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I Belong


Review: Endure by Carrie Jones

Title: Endure

Author: Carrie Jones

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Need (Book 4)

Publication Date: May 8, 2012

Format: Hardback, 272 Pages

ISBN-10: 159990554X (Bloomsbury USA)

ISBN-13: 978-1599905549 (Bloomsbury USA)

Reviewed by: Sheila

Synopsis

It’s all-out war (and no-holds-barred romance) in the climactic conclusion to Carrie Jones’s bestselling series.

Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .

Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.

Quick & Dirty: Young adult love with a teenager’s sense of melodrama.  At least in this case, there is lots of fighting to go along with it.

Opening Sentence“Do you want some more spaghetti?”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Endure is the final chapter in the Need saga.  These loving and courageous teenagers fight for the side of good against the impending Ragnarok.  This is the book where everything is resolved, including our heroine, Zara’s, love triangle.  I am exceedingly pleased with the results.

As with most good-vs-evil books, the protagonist has issues with identity and struggles with decisions that have such far reaching consequences.  Of course, name me one teenager that doesn’t have the same problem within their own ordinary lives.  For Zara White, it is twofold.  She knows that she must fight against the evil pixies and stop the apocalypse from happening. She’s burdened with the weight of the responsibility as a pixie queen. Yet, she also has retained her need to protect the fragility of humanity that she was once a part of.

There are several long awaited resolutions.  No, I am not going to spill the beans and ruin the ending for you.  That would be mean and Zara and Issie would yell at me.  I will, on the other hand, talk of the more philosophical themes that are presented.

Zara is constantly questioning her “humanity,” and has since she chose to become a pixie.  She struggles to define what it means to be “humane.”  Zara has a nasty habit of generalizing throughout most of the books.  She refuses to believe that her innate “human” qualities should remain true even though she is no longer human.  Does that make her mercy, seen as a weakness for most pixies, stem from her former human status?  Can she still be considered “good” even though she is now a member of the pixie race widely considered “bad?”  Or is one’s personality carved forever within their soul, no matter how the outer packaging may change?

Nick, recently returned from Valhalla, also calls into question Zara’s soul-status.  The demonizations of one’s enemies are a common tactic in warfare.  It allows justification of atrocities because they are beneath you and therefore not worthy of mercy.  The group of teenagers fighting pixies in Bedford, Maine are guilty of doing this very thing.  They have justified killing pixies because they are bad and not human.  This book questions this ideology when Zara turns into a pixie, yet she still seems very much like her former self.  While her other friends have come to terms with it, Nick has not.  This is my favorite theme: the don’t-judge-a-book-by-it’s-cover that plagues the non-pixie characters in this book.  Only when this truth is discovered and accepted, can the group be triumphant in their fight for good.

In following in that theme, it is the same problem haunting the love triangle of Zara, Nick, and Astley.  Most issues that arise are due to prejudices surrounding their different species.  The resolution is found in the couple that can see past the outer visage and into the true heart of one another.  Saying that “I love you, no matter what,” means a lot more when it is backed up by action.

In the larger picture of the impending Ragnarok, it comes down to Zara making the choice of setting Loki free or not.  No brainer, right?  But Carrie Jones offers a new perspective on an old tale.  While she remains mostly true to the old Norse myths, she does present a more “human” view of the god’s imprisonment.  Can Zara stop the apocalypse while remaining true to her mercy-giving hero-complex?

I really enjoyed this series.  It was engaging enough to keep me entertained, though I am not considered the target group for young adult books.  I can also rest easy knowing that the story of Zara White’s journey is brought to a close in a very satisfying manner.  It is one of those series that leave you happy and content with the outcome.  I can recommend these books to those readers that enjoy happy endings and like books that are not a difficult read, in either content or length.

Notable Scene:

I hold the arms and shoulders and say, “On three. One… two… three!”

We throw him up and into the water.  His body splashes into the dark grey river and sinks.  Soon he will melt away like a marshmallow that’s been sitting in hot chocolate too long.  The water will take him.  Astley told us that the bodies will become one with the water and the authorities won’t find them, not ever.  I cross my fingers that he’s right about that as we go back to my grandmother’s truck and take another body out from under the tarp, trudging through the snow.

“You know,” Issie says, “I wish they were vampires.  In TV shows vampires always explode or disintegrate.  It seems so much easier for cleanup.”

“Even the exploding?”

“Yep, just a little vacuuming up the dust, maybe a Clorox bleach wipe, and you’re done.”

“That would be nice,” I admit.  “This is a better workout though.  On three.  One… two… three!”

The Need Series:

1. Need

2. Captivate

3. Entice

4. Endure

FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury USA graciously provided me with a copy of Endure.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.

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