Review: The Ballad of Never After

First things first, let me state that this book is now the second in a confirmed TRILOGY, not a duology. I did not know that going in, and that left me with some very unsettled emotions when I reached the end. Fortunately, a quick trip to Goodreads cleared things up, or this might have been a very frustrated review.

So, without getting too spoilery, if you’re not a person who handles cliffhangers well, maybe wait until the third book comes out before you read this one.

The sequel to Once Upon a Broken Heart, this book picks up in the immediate aftermath of its predecessor, with Evangeline determined to never trust Jacks again and to save Prince Apollo from his curse on her own. Of course, this is impossible after yet another curse forces her to take the speedier route and partner with Jacks once more.

Like the first book, The Ballad of Never After moves at a quick pace, but the plot felt a bit repetitive at times. Tropes are tropes for a reason, but after a while it felt like most scenes could be divided into either moments of jealousy or one of them being injured/vulnerable while the other had to care for them. I don’t know if all of these moments were vitally important (I think everyone in our world and theirs can see they’re into each other except for them), but none of them stalled the plot, at least.

I was very happy with the increasing information on the history/mythology of this world, and I really hope all my remaining questions about the Valors, Jacks, and maybe even the other Fates get answered in the final book. Stephanie Garber has created a very intriguing and twisty backstory for the powerful figures in this world, complete with miscommunications as their stories are passed down the years, and I just want to unravel all of it. If we don’t get all those answers in book three, I would recommend Garber move on from the stories about the “ordinary” characters in her world and just give us the the stories of how the Fates became the Fates, because those seem to be the most dynamic, proactive, and complex characters in her writing.

I don’t think I can rate this one yet. I need to know how that cliffhanger is going to play out first, because if she doesn’t stick the landing with it, it might take away from a lot of the good in the rest of the book. Here’s hoping I can be patient until September!

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