times, I actually felt really bad for him!

We learn about several betrayals in Eternal and who was behind these betrayals. It’s a big shock, and despite the reasoning behind the betrayals, I didn’t trust the characters involved for the rest of the book. My heart was just in my throat the whole time I was reading and I kept waiting for more betrayals from these characters.

There were about three scenes that absolutely killed me – I mean, the whole book killed me, but three scenes stand out in particular. Like, I was just a complete mess!!! I still haven’t gotten over them and I’m DYING to talk to someone about them! (So… if/when you read Eternal, CONTACT ME SO WE CAN FANGIRL OVER THIS!!!!!). I’m just… I kind of had a bad feeling about one scene. I sensed it pretty much from the very beginning, but I still wasn’t prepared for it. At all. And I really, really wanted to be wrong… But, I was right *sobs.* There was another scene, as well, that I had hunch about. I felt like it just wasn’t what it seemed. And again, I was right. But it was still startling and incredible to read – I kept wondering if my hunch was wrong, what was going to happen, etc. Bottom line, this book just had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Finally, just gotta put it out there, I love that this series is set in the Hudson Valley. Hometown love for the win! Now, I’m not from the EXACT area the book is set in, but close enough and I know a lot of the places and landmarks mentioned. I’ve even been to/on some of them!

All in all, I loved this book so, so much. I can’t wait till it releases so everyone can join me in my fangirling and so I can hug and pet the hardcover and read it again!