Terminated (Revivalist #3) by Rachel Caine
Already addicted to the pharmaceutical drug that keeps her body from decomposing, Bryn has to stop a secretive group of rich and powerful investors from eliminating the existing Returné addicts altogether. To ensure their plan to launch a new, military-grade strain of nanotech, the investors’ undead assassin—who just happens to be the ex-wife of Bryn’s lover Patrick—is on the hunt for anyone that stands in their way.
And while Bryn’s allies aren’t about to go down without a fight, the secret she’s been keeping threatens to put those closest to her in even more danger. Poised to become a monster that her own side—and her own lover—will have to trap and kill, Bryn needs to find the cure to have any hope of preserving the lives of her friends, and her own dwindling humanity…
Wow! I think this is the first time I’ve ever given a 5/5 star rating to every book in a series (even from before I started actually formally rating them). This trilogy was simply amazing, and I’m so glad I took the time to get through it. Each book brought new layers to the conflict of the world, and it was thrilling to experience all of these horrible discoveries alongside Bryn.
But this review is supposed to be of Terminated, not the entire series, so it’s time to focus a little.
I’ll be fair right now: I thought this book started a little slower for me. That’s not to say that it wasn’t fast-paced and filled with action — it certainly had an awful lot going on. But there was such a jarring end to Two Weeks’ Notice that this just felt like a slow-down, which was admittedly probably needed. But between that and the fact that my personal life kind of blew up (work, new boyfriend—yes, new boyfriend, but we’re getting off-topic again), it took me way too long to finish this book (like, a week and a half!). Regardless, once I got more into it, I was, of course, sucked in and consumed by the world. Caine’s characters just pop out of the book in a wonderfully colorful way, and I find myself loving each and every one of them—even if it means I simply love how much I hate them.
Speaking of characters …
One of my favorite things about Caine’s writing is that no one (and nothing, but that’s the next topic) is ever stagnant. The characters all grow and develop demonstrably, and it’s never heavy-handed or over the top. Bryn, for example, is a completely different person than she was at the beginning of the series. To be fair, she’s been a quasi-guinea pig on two rounds of nanobots, so you’d expect some obvious development from that. But even over the course of just the last book we were able to watch her change and grow, and it wasn’t always pleasant.
Nothing else sits still for very long either. Throughout this entire series, every time I started to come around and think, “Okay, this nanobot thing isn’t so bad,” she’d throw a curve ball at me and change it up some. And she is an expert at endings. Oh. My. God. The conclusion of every book in the Revivalist series has been mind-blowing. I wasn’t sure how she was going to do it again with the conclusion of the series, since you can’t rely on a cliff-hanger, but she did. She totally did. You just have to read it.