I’ve spent most of this last week in a state of aggravation, having finished VE Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows. This is the very excellent sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic. I read it in a couple of days flat near the end of a holiday, and the conclusion was VERY stressful. As in, one main character has been trapped and stripped of his magic (leaving him in a seemingly inescapable pickle), another one is dying, and the other is about to do something REALLY stupid. The destruction of a world is on the cards as well.
The good news is that I only have to wait five months before the final instalment in the series is released. The bad news is that I have to wait five months. Here are some other books with cliff-hangers that left me reeling (there are spoilers):
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch – I loved The Lies of Locke Lamora, and then its sequel threw in pirates. Pirates! I was extremely thrilled. Then Locke, our quick-talking, scheming, and occasionally noble protagonist, goes and gets himself poisoned. Well, he was poisoned at the start of the book, but there was an antidote, and a plan that was going quite well for a while, until it wasn’t. Prognosis: unavoidable and unpleasant death. Yikes!
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – This I read years ago but don’t own, which feels like a mistake. I spent the entire series chewing on my fingernails, partly because of the dangers pursuing Todd and Viola, and partly because of the awful decisions they make. However, the first book’s final pages were distressing. Viola is shot, and Todd staggers with her into the Haven they have struggled towards for the entire novel… only to find the bad guy waiting for them, with everyone completely in his power. Good thing the sequel was readily available (not that matters improved for ANYONE).
The Last Shot by Michael Adams – This is the second book of a YA trilogy set in and around Sydney (hurrah #OzYA!). The apocalypse arrived in The Last Girl, in a moment called The Snap, after which everybody could hear everybody else’s thoughts. The results were catastrophic – and that’s before mass comas and mind control were added to the mix. ‘The Last Shot’ ramps up the tension, is terrifically paced, and ends with our heroine pointing a gun at someone she loves very much. OH BOY. If you’d like to know more about the series, my interview with its author is online here.
Just thinking about these has left me stressed! I was going to ask for your favourite (least favourite?) cliff-hangers, but let’s skip that.