Sunday, 23 November 2014

Endure by Carrie Jones

The Need Series

Published: May 8th 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Website: Series website

            The final book of the tetralogy, Endure is about avoiding Ragnarok and driving the evil pixies out of Bedford. Betty is still missing and the pixies are even hunting girls now. Some interesting gods become involved and Zara has to rise to the occasion and become a leader. But now that Nick is back with them, he complicates everything by detesting what Zara has become to save him: a pixie.
Zara has to decide who her heart wants, but he might not love her anymore.  
            The other covers are beautiful and relate to the story; the cover of Endure just seems lazy to me. Instead of gold glitter, there is a single gold eye on a face that is horizontal. Aside from battles when girls are knocked down, when is anyone ever laying down? At some point Zara jumps into something, but as far as I know, she didn’t just jump and position herself horizontally midair like in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Is the gold eye supposed to resemble pixie-dom? Because I don’t recall pixies having unusual eye colours.

            The pixie queen of crazy came back to mess everything up. I wish she was in more of the series, as she is powerful and nuts. Jones should write a tetralogy on her life and shenanigans. She is only in this book for a few pages and then gone forever, but she has a lot of knowledge and strength that could be used for other books.

            For the protagonist, there was a lot of character growth in this book. She has to step up as a leader, not just as a pixie queen, but as a leader of an army against Frank and Isla. The last time, in Entice, when she tried to give a speech to her own pixies she ran away. In Endure, she has to convince beings she doesn’t know to help protect Bedford and the rest of the world. It seems like the last three books had her changing and leading up to this point.

            Hel, as the place and the goddess, is very cool and handled in a way that is accurate enough, even with the artistic liberties that Jones took. Not a bad place, not glorified like Valhalla, not a good goddess, but not evil or malicious either. It is a place where the dead go if you don’t die in battle, ruled by someone who just has to, who didn’t make the rules. This is another character that I wish received more presence.

Spoilers Ahead!
            Who could still be team Nick by this book? He says he can’t stand Zara’s smell, she has no soul, etc. How is choosing between Astley and Nick difficult? Yes, I’d be heartbroken that Nick decided to be bigoted and forget what Zara did for him and that she’s getting stronger to protect everyone. Of course, Zara goes through another change and Nick is right there to tell her that he loves her.
            I also detest that he doesn’t like that she has gotten stronger and, yes, killed pixies. But he kills pixies to protect people too. He is so hypocritical it is mind-boggling. I’ve said it before, but everyone grows and changes. People who can’t accept change should be avoided in the long-run, because change is a part of life.
            So, after all this, who is still team Nick? Show of hands, please. Anyone who raised their hands needs a crash course about what an abusive relationship looks like, because that’s what Zara would be getting if she ended up with Nick.

Spoilers Ahead!
            Loki’s, “Oh, my wife and I forgot that I could have escaped centuries ago, derp.” and Astley’s betrayal and then not-betrayal was asinine and seen a mile away (though it still infuriates me).
            Then Zara jumps into the Hellmouth like it’s an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to stop the apocalypse. The book can’t decide what Zara is at this point, or what she’s becoming as she jumps in. But apparently getting pixie-kissed is more like getting friend-kissed, I guess, because the end is love is magic, and by extension, platonic love (friendship) is magic.
             Then it is three or four months later and everyone is sitting on the grass, talking about mundane stuff. Astley is taking high-school classes, which seems pointless. Wouldn’t he have a post-secondary education by now, or at the very least have already graduated high school? What bothers me the most is that Nick and Zara talk about their relationship right in front of Astley and everyone, including Astley, is ok with it. This doesn’t happen in real life. Your new partner does not want to hear about the details of your past relationship. I’m not saying that you can’t explain stuff (example: an ex didn’t let you have a credit card, drive, go to school, or have a job, all the scary stuff that can affect you now that needs an explanation), but don’t talk about the good times. Most people don’t want to hear it. Maybe if they ask about it, then sure, if you want to talk about it. Otherwise, no one is that cool that they can listen to their partner talk with their ex about their relationship in a positive light.     

Final Verdict
            The Need series has come to a close and I will still say that my favourite was the first book, Need, followed by the last book, Endure. I still find the introduction of Norse mythology to be strange and unneeded. A saving grace for me is Astley, who is a gentleman and patient with Zara, though he is a glutton for punishment for taking on the task of saving Zara’s dead boyfriend when she is in love with him. Betty and Isla were also strong and likable characters that held my attention, and Zara is a protagonist that is stronger than most, though she is driven so strongly she might be called selfish by some. Overall, the series took a turn after the first book, so if people stop reading after the first one, I wouldn’t blame them, though I think the series is highly enjoyable either way. 

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