*This review may contain spoilers for those who haven't read the previous books in the series. I will do my best to minimize spoilers, but at this point, they're inevitable.
Another beloved series has come to an end. I've enjoyed Aprilynne Pike's Wings series, and Destined was definitely my favorite!
The previous book in the series, Illusions, left readers with one of the worst cliff-hangers in literary history, so Destined had a great start, just when things began to heat up. What Laurel and her friends just discovered about Yuki could threaten all of Avalon with power alone, but it only gets more complicated since Klea is involved. Throughout their story, Klea has proved time and time again to be anything but good, and now her connection with Yuki and the trolls is clear. Laurel and her friends know they must save Avalon from the terrible things to come, even though they don't always know how.
This faerie story just got darker.
However, everything I enjoyed from the first books is still there. The innocence of the characters is still evident as they face a situation significantly more sinister than in the rest of the novels. In my reviews of Wings, Spells, and Illusions, I mentioned the sense of innocence as one of my favorite elements, and I'm so happy that this element didn't disappear when things became more corrupt.
In response to the lighter tone between characters, friendship still seems to be the main focus amongst relationships though there are still romantic factors, which is something I truly appreciate. I oftentimes feel like the importance of a boyfriend overrides the importance of friends in books. And since the love triangle fell out of focus in Destined, I had more room in my heart for these characters. Another thing that made me happy? Laurel is so honest with her parents. I feel like so many YA protagonists are always lying, and I've never been fond of it.
But even though the characters kept the story feeling familiar, they do grow, and Destined is very, very, VERY different than the rest of the series. It's much more action-packed and full of emotion. Seriously, I cried at the end. Since when does this series ever make me cry!? I'm almost made at Aprilynne Pike for making the ending as realistic as it was, tugging my heart strings as I kept the pages turning.
Hence, Aprilynne Pike should be proud. This is one of the best finales in any series I've read, and I never expected it to take this sort of turn. I basically loved everything about it: The plot, the setting, the characters... It all became more complex with an enemy more sinister than I imagined, but everything I liked about the other books was there, too. The combination was perfect.
I'm sad it's over. I actally feel a little naseous thinking about it, but I know I'll reread these books someday, though it'll be hard to keep the bittersweet ending out of my head, making me sad.
Staying away from Avalon for too long probably won't be possible.