“Heroes, I’ve learned, don’t always wear white. Sometimes they come from the darkness, shadows among shadows.”
But a century of distrust and suspicion can’t be so easily forgotten and threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman’s cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: A child who is both Psy…and changeling.
To find the lost, protect the vulnerable—and save Trinity—no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst?
Spoilers are either written with white or hidden (click on SHOW/HIDE button).
Minor spoilers - that will not ruin the reading experience - for the previous novels.
Lately, I've been very afraid of series finals, because so many have ended up not living up to my expectations and ruining the whole reading experience for me. That said, I was pretty confident going into Allegiance of Honor, as I had read tons of reviews and was sure I knew what to expect. Boy, was I wrong!
Here's what I knew for sure about this novel prior to picking it up:
- Nalini didn't only write this to close off the first part of the series, but also in preparation for a second plot arc, and so I knew that not everything would be neatly closed and/or new things might be brought up.
- Nearly every character who'd had a more important role in the previous books would appear in Allegiance of Honor in some way or form.
- The book would concentrate more on the characters and where they'd gotten since their novels than on an actual plot.
AND I WAS FULLY OKAY WITH ALL THAT.
More than that, I was ecstatic about getting a whole novel that, I'd heard, pleased fans of the series, and was a delightful addition to the incredible journey we'd gone through in the previous 14 books.
Well, mark me disappointed, because Allegiance of Honor did not deliver. At all. But maybe I had too many expectations??? Was I asking for too much??? I honestly don't know, but to try to understand what went wrong for me, I decided to write down my expectations/hopes and what I actually got from this books.
my expectations vs. the cold reality
- Equal parts to all the more important characters would have been the BEST THING EVER. However, as that was, realistically, a terribly big and impossible thing to ask of the author, I was hoping for around a chapter long part for all the characters who've their own book - less (or just a more detailed mention) for those who haven't got a book. INSTEAD some of the characters had way more parts than others. I get that it's more than hard to include that many characters equally in ONE novel, but I felt like Sascha and Lucas took most of the spotlight?? Not that I dislike them, but I couldn't help being a bit bored by the story constantly going back to them doing NOTHING SPECIAL, while other couples didn't even have ONE SCENE together.
- Aden is the one keeping Trinity together, he's the one who fucking came up with it. Logically, in a novel about Trinity, he'd be present many times, INSTEAD he was barely in the novel. No, he's not my favorite, but Trinity is really important to him. TO EVERYONE, NOT JUST LUCAS AND SASCHA.
- I expected most of the loose ends to be wrapped up, INSTEAD most things are not solved. The world is in no better place than it was in the 14th book, I feel like as if literally nothing was changed in Allegiance of honor. I don't even care about the Consortium - fact is that (s)he's super-smart, so obviously, it wouldn't be easy to get him/her. BUT WHAT ABOUT MING??? I don't think I'm the only one who has been waiting for him to drop dead ever since seeing what he did to the Arrows, aka his own fucking people! And then the shit he pulled with Sienna?? I get that things don't always work out, BUT HE DESERVED TO DIE FROM THE BEGINNING. But alright, let's assume that - at that time - he was a necessary part of the world, plus that SnowDancer won't just forget about murdering him. But to let him be part of Trinity???? Even having a SMALL part in it is too much. BUT ALRIGHT, let's say that's necessary, as well, and won't matter when he's killed one day. But to not include the chat Sienna and Hawke and other SnowDancers had about the issue, nor the Arrows' decision?? Only Lucas and Sacha's POV... which doesn't matter one bit, because Ming's never hurt them like he hurt Sienna and the Arrows???This all makes me feel like this novel was for no reason - it sure as hell didn't give me a satisfying conclusion.
- I hoped for either an interesting plot OR super-cute moments with all the couples. Obviously, neither happened. INSTEAD, the story dragged and I just wasn't into it like before. The water based changelings' story line felt unnecessary, especially because, yet again, I feel like it wasn't solved only ONE of their many missing was found! I felt like this story line was also kinda in conflict with the ending??? If the Consortium is SO SMART, than why would (s)he let one of his people open a fucking torture chamber next to a changeling pack?? Or maybe (s)he didn't have control over that??
Funnily enough, I actually do enjoy series that don't solve EVERY problem - that's realistic, that's life. But in a 15 novels long series, I'd expect more of an epic closure... or if not that, then no closure at all. In this form, I found Allegiance of Honor an unnecessary sequel. Sure, there were some delightful parts, like Xavier's story, but overall, it did not deliver.
All that said I adore Nalini's novels and would a 100% recommend this series. Her books are cute, sexy, exciting and fun to read - so much so that even her longer books feel like quick reads - the pages fly by so easily.
Have any series conclusions disappointed you lately? For me, lately, most conclusions I've read ended up not living up to the previous novels in the series.
SO MAYBE I HAVE TOO MANY EXPECTATIONS??
The story idea: 3/5
The realization of the story: 3/5
The characters: 4/5
The cover: 3.5/5
Enjoy factor: 3/5