Avow by Chelsea Fine
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Firefall Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Scarlet remembers. Everything. Her past lives, Tristan, Gabriel, Nate: she remembers it all–including how to get to the Fountain of Youth. But time is running out.
Heather and Gabriel have been kidnapped by Raven, while the curse that has plagued Scarlet and Tristan for centuries has shifted, putting the star-crossed lovers in more danger than ever before. Water from the Fountain of Youth is the only thing that can save Scarlet and her loved ones. But the water comes at a price.
With lives–and hearts–at stake, Scarlet leads her friends on a dangerous journey to the Fountain of Youth. Where eternal life is possible, but death is certain.
Avow is a great ending to a wonderful series that I think all fans of The Archers of Avalon series will enjoy. The first thing I noticed going in? If you are expecting to go back and forth between the past and present day just as often as Anew and Awry, change those expectations. While we do get some present day action in the beginning, the majority of the first half of the book is in the past as we follow Scarlet through each of her lives and the boys before, during, and after those lives. Welcome to back story heaven. It is pretty darn cool. This is what I was waiting for as I am sure so many others were as well.
“Sorry I got you punched in the face today,” Gabriel said.
She shrugged. “It happens.”
That said, Chapter 35 is when we get back to present day. Chapter 35. All throughout the first half of the book I was itching for some present day action like Raven was itching to find the Fountain of Youth. That’s what happens when you get used to a certain pattern from the previous books in a series. That pattern was thrown out of the window here and it was a risk that many readers will see as a risk worth taking and others may find to be a bit overwhelming. For me, in the end it works.
A favorite element of mine about this series, not just the revelations but being able to see how each character takes that revelation was displayed wonderfully in Avow. But I had no doubts. Now there are not as many twists in Avow and much is predictable but it is moreso how Fine layered everything leading up to the end that makes this series so superb. Fine is also brilliant with evoking emotion. The dynamics of the relationships both established and soon to be established change and grow over time and the way that it is shown… you can tell a lot of care and thought was put into every single word and movement. Avow is jam packed with romance, mystery, comedy, and adventure. Your blood will be racing for more reasons than one!
My only two problems? One, the ending was much too cookie cutter for my taste even with the death that takes place. Two, we never did find out why Raven wanted so much power. What were her genuine plans if she actually did have all the power? I like villains but I love villains I can empathize with. For someone who seemed to care so much for Gabriel and/or what his family seemingly had to offer (had things gone differently), Raven was reckless. And she never stopped being reckless as her target switched from hurting Gabriel to finding the Fountain of Youth. Raven was smart but she was still careless and because of this quality, I don’t think we got enough of her to really ever consider her a real threat in regards to getting to the Fountain first. Of course being reckless is a very serious threat in itself but that doesn’t apply here. I didn’t need part of the story in Raven’s point of view, that is not what I am saying. Although I wouldn’t mind a novella because I do want to know what drove Raven’s hunger for power and explore the history of magic in this world and her family. Her motives just didn’t seem that clear to me.
All of that said, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of Avow. I enjoyed Avow and I really enjoyed The Archers of Avalon series as a whole. If you are in the mood for a paranormal romantic adventure, this is the series to read!