Main Characters: Abbey, Caspian, Nikolas, Katy, Abbey’s parents, the Maxwell’s and Abbey’s Aunt Marjorie.
Vincent Drake – we met him very briefly in the first book. But we learn here that he is “D” and he’s bad news. He’s after Abbey. He, like Cacey, Uri, Kame and Sophie is a revenant. Revenants are beings who are sent to help the living half of a pair cross over to the complete the shade half.
Cacey and Uri and Kame and Sophie – other Revenants. But they seem to want to help Abbey. Abbey can taste ash or get a funny sense when they are around. Others get a sense of calm and can sort of be glamored (didn’t want to borrow a term from the vamp genre, but that’s really the best way to describe it) by them.
Locations: Sleepy Hollow NY
Main Premise: Where we left off – Abbey is staying with her Aunt at the beginning and she comes home a little early. She encounters Caspian and has to reminder herself that she’s not making him up. And then we discover that there are others involved in things – Caspian is the darker half of the pair since with a shade there is always a light half and a dark half. Abbey is trying to get her life back together but the revenants are causing trouble. Vincent is out to stop Caspian from being completed, but we don’t know why. We do discover though that he caused Kristen’s death because he thought Kristen was Caspian’s other half. We are moving towards something, and this book is clearly the middle to the story where we get more questions then answers – we know about the revenants and that Abbey needs to die to complete Caspian, but that’s the most progress we really get.
Other Important Things to Remember for Later: Revenants work in pairs. So there is a missing revenant – Vincent’s partner. And revenants usually help, not harm so we don’t know why Vincent wants to stop Caspian from being completed. At the end, Vincent attacks Abbey in her bedroom. Kame, Sophie, Uri and Cacey all come to help and they cover part of it up so it seems to be a random break-in. The appearance of the revenants means that Abbey is going to die soon. Vincent can touch Caspian. Vincent doesn’t want to kill Abbey because that would complete Caspian. Instead, he has wanted her all along and wants to keep her alive so Caspian can’t be completed.
So we get a lot more information here in this middle portion of the story then we had in the first book – although it is still clearly the middle book with more questions remaining unanswered then otherwise. We learn the term revenant (which was new to me this year and now I feel like I am seeing it all over the YA genre, oh well) and shade. We learn much more about Nikolas and Katy. And we Get much more in the way of relationship development between Caspian and Abbey.
At the end of the first installment Abbey is sent to live with a Great Aunt while getting some professional help because she couldn’t deal with the death of her best friend Kristen and she couldn’t deal with the fact that the boy she fell in love with, Caspian, is actually dead. Her parents convince her to come home early to help dedicate a bridge to Kristen’s memory. And the new school year starts. She still struggles but starts to find a few additional friends, including Ben. Turns out Ben had a thing for Kristen. And Abbey, after a little while, realizes that Caspian wasn’t just a figment of her imagination. We learn that Kristen was dating a creepy guy named Vincent and Vincent is after Abbey for some reason. Abbey coming to terms with the fact that Caspian is dead and moving the plot forward to the point where we can find out what the deal is with Vincent and Nikolas and others is the main thrust of this middle book.
This was on par with the first. It was an intriguing story and the reader knows that there must be something bigger coming in the final third of the story. We see more of Caspian and Abbey and their relationship blossom. And we see Abbey’s grand plans for her future. She struggles still with her grief but she gets back to living. And she struggles with what the future will hold for her.
Caspian is still a little too good to be true, but he comes across as such a genuine and nice guy that it’s easy to forget that teenage boys aren’t usually so sentimental or sappy. And the bond between Abbey and Caspian is so easy to believe. It is such a good glimpse into that first young love….
The quotes from Irving’s story still lead the reader into each chapter and sometimes feel more obvious then other times. But it was a nice progression. There is little payoff though from the loose ends from the first book. They are really almost all left for the final portion of the trilogy. I was glad to see the mysterious D revealed here but his true nature and the details as to where the story is really going is left almost exclusively for the final installment. I suggest, if you are impatient at all, to read all three of these back to back like I did. It will feel less frustrating when you still don’t have much information at the end of this book since you can dive right into the final!