Need Series (#3-4) by Carrie Jones
Published between 2010-2012
This series have been a long time coming now – I read the first two books back when they first came out (almost 8 years ago, omg!) so now that I finally had the chance to actually finish the series, I’m not at all surprised how much I have changed as a reader and my expectations have also changed a lot. While I still found the whole pixie thing to be fascinating as well as the other mythical creatures – shape shifters and Norse gods, I found the characters and the plot itself to be a little childish and immature. This definitely included Zara, Nick, Astley, and company.
For Zara, her goodness was, at times, too much to handle. She was always trying to save the world. However, in the third book when she was trying to recover Nick from Valhalla, I found her so incredibly selfish. For someone who was all about peace and whatnot, she was willing to sacrifice so many people just to get him back. Her friends and family, who were behind her in her efforts at first until the body count was going too high, started to discourage her from saving one person by sacrificing many. However, did she listen? No, she still went on and they ended up finding a solution that they could have easily found in the beginning and countless lives would have been saved. It was so idiotic and ridiculous to me.
As for Nick, while I liked him in the first two books, after Zara was turned pixie and did everything she could to save him, he basically turned on her and rejected their love for each other. So not only did Zara sacrifice so many people to get him back, at the end of the day, did they actually have a happy ending? Not really. I just found the whole ordeal to be a waste of time and energy and could have been easily avoided. Honestly, I also found Nick to be quite selfish and he was a bigot to boot. He simply couldn’t look pass the point that not all pixies are bad and was indiscriminately racist against them (or should I say specie-ist) and this included Zara as well.
Astley, the other character in this book, brought out mixed feelings from me. I wasn’t particularly fond of him in the beginning but I think he slowly warmed up to me mainly due to the fact that he actually listened to Zara without trying to tell her to do something or convince her that she was wrong. At the same time, sometimes he encouraged her to do something that she shouldn’t have (i.e. sacrifice people to save Nick). However, I do think that he genuinely cared for her and while the relationship between him and Zara was more subtle, I think it was stronger.
To be honest, I did find the plot to be a little ridiculous at times especially in book three when Zara went on a crazy mission to find how to get Nick back. She looked at every single corner, traveled extensively, sacrificed a lot of people close to her, and at the end of the day, the solution was simple and didn’t end up with anyone dying. Book four also had some crazy aspects to it – the whole building the army thing made sense but how likely was it that no one thought about spreading the news and enlisting help from other places as well. I mean, there is such thing as social media and viral images/videos these days. There were just a ton of little details that I thought the author either skipped or brushed off because she couldn’t figure a way to directly address it.
Overall, the series was just okay – it wasn’t anything special. I lost interest in Zara and the whole good vs evil after a while. It just didn’t stick to me and there are so many better books out there.