Monday, July 23, 2012

Until I Die by Amy Plum

Somewhere up high in the book heavens, the cover gods see that Amy Plum has a new book coming out and decides that once again it is time to bless her! The cover on this book is gorgeous, especially in real life. It doesn't hurt that purple is my favourite colour, or that the buildings are meant to represent Paris!

What about inside the book though? I mean, after all, a gorgeous cover is great to catch the eye but it is really what is inside the cover that matter.

The book is good without being excellent, and in some ways felt very much like the middle book in a trilogy, which is what it is.  We had the set up of the world in the last book, and in this book a lot of time is spent arming the characters for the big finale in the next book.

In the last book we met Kate and Vincent. She is a young American girl who has come to Paris to live with her sister and her grandparents after the death of her parents. Vincent is a revenant - a paranormal creature who dies over and over again saving human lives. Each death regenerates him enabling him to basically stay a young man forever.

Whilst it is not unheard of for a human and a revenant to fall in love, it is a difficult road to travel, particularly because one person ages and the other doesn't. For Kate, it is also difficult to contemplate watching her love die over and over and again. She therefore starts to try to find other stories of those who were like them by reading some of the mythology about revenants and seeing if she can follow some of the clues hidden within those texts.

Due to the events in the last book, the head of the revenants also feels the need to find out more about their history to be better prepared to face the revenants enemy, the Numa, who are currently quiet, but are generally believed to be preparing themselves to once again do battle on the streets of Paris. We therefore get to meet two new members of the family, Violette and Arthur, and once again Kate has to justify her place within the inner sanctum to people who question her right to be there.

Whilst Kate tries to find answers, Vincent is also trying to find another way, by basically denying himself the renewal that he needs. He is growing tired, battered and bruised and is gradually looking worse and worse. Of course, in true novel fashion, neither is completely honest with the other about what they were up to and this, of course, leads to misunderstandings and more importantly danger.

Whilst the idea of the revenant is a welcome change from the more normal vampire paranormal story, the other thing that really makes this story stand out for me is the Paris setting. The author takes us to both familiar scenes from Paris and those more unfamiliar to those of us who do not spend a lot of time in the city.

In other ways, you do some standard tropes - the idea of a lonely girl becoming a kick ass heroine, an older but still teenage hero, and oh yes, the cliff hanger ending which had me gritting my teeth saying you can't possibly be ending the story there!

I, for one, am looking forward to the next book so that we can see how Kate and Vincent deal with the responsibilities and challenges that face them both!

Rating 4/5

I thought that in addition to the review, I thought I would mention a couple of other things related to the book.

One of the places that the author took us to in the pages of the book was a wedding that was held in La Sainte-Chappelle, and she has shared a video where we get to visit this church with her, and it is totally gorgeous! I want to go there. When I was finding the link to this video again, there are quite a few videos where Amy Plum introduces different places in Paris that are used as locations in the books!

The trailer for the book also takes advantage of the awesome setting.


My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.

Kate has chose to leave the comfort and safety of her human life in order to join Vincent in the dangerous supernatural world he inhabits. For his part, he has sworn to go against his very nature and resist the repeated deaths that are his fate as a revenant - even though it will bring him immeasurable suffering.

Desperate to help him, Kate's search for answers takes her from the glamorous streets of Paris to the city's squalid underbelly. But when she stumbles across a secret that could help to overthrown their enemies for ever, Kate unwittingly puts everyone she loves at risk. And puts herself in the midst of an ancient and deadly war, not as a bystander ..... but as a target.
P.S After I had finished this post, I went back to read my review for the first book and noticed that I started that review with a glowing reference to the cover too! Oh well. Just have to hope that the third book in the series gets given a gorgeous cover too!


  1. Wow, that is quite a review! Gorgeous cover, interesting sounding story, and a video of Paris. Well done! Pam

  2. I gave it 4 stars too, the cover is a stunner and I loved the Parisienne setting. Ending was a killer!! Thanks for including the video link, the La Sainte-Chappelle one is just beautiful. Going to check out the others

    1. Isn't the La Saint-Chappelle gorgeous! Totally would go and visit if I was heading to Paris any time soon.

  3. I love that you start off by talking about the cover--since I was admiring how beautiful it was before I even began reading. :-) I am glad you enjoyed this book, Marg. I need to add this one and the first to my wish list. I seem to be drawn to books like this these days. It sounds like something I'd really enjoy.

  4. Okay. So I just bought the two books. LOL

  5. This is another series that I find very interesting. I am kind of tired of vampires and werewolves in paranormal suspense (unless it's A Discovery of Witches) and the idea of a man who can die over and over again is very interesting to me. I am wondering if I should pull the trigger now, or wait for the last book in the series to become available? Decisions,decisions. Thanks for the excellent review today, Marg!

  6. Amy Plum does have beautiful book covers! What a lovely book trailer too... i don't often find them too engaging but this one is great. Love the Paris setting.

  7. I didn't mind the first one in this series (a surprise, as I'm usually not a fan of paranormal romance, and the title really put me off), and I'm quite looking forward to this one. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

  8. I take notice of book covers too, Marg, and I feel cheated when they use those boring stock photos that usually have nothing to do with the story at all. The cover on this one is particularly striking, with that sense of being drawn in towards the light.