I’ve always felt the real measure of a writer’s ability is shown by how they handle endings. The ending of a book is tricky enough, but that becomes multiplied when a series is at stake. Maybe I’m pickier than most, but I’m very frequently disappointed in series endings (glares at Mockingjay and Deathly Hallows, prepares for inevitable disappointment at the end-if it ever comes- of Song of Ice and Fire). So I approached the final book of the Cursed series with some trepidation. I was pretty sure it would be good, since Demon’s Daughter and Dark Divinity (reviewed by me here and here) were both awesome, but I just couldn’t picture how Damnation’s Door would tie it all up in a satisfactory way. Okay, I won’t leave you in suspense any longer- IT DID!! Whew.
Damnation’s Door picks up where Dark Divinity left off. Constance has succeeded in closing the Heaven Gate, a necessary evil, and one that leaves all angels on earth with the loss of their immortality. Constance needs those angels as allies, but they’re-understandably-not feeling terribly friendly toward her. The previous two books effectively established the antagonists of Drake and Mateo, and of course the big guy, Lucifer himself. Taking on a fearsome bounty hunter and Mexican druglord is a tall enough order for a young woman, but the Prince of Darkness himself? That seems like a hopeless task, and much as I believed in Con’s determination and awesomeness, I feared a tragic ending to this tale.
MILD SPOILERS AHEAD:
Let’s just say, it came really close to tragedy, and there is a particularly painful loss near the end. Even though I was expecting it, the very hardest part was Dro’s gradual migration away from Con. It was heartbreaking, and I worried Con wouldn’t be able to carry on But one of the joys of this whole story is her little team of Sephiel, Max and Warrick. By now, her romance with Warrick is full-blown, and he provides support she hasn’t had before. And the other two are equally determined, which makes it possible for Con to carry on in the face of some severe setbacks.
I love Braun’s portrayal of Ciudad Juarez as the whole place goes- literally- to hell. The horcrux-like fragments added another interesting twist to a plot that was already moving at an incredible pace. The whole trilogy is seriously action-packed, and Braun writes the most amazing action scenes. Somehow, she manages to make them plausible and detailed without slowing things down at all. And characterization and description is never sacrificed to the rapid pace
And yes, in case you’re wondering, the ending is satisfying and perfect. There is tragedy, but everything is resolved plausibly during an incredibly dramatic final action sequence. So if you’re one of those people who hesitates to start a series because you’ll have to wait for further installments, or risk an unenjoyable ending, hesitate no longer. Once you start these books, you won’t be able to put them down, I promise!