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If I Should Die

If I Should Die

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If I Should Die

ratings:
4.5/5 (46 ratings)
Length:
406 pages
6 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Sep 1, 2006
ISBN:
9780062209245
Format:
Book

Description

If I Should Die delivers a stunning, deeply satisfying conclusion to the international bestselling Die for Me trilogy by Amy Plum.
 
Kate is devastated. Her boyfriend Vincent is a revenant who waited lifetimes to find her. But once he did their future together was shattered almost immediately. They were betrayed by their trusted ally, Violette. She killed Vincent and destroyed his body so that he could not be reanimated.
 
Now Vincent is doomed to roam the earth as a spirit. But Kate isn’t willing to accept life without her true love. She’ll risk anything to save him, even as Violette, their friend-turned-enemy, begins to wage a war to rule over France’s Immortals.
 
Amy Plum created an intricate, original mythology for her YA paranormal series. The books, set in Paris, the City of Lights, introduce readers to revenants, undead beings who must sacrifice themselves again and again to save the lives of strangers.
 

Publisher:
Released:
Sep 1, 2006
ISBN:
9780062209245
Format:
Book

About the author

Amy Plum is the international bestselling author of the Dreamfall series, the Die for Me series, and the After the End series. She spent her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama, her twenties in Chicago and Paris, and several more years in London, New York, and the Loire Valley. Now she lives in Paris and swears she’ll never move again. You can visit Amy online at www.amyplumbooks.com.


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Inside the book

Top quotes

  • I just see how Vincent anticipates your every de-sire and tries to make it come true for you. How, when he sees you walk into a room, it’s like he’s transformed into this person who is bigger and better than the one he was just min-utes before.

  • I heard Vincent’s words. I would give anything to hold you right now.“Me too,” I whispered. Sadness crushed me as, once more, I realized that touching Vincent was something that would never hap-pen again. I wrapped my arms protectively around myself.

  • How many times have you seen me naked?” It was something I’d always wondered but never had the chance to ask.I’m a gentleman—Vincent said—not a stalker. I always let you know when I’m in the room.“How many times?” I in-sisted.

  • VERY WELL DONE,” ARTHUR SAID AS HIS SWORD clattered to the armory floor. Georgia smiled and, placing one hand on her hip, circled her sword in a victorious flourish, causing Arthur to duck to avoid grievous bodily injury.

  • You act like someone just died.” Another sob bubbled up from my chest, and I covered my mouth with my hand to stop myself from full-out weeping all over again.

Book Preview

If I Should Die - Amy Plum

Publisher

PART I

ONE

IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT I SAT ON A BRIDGE SPANNING the Seine, watching a bouquet of crushed white lilies float toward the spotlit Eiffel Tower. I strained to listen for the words I thought I’d just heard. The words of a dead boy—of my boyfriend’s ghost. I could have sworn he spoke to me a second ago. Which was impossible.

But there they were again—his words appearing once more in my mind, the two syllables cutting me as sharply as a whip crack.

Mon ange.

My heart hammered. Vincent? Is that really you? I asked with a trembling voice.

Kate, can you hear me?

Vincent, you’re volant. Violette hasn’t destroyed you! I leapt to my feet and spun around, searching anxiously for a glimpse of him, though I knew there would be nothing to see. I stood alone on the Pont des Arts. The surface of the water rippled and moved beneath me like the back of a great, dark serpent—the twinkling lights on the riverbanks reflected in its writhing smoothness. I shivered and pulled my coat tighter around myself.

No. She hasn’t destroyed my corpse . . . yet.

Oh my God, Vincent, I was sure she had done it. I wiped a tear from my cheek before a flood of others followed. Just moments earlier, I had given up all hope of ever hearing from him again. I had been positive that he was gone forever, his body burned by his enemy. But here he was. I didn’t understand. I choked back tears.

Kate. Breathe, Vincent insisted.

I exhaled slowly. I can’t believe you’re here, talking to me. Where are you? Where did she take your body?

I’m lying dormant in Violette’s castle in the Loire Valley. I only became conscious a few minutes ago. As soon as I figured out what she was doing, I came to you. Vincent’s words sounded bleak. Hopeless.

My hands shook as I whipped my phone out of my pocket. Tell me exactly where you are. I’m calling Ambrose—he’ll get a group together and we’ll be right there.

It’s too late for a rescue, Kate. Violette has been waiting for my mind to awake, and now that I’m volant, she will burn my body. When I left, some of her henchmen were stoking a fire while she performed some kind of ancient ritual she claimed would bind my spirit to her once I’m reduced to ashes. I only have a few minutes, and I want to spend them with you.

It’s never too late, I insisted. We could try to stop whatever it is that Violette’s doing. I’m sure your kindred could come up with some kind of distraction. We have to try. Why was Vincent giving up so easily?

Kate. Stop, he pleaded. Please don’t waste the little time I have trying to call Ambrose when there is no way that you can reach me in time. There is no way, believe me.

The force in his voice made me hesitate, but I kept staring at my phone as a lump formed in my throat. If I couldn’t do anything, it meant that all was lost. My initial shock was being overtaken by an icy shawl of realization: The boy I loved was minutes away from being burned on a pyre. No! I cried, willing the horror to go away.

Vincent was silent, allowing the truth to sink in. I was losing my love—forever. If Vincent’s body was destroyed, I would never touch him again. Never feel his mouth against mine. Never hold him in my arms.

But he won’t be completely gone. Will he? I had to make sure. My voice came out in a strangled croak. "At least you’re volant, right? If Violette had burned you before your mind awoke, you would be gone forever—body and spirit."

I wish she had. Vincent’s words were bitter. She said she needed my spirit present in order to perform the power transfer. A few seconds passed before I heard his voice again. I think I’d rather be nonexistent than help Violette become powerful enough to destroy my kindred.

I didn’t agree. Vincent still existed, even if his body didn’t. The boy I loved so desperately hadn’t completely disappeared. That’s something, I thought, feeling a glimmer of hope. And then I remembered, I will never see him. Or feel his skin against mine as we touch hands. Lips. Never again. And the hope disappeared.

Fury fought despair inside me. Why did it have to be you? I asked. Why are you the one with the power she’s ready to kill for?

If it wasn’t me, it would be someone else.

I wish it were someone else, I said selfishly. "I want you to live." But I knew Vincent wouldn’t agree. His whole existence was about sacrificing himself for others. He would give himself in a heartbeat to save one of his kindred.

I looked out over the rippling water and imagined Vincent materializing before me. The soft black of his hair. The sapphire flash of his dark eyes. His tall, solid frame. Vincent’s phantom hung suspended over the waves for a moment, glimmering transparently in the moonlight, before dissolving back into my mind’s eye.

I don’t want to watch her burn my body.

There was fear in his voice. Vincent had experienced many violent deaths, but this end was final. I wanted to take his hand. I wanted to touch him. Comfort him. But all I had were words. Then don’t go back. Stay here with me until the end. I tried to sound brave, but I was trembling.

I love you. I spoke the words, while silently urging myself not to cry. The last thing Vincent needed right now was to see me mourn him.

You are my life, Kate. I have been fighting my destiny to be with you, and after all that struggle I find myself powerless; I can’t stop Violette.

I didn’t respond. Because if I did, I would scream. My heart felt like it was being wrenched from my chest as Vincent was being separated from me for eternity. The boy who I had given so much to love—who I had gone against my sense of self-preservation to be with—was being taken away from me by a megalomaniac adolescent, and there wasn’t a thing anyone could do about it. I couldn’t hold it back: I began crying again. But not from sadness. My tears were tears of impotent fury.

Will you pass a message on to Jean-Baptiste and the others for me?

Of course, I gasped, trying to speak around the boulder of hatred lodged in my throat.

Remind them that since I didn’t offer myself voluntarily to Violette, she will not receive my full power. That’s the only ray of hope I can see.

Apologize to JB for me. For my disbelief, he continued. I wish I had figured out what all of this meant while I still had a chance.

Yes. I’ll tell them. My breath made little puffs of cloud in the frigid air. I rubbed my hands briskly on my arms. Leaping down off the end of the bridge, I strode swiftly in the direction of La Maison, knowing that Vincent’s spirit would accompany me. Even if it was too late to save him, I had to tell the others what was going on.

Kate, I want you to know that I awoke the first time I saw you.

I had managed to pull myself together in order to carry out the monumental task of putting one foot in front of the other, but a declaration of love from the boy I was about to lose was too much for me. Tears blurred my vision as he continued.

Something inside me that had been still and silent since my first death all of a sudden sparked and began to live again. I knew there was something different about you, and I had to find out what it was.

When was the first time you saw me? I asked, trying to distract myself—to keep myself from breaking down right then and there on the riverbank. Are you talking about the Café Sainte-Lucie?

No. He laughed. I had seen you around our neighborhood—long before the café. We kept crossing paths for weeks before you actually noticed me. And I couldn’t help wondering who you were and why you were so tortured—so mournful. I kept hoping your sister or your grandparents would say your name. We just called you the sad girl.

Who is ‘we’? I asked, my pace slowing.

Ambrose, Jules, and me.

Then they must have recognized me that first day in the café, I said, surprised by this new perspective on our story.

His silence was an affirmation. You’ve intrigued me from the very beginning. And you still do. You’re different. I wanted to spend the rest of your life discovering who you were. But now . . . His words dissolved and then reappeared with renewed determination.

Kate, I promise I will find a way to get away from Violette and come back to you. Even if it’s too late for us, I want you to know I will always be near. I’ll always be watching out for you.

Stunned, I froze mid-step. What do you mean, ‘too late for us’? I asked, feeling like I had been punched in the gut.

Kate, in a few minutes my body will no longer exist. From now on, the only thing I can do for you is try to keep you safe. A human and a revenant—that was a difficult enough challenge. But a human and a ghost? Mon amour, I would never wish that for . . .

And that was it. Those were the last words Vincent spoke to me before he was gone, leaving me alone on a riverbank with nothing but the whistling of the winter wind.

TWO

AS I RAN, IT SEEMED THAT THE RIVER WAS RISING up above its banks and invisible waves were lapping at my ankles. Within seconds I felt as if I were moving underwater, battling a powerful current as I fought to propel myself toward La Maison.

Finally I was typing in the digicode and flying through the gate. My stomach twisted with nausea as I threw the door open and looked wildly around.

Gaspard and Arthur were coming down the staircase peering at the pages of a large book held between them. They stopped when they saw me. Shoving the book at Arthur, the older revenant rushed down the steps and took me by the shoulders. What is it, Kate? he asked.

Vincent, I gasped, fighting to catch my breath. He came to me. But now he’s gone.

Gone where? he urged.

Burned, I blurted. He awoke, came to me volant, and said Violette was about to burn him. And then his voice just disappeared.

Gaspard looped my arm through his, grasping my hand securely. Get everyone together, he commanded. Arthur was off like a shot, calling together the few dozen Parisian kindred who had gathered at La Maison to wait for news of Vincent’s whereabouts.

Gaspard led me through the sitting room and into the great hall. Your hands are like ice, my dear, he said, seating me in front of the crackling fire and draping a woolen throw around my shoulders.

Even with the radiant heat and warm blanket, I couldn’t stop shaking. The flames made me think of another blaze that was burning a few hours south of us. Flames that had taken Vincent away from me—permanently.

I heard footsteps rushing up behind me and found myself enveloped in a couple hundred pounds of muscle. Katie-Lou, are you okay? Ambrose asked, his voice harsh with protectiveness. Leaning away, he searched my face. I shook my head numbly and he wrapped me back in his arms.

I stayed mummified against him for the next few minutes while everyone assembled. Jean-Baptiste perched on a wooden stool before the fire, Gaspard stood by his side, and Arthur positioned himself in front of me on the rug. The rest of the revenants fanned out around us, all eyes focused on me. They fell silent as I cleared my throat to keep my voice from trembling.

I told them that Nicolas had followed me to the Pont des Arts to deliver Violette’s message: She had taken Vincent’s body to her castle in the Loire and would destroy it when she saw fit. And he had informed me of the reason the numa trusted Violette in the first place: She had convinced their chief, Lucien, that she held the secret to capturing the Champion’s power and promised to use it against the bardia.

After giving them the message Vincent asked me to relay, I concluded: And that was all. His voice just cut off like that, in the middle of talking. Let them believe his message to his kindred were his last words, I thought. His true last words were too personal—not to mention painful—to share.

There was a second of horrified silence before the room erupted. Ambrose dropped me from his bear hug, rose to his feet, and added his voice to the others. Well, what are we waiting for, people? Let’s go storm the castle!

Jean-Baptiste shook his head gravely, raising his voice to be heard above the crowd. It’s too late. His voice quieted the noisy crowd as effectively as a spoon against a wineglass. Vincent will be ashes by the time we arrive, his spirit bound to Violette.

"What does that even mean, being bound?" Ambrose asked, nestling back next to me. As usual, everyone turned to Gaspard for an explanation.

Now that the commotion had died down, he was back to his tic-y nervous self. He fidgeted with his shirt collar and raised a trembling finger, his wild hair forming an inky halo around his head.

A wandering soul—a revenant soul that has no remaining body—is a rare enough thing, he began. "When our enemies succeed in killing us, they destroy our body immediately, and our soul disappears with it. They would have no reason to wait until we are volant to destroy us—trapping us as wandering souls—except perhaps in a case of vengeance against a particular revenant.

"But a wandering soul being bound to its captor is so rare that I can think of no examples from recent history. Which is understandable considering the extreme personal sacrifice a numa must make to successfully perform a binding." Gaspard grimaced.

Extreme personal sacrifice? I asked, something catching in my throat. His revolted expression was creeping me out.

He was silent for a few unnerving seconds, choosing his words, and said, They must incinerate a part of themselves with the body of the one they are binding.

What do you mean? Like their hair or fingernails? My nose wrinkled in disgust.

No, it must be flesh and bone, Gaspard said.

Eww, I thought, recoiling from the grotesque image this brought to mind.

That’s not much of a sacrifice, Ambrose said from next to me. Whatever Violette lops off, it’s just going to grow back next time she’s dormant.

The older revenant shook his head. "Besides the pain involved in the ‘lopping,’ as you put it, that is the sacrifice: The body part of the numa burned with the revenant corpse disappears forever. In the case of a binding, there is no regeneration."

I leaned closer to Ambrose, fighting the sickened numbness that spread through me. Violette was going to sever a part of her own body in order to bind Vincent’s spirit? I knew she had killed him to get his powers. But permanently mutilating herself? Centuries of serving a fate she didn’t choose seemed to have cost the ancient revenant her sanity.

I’ll ask him for you, said Ambrose under his breath, and then speaking up said, Jules wants to know if being bound to Violette means Vincent must obey her.

I hadn’t been aware that Jules was with us until then, but knowing he was near, I felt comforted. If the only reason Violette needs Vincent’s spirit is for transfer of the Champion’s power, Gaspard responded, we can hope she will release him once she achieves her goal. But even if she chooses to keep him bound, a wandering soul cannot be forced to act against its will.

Arthur spoke up. I beg to disagree, he said apologetically. "There are historical examples of coercion."

For example? Jean-Baptiste insisted.

There is the account from our Italian kindred that dates back to the Renaissance, Arthur stated. A numa chief killed a newly formed bardia and bound her volant spirit to him by incinerating his left hand with her corpse. He manipulated her into serving his will by threatening to kill her still-living human family, and became extremely powerful through the strength of his spirit-slave.

Then it’s a good thing that Vin doesn’t have any human family left, said Ambrose with a note of triumph. No mortal bargaining chips for our Evil Empress to use against . . . Realizing what he was saying, he stopped talking and lowered his face to his hands.

He didn’t even look at me. He didn’t have to. Because everyone else was.

THREE

VIOLETTE USING . . . A HUMAN WHO IS DEAR TO him—Gaspard avoided my eyes—to blackmail Vincent is, as one would say in modern parlance, quite a long shot. She may not be aware of this ancient story. And even if she is, once she absorbs his power I doubt she will need the servitude of a much-weakened revenant spirit.

His words were meant to comfort me. And they did, to an extent. What he said was rational. But Violette had already used me once to get to Vincent. The thought that she might use me again—this time forcing Vincent to act against his will—was unbearable.

Jean-Baptiste turned to address the crowd. His ramrod-straight posture, chest puffed out and hands behind his back, recalled the Napoleonic military leader he had been centuries earlier. That’s enough talk of hypothetical situations. One of our kindred—my very own second—has been corporeally destroyed. We must act now to save his spirit and to stop Violette from achieving her plans.

With that, he began organizing everyone. Arthur was appointed to lead a contingent to Violette’s castle in Langeais. He had lived there for centuries, and could effectively hide a group of spies to keep tabs on Violette’s movements. Since Jules was volant, he was to accompany them, enter the castle, and try to contact Vincent’s spirit. And Ambrose was placed in charge of defensive strategy against the numa remaining in Paris. To begin, JB asked him, could you please see Kate safely home?

Home? I leapt from the couch to face the revenant leader. No! I want to help. There has to be something I can do.

Jean-Baptiste read my expression. Kate, my dear, I am not being condescending—I’m being realistic. There is nothing you can do at this time of the night except go home, sleep, and be ready for any updates we have in the morning.

I eyed him skeptically, but he seemed sincere—it wasn’t a case of talking down to the weak, powerless human. But I didn’t agree with him. There was something I could do. Someone I could talk to who might have valuable information about what was happening. And the more informed I was, the more capable I would be to help Vincent.

As JB moved to address the next group, I asked Ambrose to give me a moment. Sitting with my back to him, I found Bran’s number on my phone. The call went straight to voice mail. Bran, I said, speaking softly, it’s Kate. I exhaled and pressed my eyes closed. Violette told me that her men killed your mother. If that is true, then I am so sorry. But there’s something you can do to help us fight the numa. I need to talk to you. Please call me when you get this message, whatever time of the night. I gave him my number and hung up.

Ambrose was waiting, watching me curiously, but didn’t pry. As I rose, he gave my shoulders a little side squeeze, and I winced. Sorry, little sister, forgot about that cracked collarbone Vi gave you yesterday.

That’s okay, I said, leaning my head on his shoulder as we walked to the door. Pain is actually a good thing. It means I can feel.

Ambrose held my coat for me to slip into. Okay, he responded to someone I couldn’t see, and wrapped his arm cautiously around my shoulders. Jules wants me to tell you not to worry about anything, he said as we walked through the courtyard and out the gate. That Violette has bigger things in mind than using Vincent as her puppet and you as bait.

If that was meant to reassure me, thanks. But the thought of Violette charging up to Paris as a Champion-fueled supernuma doesn’t make me feel much better, I admitted.

We walked in silence down the dark street and across the boulevard Raspail. A church bell chimed twice, two low and mournful notes tolling from far across town. One lone taxi sped past us, the busy boulevard empty this early in the morning. It began to rain in a fine mist, and I snagged my hood to pull it up over my hair. When it flopped back down, I left it. The cold needles of rain felt good against my skin. Another reminder that I could feel. That I, for one, still had a body.

We turned onto my street, and I squinted up at Ambrose as raindrops dotted my eyelashes. I’m not as concerned about Violette manipulating Vincent. That’s just a ‘maybe.’ An ‘if.’ What’s definite is that his body is gone, and he can’t ever get it back. He’s stuck as a—my voice cracked from emotion—ghost for the rest of eternity.

I shuddered and Ambrose tightened his grip. I know, he said, and the note of despair in his voice showed me all the emotion that his face couldn’t. He cocked his head to the side, listened, and then nodded.

What did Jules say? I asked.

He was using language that I couldn’t repeat in front of a proper lady like you, Katie-Lou, he admitted.

About Violette?

Yes.

Good. She deserves it, the evil bitch.

Ambrose laughed and planted a kiss on the top of my head as we stopped in front of my building.

Jules, will you be able to get close enough to talk to Vincent without Violette knowing you’re there? I mean, if he’s attached to her . . . or whatever. I asked the air.

Ambrose listened for a second and then said, He says he’ll do his best. But we’re pretty much clueless about this whole binding thing.

If you do talk to him, just tell him that we’re doing everything we can. And that I’m not giving up on him, I said in the calmest voice I could manage.

Ambrose sighed and, taking my hands in his, stooped to look me in the eye. I know you a bit by now, Katie-Lou. And I know you’ll go insane just waiting around. But Jules and I will keep you updated, I swear. He smiled. Girl, I saw the look on your face when JB told you this, but I have to agree with him. The best thing you can do now is get some sleep so you’ll be ready for whatever happens tomorrow.

His words worked like magic on my spring-loaded nerves, and all of a sudden my anxiety turned to a fatigue so deep that I could have curled right up on my front steps and fallen asleep. Ambrose saw it, and his features flooded with compassion. It’s been a long day, he said. Carefully avoiding my hurt shoulder, he pulled me into a big American bear hug. And thank God for it. Sometimes those French cheek-kisses just weren’t enough.

Releasing me, Ambrose cleared his throat loudly and rubbed his hands together as if he could squish our grief between his palms. Okay, little sis, he said. Call you in the morning. And he was off.

Exhausted, I stumbled up the stairs, my thoughts racing with a million different scenarios of what could be going on in the Loire Valley castle. My stomach clenched painfully as I thought—and then tried not to think—of Vincent’s ghost bound to a freshly mutilated Violette. The image made me sick.

I had to do something. My thoughts returned to Bran. As a guérisseur to the revenants, he was the only one who might know more than the bardia about their arcane rites. He might actually hold the key to what was happening. I’ll call him again in the morning, I thought as I opened the door.

I didn’t realize I was walking straight into an ambush. My sister and grandmother waited in the sitting room: Georgia snorting as she awoke from where she was draped across one of the couches, and Mamie leaping up from her armchair. She took one look at my face and said, Okay, girls. Do you want to tell me what this is about? Georgia, you claim that a stranger beat you up, and, Katya, you come home with red, swollen eyes at two a.m. on a school night.

Ignoring Mamie, Georgia crossed the room in a flash and took me by the wrists. Her bruised face was a rainbow of sickening yellows, reds, and purples, one cheek swollen out of proportion. Did they find him in time? she whispered.

I shook my head. No. And the feelings I had been pushing away since Vincent’s voice disappeared over the river—the despair I kept trying to shove down over the last two hours in order to function, to string my words together and put one foot in front of the other—careened back up to the surface. Oh my God, Georgia. I choked and coughed on my tears as she wrapped me in her arms. He’s gone. He’s really gone. I leaned my head on her shoulder and began to weep.

Let’s go, Mamie said softly, and shooing us both out of the foyer, directed us down the hallway into my bedroom. Still crying, I peeled off my clothes and pulled on some pajamas. And as Mamie and Georgia settled on either side of me on my bed, it felt like we had time-traveled straight back to the previous summer when I had resolved not to see Vincent again: me sobbing; my grandmother and sister comforting. Only this was a million times worse. Last time it was a breakup, heart wrenching but reversible. This time it was a good-bye. It was forever.

I bent over double and sobbed into my folded arms as they rubbed my back and smoothed my hair. When my tears finally slowed, Mamie asked, Are you going to tell me or not?

What have you already told her? I asked Georgia, who was gently massaging her bruised jaw.

All I said was that something bad had happened and we needed to be ready to support you when you got home, she responded, glancing cautiously at my grandmother.

What is it, Katya? Mamie insisted. You act like someone just died. Another sob bubbled up from my chest, and I covered my mouth with my hand to stop myself from full-out weeping all over again. My grandmother’s eyes narrowed in confusion.

We have to tell her, Katie-Bean, Georgia said. Papy knows already. And you’re going to need me and Mamie for support.

Speak, Mamie commanded softly, and I began. At the beginning.

The next half hour was spent revealing the story to my grandmother, slowly and undramatically, for the least possible shock value. Mamie’s expression was wary. She knew I was building up to something bad. But when I got to the point where I discovered what Vincent and his kindred were, she raised her hand to stop me. That’s impossible, she said, as if it were the end of the discussion. You girls have both gone insane if you actually believe something like that.

Papy believes it, Mamie, I said. It was the reason he told me I couldn’t see Vincent again.

He did what? my grandmother exclaimed. When did this happen?

Yesterday.

She thought for a moment. That must be why he came to bed so late and was up so early this morning. He was avoiding me. I would have been able to tell something was up. My grandmother met my eyes. Surely Antoine didn’t believe a word of it. He’s not even superstitious, for God’s sake!

I took her hand. I know it’s hard to believe. Half the time I feel like I’m living in a really twisted fantasy novel. But, Mamie, try to—I don’t know—suspend your disbelief for now. You can talk to Papy about it later. Just please let me finish.

She did her best not to interrupt again. Yes, yes, I remember. That makes sense now, she said from time to time when I linked the story to something she recognized: my breakup with Vincent (and subsequent makeup); Vincent’s outburst about Lucien at our dinner table.

I tried to skip the part where Vincent possessed me to kill Lucien, but Georgia couldn’t help herself from filling in the blanks—to my grandmother’s horror. By the end her palms were glued to her cheeks and her expression was one of shock and resignation.

And now the . . . numa, is it? she asked. I nodded. They have Vincent’s body?

"They had Vincent’s body. But they burned it."

I got the words out without choking, but tears coursed down my cheeks as I registered the horror in Mamie’s and Georgia’s eyes.

But his spirit still exists? And you can still talk to him? Mamie clarified.

I might be able to if he can get away from Violette.

I always knew she was a depraved munchkin, Georgia muttered, gnawing on a thumbnail.

"What about your evil ex-boyfriend? Mamie scolded her. After the Lucien story, you’ll be lucky if I ever let you date again! She turned to me and sighed. Oh, Katya, I don’t even know what to say."

But you believe me? I asked, watching her face.

I have no choice, other than believing that the two of you are crazy or brainwashed. Or on drugs, she said in a tone that suggested she might prefer one of those options to the alternative. And Antoine knew about this?

Just since yesterday,

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  • (3/5)
    Pretty pretty cover! :) Just noticed it now. And it'll be released on May 2013?! Aw, man. Last book! Can't wait for this one. Wonder what would happen to Vincent. Since in the second book, it was such a cliffhanger...


    Hmmm... If I Should Die is the last book of the trilogy Revenants by Amy Plum. Story was about revenants. Revenants are prettified zombies. Er... The summary is like this, they die to help/save others and then resurrect after a couple of days as long as their bodies are not burned. And of course, there's the Numas. They are the complete opposite of Revenants or the Bardias, they kill people. They murder them in cold blood.

    So then the story in this third book, continued without much of a preamble from the ending of second book. I think it was just days after Vincent was taken by Violet. The Bardias and Numas believed that Vincent is the Champion. The one who'll save them from Numas.

    And Kate, I honestly didn't expect anything from her. I don't expect that she'll be able to save Vincent which leads to me asking for a spoiler about whether Vincent will be back for good in the middle of the book.

    The story is good. But a bit boring at some parts. If I will be asked if I enjoyed reading it the answer would be so-so? lol. I mean I still liked it but I do wished that some parts are not that long. Ending's pretty good. Didn't expect some of the twists. Kate's character evolved, I believe. But as usual, the guy is like "Don't do this or that. I don't want you getting hurt." The usual drama of guys who are a bit overprotective. In Vincent's case, I quite understand why he felt that way.

    Overall, yeah, story's great. But I feel there's something that is lacking. So 3 stars only. And yes, I'm satisfied with the ending.
  • (4/5)
    "Am I okay? Will I ever feel normal again?"—KateThe first time I've seen this book, I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of its cover. The heart-shaped swirl was so goddamn cheesy, and I think it's not really good compared to the first two book. But hell, Amy Plum had made me really curious about the continuation of Kate and Vincent's story I could care less for the cover.If I Should Die begin with Kate as she sat on the river, talking to the volant Vincent, who was minutes from being burned. Desperate to not lose the boy she loved, Kate once again seek help from Bran, the guérisseur who claimed that there was a way to re-animate Vincent's lost body. But when life was lost and the stake became higher, would Kate choose her love, or the survival of the entire Paris?From the plot and the story pacing, this book was really great for me. It started with a conflict, and was really gripping right from the very beginning. The stake was also high and the situation was very dire, and it really helped us to root for Kate.Honestly, when I read this book, I had quite forgotten about who is who and only remember the story in general. But reading the beginning, Amy Plum had neatly summarize what had happened in the previous book on the narration in such a smooth way it didn't feel like an info dump, yet I had no trouble understanding it.One thing I noticed—and loved—from reading this book was its character development. On the first two book, I actually didn't really like Amy Plum's characters and the interesting plot was all that made me keep on reading. In If I Should Die, however, they all showed quite a nice development, especially Kate and Vincent.Kate Mercier, our main character, was shown as a tougher, braver girl than she was previously. And even though she didn't really possessed physical strength, I love that she wouldn't just stand still and act helpless, but rather use her brain to turn the situation somehow. Sure, badass heroine who can jump into action was lovely, but a smart and rational girl was also great to read. I also love that in If I Should Die, Kate's parents—or in her case, grandparents—were not absent, like they usually do in so so many YA novels, but rather played a huge part in making the decisions of Kate's life. It really added a realistic and believable feeling, and also unconsciously, it also helped enhancing the story.Vincent Delacroix, Kate's lover as well as our other main character, in my opinion, was the one who undergo the major characteristic development on this book. I didn't really like him before, because he was just really oh-so-handsome-and-perfectly-ideal and not flawed at all, which made him simply unbelievable. But as the story progress, we actually get to see his soft and human side, that he could cry and feel fear and be threatened as well, while still maintaining his trademark cool demeanor. And I think it really helped on making him more believable and likable.The side character however, such as Jules, Georgia, and Charlotte, were all a little bit flat and two dimensional. They didn't really have any specific characteristic that felt truly 'them', and it kinda hard to connect and relate with them. Some side characters that were memorable and unique enough for me, though, was Ambrose with his trademark funny and easygoing personality. He's always the one with strong characteristic, and he was really believable I could picture him having another life outside the plot.One think I'm not quite fond of this book was Violette, a bardia who changed side and became the numa's leader, becoming Kate and Vincent's main enemy. As our main antagonist and traitor, she was not really brilliant and three-dimensional enough. I mean, I could totally understand her motives for hunting the Champion, but why so obsessed with it if your desire was only to control the numa? If only her desire was backed up with some kind of personal grudge or whatever, I think it would added the realistic feeling—which, in this case, was a bit lacking.Overall, if you've read and loved the first two books of this series, I assure you'll enjoy this one. It has a perfect tension-building, and the characters were getting better than before. If you enjoy reading urban-fantasy and swoony romance, this book might be just what you've been looking for.
  • (4/5)
    This was another rollercoaster ride of emotions, with a nice catharsis that left me all warm and fuzzy. I can not say I enjoyed the end too much because of the slight cheese of continued vilgilance and struggle that is implied, but otherwise it was beautifully done.A new favorite quote of mine is what Vincent tells Kate"My Kate, who was mine, who is no longer mine,becuse she belongs to fate" gives me chilles every time. especially when I read it in French!
  • (4/5)
    This is the final book in the Revenants Trilogy. It was did an excellent job of wrapping up things nicely. I love how we are finally seeing Kate step up and take action. The book starts exactly where the last book left off (at that horrible cliffhanger!). Kate is determined to find a way to save Vincent even though his fate seems sealed. Meanwhile Violette is gathering more and more numa in Paris in preparation for a final war with the good Revenants.The majority of the story is spent with Kate and company trying to find a way to save Vincent’s soul somehow. This was actually really interesting and I enjoyed the crazy magic Bran performed and how everything worked out. However this led to the whole epic battle between the good and bad Revenants being incredibly rushed, I mean seriously the main portion of the battle happens in 20 pages or something like that. So, that was a bit disappointing. There was a lot that happened in the last little bit of the book and it happened so fast that I was like...woah...seriously rushed here.Kate is an excellent character. She continues to give off a “girl-next-door” type of vibe but she has also become more confident and seems to have found her purpose. Her relationship with Vincent is still a bit too lovey dovey for me. People who are huge fans of Kate/Vincent scenes might be a bit disappointed because they don’t get a ton of page space together...there is just too much else going on.The main storyline was resolved well. It is pretty darn predictable, but there are a couple small twists and turns I didn’t see coming. I was hoping for some big surprises but there really weren’t any. That being said it was still a very engaging story. There was more mystery solving in this book as Kate and crew tried to hunt down a way to help Vincent and less action.Although the main storyline was resolved there were a number of side characters with unresolved issues. The main one of these is Jules. He disappears for large portions of the story and seems to have things going on that we never get to hear about. I predict a offshoot of this series featuring Jules sometime in the future.Overall this was a great conclusion to the series. It was entertaining and well written. I enjoyed the mystery behind trying to save Vincent and enjoyed the strong and capable girl Kate has become. I can’t say much else without spoilers, so I won’t. The story was a bit predictable though and the ending did feel pretty rushed. Still, overall I thought this was a creative series and I enjoyed it so I will definitely read more of Amy Plum’s works in the future. This is recommended to fans of YA paranormal books.
  • (4/5)
    My Fast and Furious Take: Amy Plum’s Revenants trilogy comes to a wonderfully satisfying conclusion in If I Should Die. Balancing romance, action and humor, Plum keeps the pace brisk while introducing new characters, expanding the roles of old favorites, and bringing it all together in an action-packed finale that reveals the fates of Kate, Vincent and the entire revenant world. Though not without a few disappointments, If I Should Die was an exciting entry in the series and left me with no questions unanswered. Amy Plum’s revenants take their rightful place among my young adult paranormal favorites.**********************Digging Into the Details: Picking right up from the massive cliffhanger of Until I Die, If I Should Die has Kate and Vincent’s revenant “family” devastated by Vincent’s demise at the hands of the traitorous Violet. With his spirit still bound to the mortal realm, however, efforts soon turn to discovering a way to replace his physical form. Meanwhile, the danger posed by Violet and the numa has never been greater as Violet continues her attempts to absorb the powers of the Champion so she can destroy the bardia forever. The action increases a bit in this final installment of Amy Plum’s trilogy, but romance is still the name of the game. Will Vincent’s spirit find physical form again? If so, will he and Kate be able to live out their lives in peace without the threat of Violet – or Kate’s own mortality – hanging over their heads? Who will triumph and who will fall along the way?Just from the nature of this trilogy, I think you can deduce the answers to most of the above questions on your own. But author Amy Plum threw some interesting touches into the journey to get to those answers, even moving the setting from Paris to New York City for a portion of the tale. There was an opportunity to meet new revenants, such as Theodore Gold from the New York branch and members of the German group that Charles joined in the last book, while familiar secondary characters such as Papy and Mamie took on more prominent roles. Plum also explored the revenant and guerisseur mythologies in more depth, with the rise of the Champion, an expansion of Bran’s role, and the introduction of a young numa named Louis who had a pivotal role to play in the final battle. There was a lot of story to tell, which kept the pace brisk and gripping.Romance remained at the forefront, with the chemistry between Kate and Vincent as strong as ever. It was nice to see the possibility of a happily-ever-after for Charlotte and that the attraction between Arthur and Georgia was right on track; even the Gaspard and Jean-Baptiste relationship was played up more than in the past. Jules’s feelings for Kate were also touched upon a lot more than in the previous two books (although the novella Die For Her really spells that part of the story out). Romantics have plenty to savor and enjoy.There were a couple more action sequences than the previous books, all leading up to an all-out battle at the end that had a couple shockers mixed in. The reveal of the Champion was a wee bit more violent than I anticipated, but it was handled well – even if it wasn’t all that surprising. With the race on to place Vincent’s spirit in an actual body and to thwart Violet’s evil schemes, the tension was ratcheted up while the humor was pulled back. However, Georgia was always good for a laugh with her strategic pursuit of Arthur and her attempts at self-defense. Amy Plum really does an excellent job of keeping all the different elements in balance, moving smoothly between the romance, action and humor.Creating interesting and sympathetic characters is one of Amy Plum’s strengths, and I really enjoyed the way she gave Kate’s grandparents – especially Papy – a more significant role in If I Should Die. After discovering Vincent’s secret in the last book, Papy is totally against Kate getting mixed up in that world. Of course, it’s too late now to pull her back so he has to learn to deal with what her life has become. Soon he is drawn into the revenant world with his intimate knowledge of historical artifacts, and is key to uncovering a necessary component for Vincent’s possible resurrection. I loved the way Plum used the whole Vincent story line to punch up Papy’s role and bring in the new character of Theodore Gold (what Papy is looking for, Gold actually has), even using it to move the action from Paris to New York for a brief period to give a chance for Kate to come to terms with her past so she can look toward her future. It also allowed Plum to explore how the guerisseurs fit into the revenant mythology, by expanding on Bran’s role as a healer and the VictorSeer – the only one with the ability to recognize the Champion. All of this kept the story from sagging in the middle (as stories sometimes do) and really fleshed things out; Plum even managed to throw in a dark secret from the revenant past that had consequences in the present and made everyone look at a beloved character in a new light.I also really liked the new character of Louis, a very young/new numa who shakes up some long-held revenant beliefs and shows there are shades of gray even in the black and white world of bardia vs. numa. With the introduction of Louis and a few other intriguing threads left open, Plum leaves herself some room to revisit the revenant universe in the future if inspiration strikes.A few disappointments, however, kept If I Should Die from being a full five-star review. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the “getting Vincent back” part of things; the journey to get there was very well done and kept the narrative from lagging, but the ceremony itself seemed a bit over the top. I know this is fantasy, but somehow I wasn’t able to completely suspend my disbelief on this point since it basically came out of left field and required additions to the already established revenant mythology. Maybe I was spoiled by Cassandra Clare’s rather brilliant solution to the Jem issue in Clockwork Princess, but I wish Plum had come up with an answer that was already built into the revenant mythology instead of bringing in something new. Other than the Vincent story thread, things played out rather predictably; I would have appreciated a few more twists and turns to leave me gasping. Finally, I’m still unconvinced by the whole Jules loves Kate scenario. There is zero romantic chemistry between the characters, but if it served some higher purpose in the story I wouldn’t be so negative about it. Instead, it feels like it was just an expected plot point (“Oh, it’s a young adult paranormal romance, we must have a second love interest.”) instead of necessary to the story.Other than these nitpicks, however, If I Should Die brings Amy Plum’s Revenant trilogy to a highly satisfying conclusion with its wonderful blend of action and romance. Some live, some die, and a window is left open for a future spin-off if inspiration strikes. For lovers of paranormal romance, this is one trilogy you want on your bookshelf.
  • (4/5)
    I'm really, really sad that this series is over, guys. At least we got a novella in between books 2 and 3, but still. We have closure at the end of this book, and we're given a lot of room to think about what might come next for Kate, Vincent, and everyone else, but I know that I'm still going to be pining for more adventures from Plum in the future. If you want a finale that's got pretty much everything for everyone, I highly suggest you check out the final book in the "Revenants" series, "If I Should Die". Note, there are some spoilers for the previous books in this review, so if you haven't read book 2, you may not want to read this review until after you've read it.So, there is a bit of a predictability factor when it comes to Kate and Vincent's respective fates in the book - which lowered things from an initial 4.5 to 4 stars. But otherwise, this is a really great book in every way. We get a lot of tension from every possible side and every possible person in Kate's life - all of the revenants, her grandparents, her sister, and their enemies. Vincent isn't gone forever (but I won't spoil further on why or how that happens), and Plum digs deeper into the guirsseur/revenant joint history and relations in a very academically fascinating way. And it isn't a tiny part of the book, either - Bran's given a much bigger role compared to book 2, and I was happy to see him get it. We also find out more about how the numa and revenants/bardia split, and how the numa have actually been behind some of the worst pieces of human history (which I felt was a very delicate but awesome touch). The world expands so much with this book, which makes me all the more sad to see the series end.In terms of character development, I feel like Kate develops the most (and grows the most) out of everyone in these three books. Once the reality of how serious Vincent's most recent death sinks in, she really puts on her big girl panties on, which made me really happy. She stood up, took responsibility, and was generally more of a badass. I was most disappointed in Jules - for reasons which I won't disclose here because it's just way too much of a spoiler, but I will say - read the novella, "Die For Her", which is from Jules' POV. And it explains a lot. I like that Plum could have gone into love triangle territory concerning Jules' actions in this book but didn't. Many authors would have done it because it's the easy thing to do, but I'm so glad she didn't. The torture that everyone goes through, the way that Jules' departure (along with the revelations of JB's previous dealings with the numa) really kind of breaks up the family right when they need to be the most united. With Jules, it also leaves some new headcanon space for the fans concerning his feels for Kate, which is always nice.We do get a few new characters in this book - we get our first good look at an American revenant, as well as more of the European bardia that come to save the day with the huge fight that's been brewing since book 2 at the end of the book. I love that Plum didn't overwhelm us with tons of new characters but did choose to show us a few more. I would have liked a few more American bardia included in the mix, as well as other international ones coming to Kate and Vincent's aid for this final battle, but in terms of what I got? I'm pretty happy with it. There's still this sense of incredible paranoia the entire book - can we trust this American revenant? Can we trust our own kindred? Who can we trust at all? - that permeates everything and every encounter, every conversation that everyone has in this book, and I love it when authors can fully do that.Now to the predictability factor: Kate's fate alone? I kind of saw that coming. As for her ultimate role in the numa/bardia war? That caught me quite pleasantly by surprise. I was a bit disappointed that the grandparents didn't fight this fate hard enough - they gave in a bit too easily for my taste, but at least they fought at all. So much of YA the parents/grandparents/guardians are missing or they don't protest what their kids are doing whatsoever unless it's a contemp book about drug/alcohol abuse. The climax fight with Violette feels a bit anticlimactic, but the ending is still really quite good.Overall? There's so much action, there's nary a dull moment and it speeds us to that all-important final battle, which is the most important part of all. I loved it, and I'm going to miss these characters and this world so much. "If I Should Die" is out tomorrow from HarperTeen in North America, so definitely check it out when you get the chance - it's one of my favorites of 2013 so far!(posted to goodreads, shelfari, librarything, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)
  • (4/5)
    This was a satisfying conclusion to the series. My only complaint about the story as a whole is that things have a way of working out just a little too easily. Hence the description of fantasy, I guess. Still, a fun read.
  • (5/5)
    [Wednesday, October 9, 2013] The Parisian Revenants have been betrayed by their trusted ally, Violette. Now Vincent is dead and Violette has destroyed his body so that he cannot reanimated. Refusing to give up on her lover, Kate searches for a way to reincarnate him in time to prevent an all-out war between the Bardia and the Numa.

    I had many assumptions before reading the final book in the revenants series... and I had hopes as well. I am glad to say that all my assumptions were true... but even as they happened as they should, I felt sad.

    Kate's death and turning into a revenant reminded me of Bella turning into a vampire. It's just sad to be undead. To never grow. To never be anything else than what you were made to be.

    I don't know. I'm sure everyone thought it was a happy ending... but to me, I felt it's a sad ending, with so much blood and lose.

    Somewhere around the middle, I wish Vincent with dimension and maybe Kate could be with Jules or even a normal human.

    But all in all, it was a great book, a great series, that I'm sure I will reread again. A must read really for lovers of romance, Paris, life and the afterlife.

    The world Amy has created was so beautiful with all it's laws and creatures. It makes me hoping for a contentions series for the champion and other places like New York and Germany... though I prefer Paris... always :) Salute!
  • (3/5)
    Hmm… I have mixed feelings about this one and I don’t really know what to say. I think this was the weakest book in the series, which is sad since this is the finale…

    There was lot of going on, maybe too much. I haven’t thought Kate to be whiny before but now she spent far too much time pining for him, wanting to hold him etc… I get that she thought she was losing him but still.

    And oh Jules… There were hints before that he loves Kate but he didn’t want to “steal” his best friend’s girl. I was happy that there wouldn’t actually be love triangle. But now? He decides that he has to leave because he can’t be around Kate and Vincent. Really?! Why did you have to make things go that way!

    I did enjoy this but I can’t deny that this was little too predictable at times.
  • (5/5)
    I love, love, love this series! Definitely a favorite.
  • (5/5)
    I really enjoyed this third book in the Revenant series. Although it definitely was a tad predictable, I just really enjoyed the story. I love the world Amy Plum has created for these characters! I love the idea of Paris and like the whole story behind the Revenant.Like I mentioned earlier, I can handle a little bit of predictability. When you read A LOT, things tend to look similar, and stories can't help but be easier to figure out. However, what I don't really like is when things are just too convenient for the characters. Not that I'm saying that nothing bad happens or anything, just that no matter how strange or unique the problem they're facing is, there is always a perfect solution. Also, there was one situation where I just do not believe that a character would do what they did. (And if they hadn't, the problems wouldn't have been fixed so easily.) As I said, I really did enjoy this book. I'm guessing it's the last in the series (could be wrong) and think it was a good way to end the story. I listened to the audio version of this series and highly recommend them! Being able to hear the accents is so much better. :)
  • (5/5)
    I don't know if I'm the only one who does this, but sometimes when the last book in a series I've loved releases, I kind of hesitate to pick it up. Not because I'm not dying to know what happens, but because I don't want it to be over! I like thinking that the series will go on forever. Well, considering a huge chunk of my favorite titles have ended this last year, I should just get over it, but this was one of the worst when it came to putting-it-off-so-it's-not-really-over. Still, I did pick it up, and I loved it. I knew I would. Even though I'd seen the "twist" coming from book one, I still enjoyed it. It probably has something to do with the setting in Paris (I seriously, seriously want to go back to Paris...with Vincent :). Other than the romantic love story, which is just yummy, I particularly love the relationship between Kate and her sister and grandparents. It's so sweet, and rather refreshing actually. Anyhow, I've gushed about this series before, and I definitely recommend picking them up if you get a chance!
  • (5/5)
    The word “incorrigible” was a bit overused... but honestly such a solid trilogy I can’t complain:) If you like this series read the Starcrossed series too!!!
  • (3/5)
    it was ok...