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Stranger Than Fiction


Everlasting - Alyson Noel It was only a matter of time before The Immortals series packed it in and called it a day, 3 books too late. The series as a whole had a thinly veiled idea confused as a plot, was mostly forgettable and had two of the most selfish leads in YA history. The Immortals series shows it's colors as a truly inspired by Twilight's Tale of star crossed lovers doomed to repeat the same mistakes again and again. Believe me, that makes it sound better than it actually is.

With nothing standing in their way, Damen and Ever can freely find a way to be truly together in Everlasting, wasting most of their time on the same pathetic arguments they've been having since day one. Damen has given Ever a week to figure out why Summerland is growing dark and why an old woman is calling her Adeline, speaking through riddles and talking about journies and love being the key and Damen being the catalyst. It takes him less then a day to be shell shocked that Ever is taking his word seriously. She wants to get to the bottom of this, he wants to go to Italy. She thinks maybe there's a past life he doesn't know about, he thinks she's talking bullshit. Damen is a selfish smug bastard through and through here.

It takes a few trips and group meetings until Ever and Damen head into Summerland to take on Lotus, the old woman, head on. Skipping over some minor details, Ever proves to be right about a past life that Damen wasn't aware of. Before Damen became 'Damen', he was Alric, in love with Ever's Adeline. We're given a rehash of pretty much all the other past lives, just with new names. The gangs all there and involved in one complicated love angle. In the end, Adeline dies and it's revealed that because of the actions of Alric, he's damned his love life with the woman he loves forever. Coming out of the journey first, Ever waits for Damen who has to wrestle with the remainder of his life as he marries Esme, Drina's counterpart, and lives unhappily ever after. Stepping out of his past, he apologizes to Ever for being wrong and the two take a boat ride down the river of forgetfulness as the second part of their test. Ever makes it out unscathed, forgetting for a moment but because of the trinkets her friends gave her, she remembers almost instantly. Damen, on the other hand, isn't so lucky, but is found moments later in a Shadowlandesque world where he's worrying over the state of killed off immortal souls who are trapped. Here, we get a rare moment where Damen is an almost sympathetic character, he clearly understands that it's because of his own faults, he's damned so many souls. Ever helps him through it and they release some familiar faces who are all too forgiving. Roman, upon seeing Drina's soul, hands over the recipe for the cure, taking care to repeat it until they have it memorized. Reality sets in that they can have sex now and the couple rejoice and are thrust back into the Summerland they know and love.

Lotus is there to meet them and tells the two her story, she's one of the immortal children Damen created 600 years ago and left to wonder the Earth alone without the slightest clue what was in store for her life. She's lonely and aching to die and turning to Drina and Roman only turned to failure and ridicule and Damen wasn't an option as he disappeared years before hand. While their journey is over, Lotus asks them to do a side quest. They can go home now with a reward, a small bag that was given to Ever before she left on her journey is filled with whatever she wants of her choosing. Of course it's filled to the brim with the ingredients for the elixir. They can go home now with a passing grade and a bag full of 'Truly Togetherness' or complete the REAL task Lotus had for them. There's a mythical tree of life that gives off fruit of mortality. It's suppose to fix the problem of immortals having damned souls if they take a bite, turning them back into mortals and allowing their souls to reincarnate over and over again. True Immortality as Lotus calls it and it would wipe their karma clean. It's a choice she is giving them, a gift, something she was not given all those years ago. Something that Ever wasn't given not to long ago. Ever jumps at the opportunity to start a clean slate for her soul, not wanting it to be burdened like Damen's. Damen on the other hand, want's no part of it. He's heard rumors that the tree doesn't exist, that it only bears on fruit every thousand years and he even points out that they got exactly what they came for and now they can truly be together. Ever, the completionist, tells Lotus she's game and the bag of ingredients disappears as does Lotus. It's no surprise that Damen throws a hissy fit and leaves, complaining about his blue balls again. Ever gears up and heads up Summerland Everest, goes up against three immortals and winds up losing her one chance to get the fruit. Typical. The three immortals run off into the sunset, gleefully getting older and genuinely happy over becoming 'truly immortal'. Once the three are gone over the horizon, Ever mourning having lost everything, the fruit regrows much to her shock. Upon picking it, it regrows again. The tree is ever bearing like Lotus promised. Packing many of these things, Ever heads home.

From here on out, it's mostly a montage of her meeting up with people. She's been gone for six months now. Honor and Jude are dating and both acknowledge that Ever wasn't very good to Jude. Honor going as far to say 'I'm going to treat him better than you ever did.' while Jude brings up something he said a year earlier about 'always falling for the wrong girls. It's been you, Ever, every time.' Ever makes amends with Sabine as well. She meets with Damen briefly to tell him that the tree is real and she has the fruit if he's interested. He's not sold and asks if she took it, but she's waiting for him, so she hasn't and after that Damen becomes scarce. Ever completes 6 months worth of school work in 2 weeks, graduates and there's a huge party at Ever's to celebrate everything. They even invited Roman's immortals to give them the fruit if they chose. Upon completing Lotus' wishes, Ever can finally have her happy ever after, but someone is missing. Going to Damen's house, fruit in hand, to tell him of her successes and he reveals he is done the elixir. So here we stand at a precipice and here Damen breaks down and says that he doesn't believe Ever will love him once he's mortal as he won't be awesomesauce anymore. He bases this off of how Ever reacted to his 180 in Shadowland and he's seriously worried that she'd just abandon him because he wouldn't be able to supply her with opulence. Let me tell you, it wouldn't be part of The Immortals series if it didn't have them getting back together. Deciding they have nothing to lose, they bite into the fruit and start throwing themselves at each other and when nobody dies, Damen breaks the elixir on the floor, grabs Ever by the hand and takes her to a motel to finally be 'Truly Together' in the way they were intended. Everlasting ends with them jumping on a plane to Italy.

Everlasting was better than it's predecessors. The story came together nicely, the characters were actually called out on their bullshit and the plot wasn't half bad by The Immortals standards. If they cut half the bullshit out, and by that I mean books two, three and half of four, The Immortals could have been something better. Especially if they painted Damen up to be the villain he actually is, instead of the romantic aloof loner who's just trying to redeem his soul. Overall, things weren't consistent enough, rules were always bent and there were long stretches nothing happened just for Ever to make a bad decision to further the plot.