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'Endlessly' wraps up the 'Paranormalcy Trilogy'

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Endlessly by Kiersten White

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The 'Paranormalcy Trilogy' by Kiersten White, a favorite with YA paranormal, romance and fantasy fans, comes to a spectacular, epic conclusion in 'Endlessly.' Fantasy lovers in particular will like the new dimensions -- literal and figurative -- that 'Endlessly' brings to the series. Evie's world has gradually expanded in each book as she searches for her place among humans and paranormals. It has been a delight to explore that world in the previous two books, and 'Endlessly' takes the fantasy and world-building elements even farther.

In this book, the fairies are pleading with Evie to open a gate to another universe. That would mean using her powers and fulfilling her role in the prophecy, something Evie refuses to do -- she won't be anyone's tool. She's more focused on "normal" things, like college, her boyfriend Lend and the upcoming prom. But when the Dark Queen comes after her and Lend falls under a mysterious curse, Evie is forced to take action.

This book is great, keeping up the action, adventure and romance. Evie and her allies face some tough choices and situations. 'Endlessly' attempts to deal with the ethical grey areas candidly, not letting Evie back out of something with an easy answer. Reth, Jack and Viv help with this, providing foils to the more purely "good" protagonist and her boyfriend. One of the more heartening things about this series is that no one appears to be truly irredeemable. All characters are given a decent amount of complexity, so that even the "evil" villains like the Dark Queen have sympathetic moments or redeeming qualities.

Reth, the stalker faerie ex-boyfriend, becomes more sympathetic in 'Endlessly' as well. His character develops about as far as an amoral being is capable of having character development. He also has a mysterious illness. It’s vaguely mentioned that it might be because he’s spent more time in the mortal realm or invested magic in Evie, but its main purpose seems to be to make Reth look more sympathetic and give Evie the chance to swoon over him. Reth fans, it’s the love triangle’s last gasp.

In all, the character development is great for all characters except the protagonist. Lend, Jack, Viv and Reth all take strides towards maturity and become more likeable, well-rounded characters. On the other hand, Evie plateaus as a character. Earlier on in the trilogy, she was an easily likeable, well-meaning character, but she has struggled with being complacent, stubborn and self-centered. In 'Endlessly,' she resists her “Chosen One” role because she disagrees with her creators’ methods -- even if that means leaving an entire race of beings, including many of her friends, to their fates.

Most of her reasoning, though, is purely selfish. Her philosophy is that as long as it doesn’t directly affect her, she doesn’t care. Her increased prejudice towards paranormals and her hands-off attitude is in direct contradiction to what she appeared to think earlier in the series. Evie is eventually forced to help the paranormals; not because she cares, but because her boyfriend is in danger. You’d think that that would make her rethink her views -- but as soon as it’s no longer personal, she no longer cares. She never becomes less selfish; the other characters just getting better at manipulating her.

The trilogy has some amazing characters and a strong plot arc throughout. However, the character development of the protagonist, which should be most important and fulfilling, seems like it was cut off. Evie regresses rather than matures. It leaves one feeling rather dissatisfied, not to mention very annoyed with Evie. Otherwise, there is not much else at fault with 'Endlessly.' The action is great, dialogue is snappy and clever and occasionally profound, and the plot climax delivers an emotional climax as well. 'Endlessly' delivers almost everything you'd expect and hope for in a conclusion to the 'Paranormalcy Trilogy.'

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