ARC Review: Endless by Amanda Gray

Title: Endless
Author: Amanda Gray
Pages: 384
Genre: YA, science fiction, romance
Series? No
Publisher: Month9Books
Publication Date: October 8, 2013

Synopsis from NetGalley: Jenny knows she’s different. After all, she sees the past lives of people she touches. But when Nikolai, the mysterious boy she painted, shows up claiming to be a love from a past life, Jenny is forced to accept that he has traveled through time to find her. Now, Jenny and Nikolai must fight against the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time. The Order is determined to send Nikolai back. And fighting them could tear Jenny and Nikolai apart — this time for eternity.


Thoughts and RamblingI swear, this is like the fifth book about time travel I’ve read in the last two weeks. Apparently parallel worlds and using the TARDIS is in this fall (sorry, I can’t resist all the Doctor Who references with these books). Sadly, this isn’t the best of the bunch. It was good, just not stunning. Possible Spoilers Ahead.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Endless through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Character BarThere are three main characters that I’ll talk about in this section: Jenny, Nikolai, and Ben.

Jenny: A reincarnation of Maria, one of the Romanov daughters executed in the Bolshevik revolution. She didn’t grab me too much as a main character, and I couldn’t really empathize with her. I felt like she spent a lot of time whining about her gift and subsequent inability to touch peoples’ palms. After she figures out her past life and connection to Nikolai, she drops all of her friends like they were nothing! Even Ben, who is seriously one of the coolest characters I’ve met in a while, and has some major crap that he’s going through and he was practically begging for her friendship in that teen boy way where he doesn’t actually say it but you just know. Ultimately, Jenny was a reliable narrator, but she whined far too much for my taste. and lacked loyalty to her friends.

Nikolai: I enjoyed his character, with the whole “I will protect you until the end of time” schtick, but when I really stepped back after the book and looked at him, I realized that he’s a very flat character. It’s like Gray relies on the readers’ ability to fill in the corners of the archetype, and only gave some snippets to start him off. In the end, he’s really more of an idea rather than a fleshed out character. At least he fulfills his role well.

Ben: With shaggy hair, an eyebrow and lip piercing, and a death glare to end all death glares, Ben isn’t the most likeable character at the beginning of the story. But, just as all of my favorite male characters progress, he started to peel back some of the layers of himself and show a vulnerable boy inside. With his dad in jail after physically abusing Ben’s mom, Ben only wants to protect her, and is haunted by his silence in the middle of the abuse. It’s a compelling backstory, and not heavy-handed in the delivery. It’s revealed one bit at a time, with just the right pacing. And the best part about Ben is that he never feels entitled to Jenny’s romantic interests – he’s a pure, platonic friend, and stays as such through the end of the book.

Concept and PlotThis time travel book had the extra snippet of past lives being involved, and it was an interesting twist to this idea. Although I have one question about the time travel laws: if it’s illegal to jump time and stay there, why are the people in the Order allowed to stay in the not-their-time? It seems a mite hypocritical to me. Politics. Psh.

And then there’s the cynic in me, scoffing at the idea of a love that transcends lifetimes. I just… I don’t know. That whole “I will be with you until the world burns and collapses on itself no matter what comes between us we will be together” thing is just so… Unbelievable. Like I said, cynic.

The plot was really slowly paced. I was seriously at 65% and it was only starting to get into the real meat of the story. The climax wasn’t until about 85% ish, and everything wrapped up really quickly. I understand the need to introduce a story and its characters and build suspense, but after waiting until the 50% mark I quickly became frustrated and impatient. It just seemed so imbalanced, like climbing up a mile high mountain but then realizing that the other side was only an eighth of a mile tall.

Also, the ending was really abrupt. I had invested a lot of time into this book, and then to just be dropped off at the end, not knowing what happens to Nikolai and the Order: it was really disappointing.

Writing StyleNothing to complain about here, but nothing remarkable either. Even though I had problems with the plot and main character, Gray wrote a compelling enough way to keep me reading until the end.

Last ThoughtsIt had potential, but just fell a little flat for me. Ultimately, it’s my beef with Jenny that dragged down the rating – the basic story is really good, and I do recommend it if you have the patience for a slow start!

My Rating

My Rating

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4 thoughts on “ARC Review: Endless by Amanda Gray

  1. Ugh. I hate it when characters do that – just drop all their friends like they weren’t there for her before or anything -__- I’m not so sure about the idea of a love that transcends lifetimes, either; most books I’ve read with this kind of concept I’ve found to really overdo it to the point where it’s just pure cheesiness. I’m glad you found the basic story to be okay! But with a slow pace and so-so characters, and a love like that… hm, I might have to rethink this a little. That’s a gorgeous cover, though – I love the icey tones! Great review 🙂

    Chri @ Fathomless

    • The cover is what drew me in – sneaky little bastard!

      If this was a series, I might have been okay with the ending, but it’s not, and essentially the final word is, “It’s okay that the Order is trying to murder Nikolai and I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again: we’ll be together forever!” I rolled my eyes so hard I saw my brain.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I know this sound prejudiced, but I haven’t been having the best of luck with books published by lesser-known publishers either. I mean, I’m sure they’ve published — and will publish — amazing books, but so far, I haven’t come across them yet, and it’s such a shame that this was no different.

    Jenny: A reincarnation of Maria, one of the Romanov daughters executed in the Bolshevik revolution.” — This immediately pulled me in, because I’ve always been BEYOND fascinated by the Bolshevik revolution (though that may have something to do with the fact that I was a huge fan of The 39 Clues, haha), so again, disappointing that she wasn’t very remarkable. I mean, GIRL, you’re a REINCARNATION. Of someone who was EXECUTED about a century ago, and you turn out to be dull?! Unforgivable! Nah, I’m just kidding. But still. Disappointing.

    It’s like Gray relies on the readers’ ability to fill in the corners of the archetype, and only gave some snippets to start him off.” — I come across these kinds of characters all the time, and sometimes, I take the bait. But once I go into depth about what I REALLY thought of the book, then all the holes begin to show. Meh. Nikolai sounds like your typical overprotective, seemingly likable love interest.

    And haha, you’re not the only cynic! I like calling myself a hopeless romantic, when really, I’m beginning to second guess that title now that my eyes have been opened to some of the romances out there. I find the whole “nothing will be able to get between us” thing pretty unbelievable, too. Not to mention that the characters in this book are teenagers (correct me if I’m wrong), and it’s really fake to see a guy profess his undying love for a girl. It’s sweet, sure, but that kind of thing does NOT happen in your teenage life! Not often, anyway. See? I’m an even worse cynic than you are! 😉

    I kind of crumbled at the slow-paced plot. Any thoughts of me wanting to check out this book immediately vanished. I just don’t have the time and patience to slug through pages and pages to get to the juicy bits. No, sir!

    Thanks for such a detailed and helpful review, Kayla! I always love reading your reviews because they’re so organized — unlike mine. I’m happy that you liked it fair enough, but it’s definitely not something I would go out of my way to read. Not that I have any intention of checking it out…

    • I try not to be prejudiced either, but with Month9Books I’m having a hard time. Both books I’ve read from them weren’t that great – I’m thinking I’ll approach their books with a bit more skepticism from now one.

      I’ll be honest here and admit that the only thing I remember from Russian history is the rampant Hemophilia because of the inter-family marriages xD I had no idea the Romanovs actually existed until I googled it. *was not a history buff in school*

      Nikolai and Jenny were both teenagers (at least I’m pretty sure Jenny was) – it was so unrealistic! And I’ll join the club of cynicism!

      I’m glad you like them! Half the time I worry about rambling too much, but at least someone enjoys it!

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