Until I Die
by Amy Plum (Author)
Until I Die is a sequel Plum’s Die for Me, and picks up with Kate’s dilemma as a mere mortal human, who is in love with the revenant Vincent, an undead being. Theirs is a love that can seemingly never be. And it is upon this axis that the narrative hinges.
Revenants are ex-humans whose fate is to die over and over again for the sake of other humans, whose lives they must save. Why? It is explained somewhere but the reader neither fully understands nor really cares. The crux of the problem is that while Kate ages, Vincent will not. In addition to finding a way to be in love like normal teenagers, Kate and Vincent are busy fighting off revenant enemies, the numa.
While Until I Die is clearly fantasy, there is something rather implausible about the whole thing. Perhaps this is in part due to the excess of clichés within the first-person narrative, which let the fiction down. (“He swooped me up into an eternal hug. I closed my eyes and let his affection soak through me like honey.”) Also, when the narrator is a little too self-involved, the reader invests less in them. This feels like a model that has been tried and tested so many times before with the Twilight series, and subsequent similar series.
As long as there are still teen gothic fantasy novels being written, there will always be an audience to read and appreciate them. Fascinatingly, something about the plot does draw the reader in. Perhaps it is in the strength of the other characters, aside from Kate, who are fairly well drawn. And one has to admire the complex detail of Plum’s fantasy world. The suspenseful ending will guarantee sales for the next instalment, in which Kate is certain to be revealed as the Champion of the revenants herself, securing her an eternal future in Vincent’s arms