This is the best series I have read in a long time. It keeps me on edge and guessing at all times.
In the last book, the Flash happened…something akin to a solar flare that turned every living thing in its path to ash. Evie lost everyone she knew except Jackson Deveaux who is has turned out to be a very capable protector.
Before the Flash, Evie had nightmares, visions and even people talking to her in her head. She thought she was going crazy but now she knows they were all warnings about the Flash and to help her with the game. Yes, the game. She learned…through a boy named Matthew who talks to her in her head…that she is part of a sick and terrifying game that pits teenager against teenager against each other. Each teen or young adult is one of the 22 Major Arcana from a Tarot deck. Evie is The Empress. Each Arcana has powers and Evie finally came into hers at the end of the last book. This game has apparently been going on for thousands of years, the characters being reincarnated again and again. At the end, only one can live.
Evie doesn’t want to play the game but has to since other players will be coming after her. At the end of the last book, she killed one of them and Jack saw it. She had been keeping it a secret from him but now he knows.
Already, two of the Arcana have allied with Evie. Apparently, in previous games, the Empress and Death have always been the last two players so everyone will either align with one of them or go after the two of them. Selena is the Archer and has aligned with Evie even though neither of them trust the other and Selena is hot for Jackson. Matthew is the Fool. He tells Evie that they’ve always been the best of friends. He sees the past, future and present. He’s autistic and the information he gives is sometimes in riddles or doesn’t seem helpful but what he says always comes true. He has also aligned with Evie.
In this book, Evie is on still on her way to see her grandmother, if she is still alive, so she can tell her how to end the game without having to kill everyone. She has to travel through dangerous territory where cannibals and bagmen live. Bagmen are zombie-like creatures who used to be human but the Flash morphed them into something else. They are super strong and attack people for their blood. They are constantly thirsty and will suck up any water source but prefer blood. Their bite is infectious so more and more humans are turning into bagmen. The cannibals are being led by some crazy person who could be one of the Arcana.
There are spoilers below. I’m going to try not to spoil the end of the book but there was a lot that happened in this book and this was a major part of it.
She gets abducted by Death who she believes is going to kill her. He takes her to his mansion where he is living in luxury while the rest of the world is struggling. She learns that she and Death have a long history. Death has won at least the last two games and is thousands of years old. The winner gets immortality. Death’s touch is fatal to anyone except for Evie which he learned in one of the previous games. He went to kill her by touching her but she didn’t die so he abducted her. I guess he was so desperate to be able to touch someone, he didn’t care if she was his enemy. And apparently, Evie was not a nice person in previous lives. She pretended she liked Death and then tried to kill him and he fell for it twice. Death still seems to be holding on to some kind of feelings for her. He actually is a decent guy. Evie starts to have feelings for him.
Even though I felt bad for Death because Evie is the only one he can touch, my heart was breaking for Jackson. I like Jackson and Evie together even though both of them make things difficult on themselves because of their pride and insecurities. While I was reading, I was wondering if this is going to be the start of a long drawn-out love triangle. I certainly hope not. Either you love one or the other. I was just hoping Evie didn’t choose Death because he can’t have anyone else.
This book introduced many more characters and the game is getting more complicated. There’s the army out there terrorizing everyone still. Evie learns that the Lovers who are a pair of sick and demented twins who like to torture people are part of that army. Their father leads it.
And then there are all of the other players out there that have yet to be revealed.
This series is so exciting!