Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book Review: Until I Die, by Amy Plum (tenth review for The 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge)

Here's my tenth review for this
wonderful challenge!!

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just click on the challenge button in my sidebar.

There are great prizes involved,
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Title: Until I Die
Author: Amy Plum
Format: Hardcover, 357 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: May 8, 2012
Genres: YA Paranormal Romance,
Urban Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance
, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.

This second novel in Plum's planned trilogy gives the reader more background on revenant history, as well as further insights into the nature of their psychological makeup. 

Kate and Vincent are trying to deal with Vincent's compulsion to rescue people, dying in their place; he has embarked on a mysterious 'experiment' he refuses to discuss with her, while she has begun to research any and all references to revenants that she can possibly find, wondering if there's some sort of 'cure' available for Vincent, so that they can live together as any normal human couple would. 

Kate's search is made even more poignant because of the situation with another couple -- Genevieve, a revenant, and Philippe, a human.  Philippe has continued to age, while Genevieve has not, because of her endless deaths and resurrections.  This is what pushes Kate to look for a solution on her own, without counting on Vincent to help her.

Two new characters are introduced in this novel -- Violette and Arthur, who both lived -- and first died -- in the 15th century.  They replace, to  a great extent, the characters of Charlotte and Charles, although the latter do remain on the fringes of the plot.  The rest of the characters return -- Georgia, Kate's irrepressible sister, Ambrose, Jules, an artist who was, fascinatingly, a contemporary of several famous early 20th-century artists, Gaspard, the enigmatic Jean-Baptiste, who is the leader of the Parisian revenants, and, of course, Papy and Mamie, Kate and Georgia's enchanting French grandparents. 

This novel moves at a much slower pace than the first one, so my experience, as I read, was a much mellower one.  Plum explores the complexity of Kate and Vincent's relationship in several scenes that reveal their personalities in greater detail.  Their romance also deepens.  They are determined to remain together against all odds.  The whole story plays out, as in the first novel, against the beautiful background of Paris with all of its wonderful aura of romance, art, and French culture.  There are also some scenes along the beautiful coast of Nice.

Adding to my fascination with this novel were the glimpses of revenant history, and why knowledge about these creatures had been suppressed throughout the centuries. There's new information about the numa, as well. These are the revenants' ancient enemies. who feel just as much of a compulsion to kill innocent humans, as revenants feel to die for them. And, interestingly, it turns out that Papy knows more about both revenants and numa than he ever let on...

The action really intensifies in the last third of the novel, coming to a surprising ending that obviously leads into the third and last book of this trilogy.  In spite of my surprise, however, I had already guessed who the villain might turn out to be, and I was proved correct!  Still, I was not expecting what this villain ended up doing.  Furthermore, I now have this frantic longing to read the third novel, since the ending is a real cliffhanger.  The last novel, If I Should Die, will be out in May, 2013, so it's going to be a very long year...  I've checked Plum's website, but there's no synopsis yet. 

To sum up, I would say that this novel's chief function is to flesh out the mythology the author created in her first book, as well as set the stage for the third installment.  It's a far more mellow, poignant look at Kate and Vincent's world, one that nevertheless yields rich insights and fascinating historical details.  Does this mean that I heartily recommend it?  Oh, by all means!  Be prepared to savor this novel as you would a fine wine...with some strong shots of espresso along the way. 


Where To Buy: Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble

Amy Plum


  1. Great review. You managed to do what others couldn't: I feel like giving this trilogy another chance. I started reading Die For Me a while back (last year) and didn't finish. It was my first ever DNF. In my opinion there was no depth to the couples relationship. Each as an individual...yes, but not as a unit. Now, having read your review of this installment, your comment about "Plum explores the complexity of Kate and Vincent's relationship" sold me. I will finish book 1 and read Until I Die.
    Much love (I've been bad about leaving comments ever since the semester started) - _yay_ @ Book that Thing

    1. Oh, Saskia, you're so sweet!! You always leave such meaningful comments, and I love that! I'm so glad my review has convinced you to give this series another try. But I loved the first book, too. In fact, I was hooked right away! Their relationship does have some similarities to the one in The Twilight Saga, but I still liked it, because it had its own unique elements, too.

      Much love to you, too, and thanks for being so nice!! And I do understand about comments. I'm having a hard time myself, since I have TWO jobs!! <3

  2. You make this one sound so flippin' awesome! I love that the ending it made me scream!

    Irene (Eureka Joe's)


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