Thanks to S&S for the galley of this one. Jessica Verday’s conclusion to the Hollow trilogy, the Hidden was a surprising and pleasant way to wrap things up.
How to find a way to have a happy ending? Where we left off, Vincent was after Abbey to keep Caspian from being completed, but we didn’t know why. And while we know more about the revenants it is hard at first to see how Abbey is going to resolve her feelings for Kristen, how she and Caspian will – or will not – find a way to be together and how her choices will all play out.
One of the most wonderful things about this book is that it was in fact the conclusion of the story. It would be hard to see how this could be changed to be something more than the trilogy. A different set of books using some of the other characters would be one thing, but we do get the resolution to Caspian and Abbey. And it was a relief to see that the author didn’t try to find a way to put that off.
After having read all three installments, so close to one another, it was easy to keep in mind a statement that I read somewhere that this is a modern twist to the Headless Horseman tale. But I must disagree with that assessment. While the legend of Sleepy Hollow is important to the plot, and we now know (after the first book) that Nikolas is the Headless Horseman from the legend, it’s not really a modern twist. It’s more like an explanation or continuation of a story using some of the same characters.
The grief is still present, so is the love story. The action and chase is enough to keep a reader guessing until almost the end. It was satisfying to see the payoff – we get answers! We understand the role of each of the characters and we learn about Vincent’s motivations and who his other half is. At first, the trip to the asylum left me suspicious that we wouldn’t get the answers, but when we see how that all worked out I was happy that my suspicions proved false.
It was also sort of a relief to see that our happily ever after was based on the choice of a female character strong enough to make a sacrifice. And while at first, it might seem that she is sacrificing all because she can’t live without a boy, to me, it was bigger than that. She sacrificed herself for her best friend and to set things right.
Abbey’s passive aggressive mother is one of the most frustrating aspects of the series and the book. Mom gives her presents and tells her how wonderful she is but she guilts her into things that make it hard for Abbey to deal with her grief.
Finally, I am so very happy with the way this all ended. It clearly was a trilogy and will stay a trilogy. So many of the series that were meant to be a certain number of books – but where then stretched to have additional books – are awful. Because you can tell that the story has been stretched or distorted to add those additional books. Here, we got an ending, tied up in a nice little bow. It was such a relief. Now, I wouldn’t object to different stories with the revenants…. And, the legend of Sleepy Hollow is a must read, either before or after this series (although I would recommend before). It will bring new appreciation to these books – and vice versa.