The final book in the Metamorphoses trilogy follows Tally, Aurora’s daughter, abandoned by her and raised by the narrator from All Our Pretty Songs and the narrator’s friends.
Spoilers for the series ending:
Aspiring astronomer Tally runs off to the West Coast to find out who her father is, and instead finds out her mother’s dark fate. She’s also running away from the awkward situation of having slept with her best friend Shane, and finds a very different romantic relationship with a girl called Maddy, who may just be an immortal Medea.
There were several things I didn’t like about this book. First and foremost, the consequences of Maddy being Medea felt tame. This is the woman who murdered her own children to get back at someone whom she had loved and been betrayed by– there wasn’t sufficient horror, sufficient danger; sufficient tension. Yeah, Medea has mellowed into Maddy and is trying to forget her past– but that past doesn’t catch up with her enough. There isn’t enough consequence to such a momentous revelation.
Secondly, because Tally spends a lot of the book not able to remember her goals due to magical interference, the book got kind of frustrating as I waited for her to remember to ask the questions I wanted answers to. The forgetfulness also made Tally a bit of a passive character, pushed around by forces beyond her control.
There were also little things– I didn’t believe that a girl who was mixed like me (in Tally’s case actually 3/4ths white) would think of “white people” as an outside group to be thought of disparagingly. But that’s just my personal experience, and I know some people will disagree. Also I lost a bit of sympathy for Tally, of all silly things, because she disdains Harry Potter but calls Aurora’s friend and her guardian “Aunt Beast” after A Wrinkle in Time. Now there’s nothing wrong with A Wrinkle in Time, but in my opinion, it gets too much attention compared to L’Engle’s other and better books. I’m a The Young Unicorns girl myself.
On the good side, there were absolutely consequences to the events of the previous books, and redemption alongside them. Maia and Cass regain their friendship (and more? we don’t know) and live together, though Maia is forever changed by her long period of drug abuse. The narrator of All Our Pretty Songs and her ex-boyfriend also get, thanks to Tally, a second chance, but Aurora remains trapped in the underworld– largely because she sacrificed any chance of escape to get Tally out.
We also get some resolution for the character of Minos, the judge of the dead– Mr. M in this book. I won’t spoil this, but he remains a tragic figure.
I’m glad I read this book to find out what happened, but it’s not my favorite of the series.