Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book Review: Destined (Wings Series, #4) by Aprilynne Pike

Star Rating: 3/5

Destined (Wings Series, #4)

Author: Aprilynne Pike

Purchase on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Synopsis: Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear.

He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn't kiss her, just held her face close to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.

She hated how much it felt like good-bye.

Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful — and deadly — of all, and Klea plans to use her to help conquer and destroy Avalon. But Klea's reach extends far beyond one wild Winter faerie. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares to face what may be Avalon's final days, in the stunning conclusion to the Wings series.

Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell Cadiz

Review: I have enjoyed the Wings Series from the beginning. The first three books were a great take on the world of fairies and an entertaining set of characters to follow so I was excited to dive into the final installment, Destined. The series isn’t a ‘wow’ you type of series but the books have run through at a fast and easy pace along with some great moments in the plot so they have been a guilty pleasure of sorts to read.

The problem is that, Destined . . . lacked any real staying power.

Laurel, who in the previous three novels was portrayed with smarts, strength, and heart, completely turns into a useless and overtly dramatic character in the last book which was disappointing since you would expect the heroine to actually fight to save the world she loves. Laurel’s big moment of near sacrifice and triumph comes toward the end of the book (and there’s this smaller moment where she helps to save a few fairies who, if I remember correctly, turned out to be just fine) and by that time, the reader is just left feeling dejected with her. Laurel spans the novel hiding, crying, and whinnying about not being able to lose Tamani. All the while Tamani and David, along with the fairies of Avalon, have to contend with all the fighting against Klea, Yuki, and the trolls.

Speaking of that fighting, the entire novel pretty much consists of genocide as Klea has the trolls ravish Avalon, killing and maiming anything with life. The book never slows down enough to give the reader a chance to breathe, to grasp the pain and horror of what is happening. BUT, at the same time, that aspect of the book was written well in certain scenes (at least until it started to becoming redundant). Klea, the main villain, was the only well written character in the entire story. She is dark, bitter, vengeful, determined, and unremorseful. I even manage to feel sympathy for her after its revealed why she loathes Avalon so much.
Tamani is still one of my favorite characters of the entire series. He is strong, calm, patient, and kind. His devotion and love for Laurel is lovely. That isn’t to say that Tamini doesn’t fall into pretty predictable actions in Destined. I still loved him though! Chelsea, Laurel’s best friend and a character liked in the previous books for her sassy attitude and unyielding loyalty, doesn’t have much of a role in the final installment which was also a disappointing aspect. Her character doesn’t get many scenes and when she does, she is pretty much running from one of Avalon to the other. But she does help way more than Laurel –gathering fairies, helping to attack trolls, setting up a sort of fortress to buy time. I wished Chelsea had had more to do in the book instead of just being demoted to nothing more than Laurel’s sidekick.

Then there’s David (insert heavy sigh and roll of the eyes here). Jamison, the King of Avalon and a character I really came to like from the series, also barely has any scenes in the book. He is weakened pretty early on and is out until closer toward the last few chapters which made the book feel like it was missing something really important. Anyway, Jamison decides to have David become apart of the battle to save Avalon and gives him (wait for it!) the sword of Excalibur. Oh you know the sword that belonged to King Arthur. The one only a mighty warrior could wield. While Jamison decides that warrior is David, who has been pretty useless throughout the entire series, who was really only apart of the series to act in the love triangle even though from the first book every reader knows how that love triangle will end.  I laughed so hard the moment David took a hold of the sword and suddenly becomes the most powerful being in Avalon. Thanks to the sword, nothing can touch David. Not bullets being fired at him. Not swords being swung at him. Not trolls trying to rip his head off of his neck. Nope. He becomes invincible and spends majority of the book trashing and killing trolls like he’s throwing a tantrum. I just couldn’t buy it! Tamani being given the sword I could have believed or Laurel or even Jamison but David?! The nerd boy who has done nothing of real value (except for a time where he saved Laurel’s life if I’m remembering correctly but I’m pretty sure that was with Tamani’s help??) suddenly is in charge of protecting and saving all of Avalon . . . Say what now? (insert confused stare).

The love triangle was as to be expected: filled with angst, territorial and ego-driven boys, girl claiming to love both even though she basically cheated on the first boy with the second boy, and girl who decides to go with second boy because she has always loved him but was too scared from how powerful those feelings were to admit her love until she comes close to losing the boy. Ugh. Enough said.

There were a few key moments that seemed to be overlooked all together or done too quickly. One of them was the fact that Tamani never returns to check on his sister and niece after they are rescued. He leaves Avalon with Laurel without bothering to make sure they were okay! Jamison may be married to the Queen of Avalon but he doesn’t have as much power as she does so when he let’s David and Chelsea into Avalon he commits an unforgiveable sin. Well, at least that’s the rule—no humans allowed inside of Avalon—but the Queen just lets him go with a glare. I just expected there to be some kind of battle, some type of action. The Queen also makes a lot of threats in the book and acts as if she has control but she just comes off as an annoying high school mean girl.

The first third of the book was written fast paced and throws the reader right into the action. The main villain was evil and crazy and portrayed as thus which was one of the best aspects to the book. Laurel ends up with who I had always wanted her to end up with and there are a few scenes along the middle of the book that are pretty good to read. The official ending, David’s letter, although kind out of left field and dramatic, was an ending I hadn’t expected. Instead of a complete happy ending all the way around, the ending is bittersweet which was a nice little surprise considering everything else that happened in the book.

Overall, fans of the Wings Series will find Destined an okay ending to the story and characters they have come to love and enjoy. Not the best but not the worse either.

About the Author: Aprilynne Pike has been spinning faerie stories since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found at the gym; she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula. Aprilynne currently lives with her husband and three kids in Utah, and dreams of warmer climates.

Aprilynne Pike's #1 New York Times best-selling debut, WINGS, is the first of four books about a seemingly ordinary girl with a not-so-ordinary destiny. In this tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

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