Review: Destined by Aprilynne Pike

19 June, 2012 Reviews 13 comments

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Destined by Aprilynne PikeDestined by Aprilynne Pike
Series: Wings #4
Published by HarperTeen on May 1st 2012
Pages: 307
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

Destined delivers all the romance and action that fans expect as it brings Aprilynne Pike’s Wings series to a deeply satisfying conclusion.

Laurel used to think she was an ordinary girl from Crescent City, California. She never would have believed she was truly a faerie from a realm called Avalon.

Now Laurel must risk her life to save Avalon from destruction by Yuki—a rare and powerful Winter faerie—and troll-hunter Klea. But Laurel won’t have to fight alone; David and Tamani, two boys she loves in different ways, will be by her side, along with her best friend, Chelsea.

Readers of the Need and Graceling series will want to follow Laurel’s story from its beginning in Wings to its heart-stopping end in Destined.

Oh, geez this is awkward. I’ve just finished Destined and can’t find a single thing to say about it because it’s not very memorable.

No wait. It’s all coming back to me now. Mmmmmhmmmm. Let me get my glasses for this one.

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Ah, that’s better. And yes, there will be spoilers.

I’ll be honest and admit that the Wings series has been of a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s not the best written book I’ve ever read or the worst for that matter. But it had a level of entertainment that kept me around till the end. At least that’s what I tell myself because as I dove into Destined I just couldn’t help but think how incredibly boring it was. And that greatly disappointed me since I was just looking for a light, fluffy read. Instead I was left with a story cornier than a box of Kellogg’s cereal.

So very, very corny.

So the plot is a simple one. We all knew based on the ending of Illusions that Yuki would eventually escape with Klea and go after Avalon. She also happens to have an entire army of trolls ready to bust the doors down. That leaves David, Laurel, Tamani and Chelsea to race to Avalon and warn everyone. Fantastic. It was a fine beginning with promise. Unfortunately, that promise died when we are introduced to the biggest cop out I’ve read in a long time. Jamison asks David to fight against the trolls using Excalibur. It was truly a Disney movie moment. I knew at that moment it could only go down hill from there.

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“David, with the name of Kings,” Jamison said formally,


“It’s time to discover if you are the hero Laurel has always thought you to be. Will you join us in defending Avalon?”

It seemed that they were *thisclose* to breaking out in song and dance. Then David had his Sword in the Stone moment and was told nothing could hurt him while he wielded Excalibur. And I do mean nothing. If someone were to strike him with a sword, it would conveniently miss him. Or if someone were to shoot him with a gun, the bullets would just drop in front of him. Not even poisonous AIR could harm him.

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David had no previous fighting experience, but all he had to do was swing the sword and trolls would just die on the spot. He went all deus ex machina throughout the entire book.

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And that’s when I lost all desire to finish the book.

Everything was was just too carefully placed and never felt organic to me. The Queen orders Jamison to stay out of the fight, but when she finds out he’s disobeyed her she doesn’t do anything. Jamison gets taken out during the battle early on and forced to rest, but when the gang goes up against Yuki, he appears out of nowhere ready to assist. Speaking of Yuki, she turned out to be the biggest disappointment of them all. She supposedly has the ability to kill other fairies or at least be really powerful. But she was pretty much useless.

Of course with any battle there are deaths. I feel the impact of a character death is at its greatest when I actually care about the character that’s dying. Duh, right? Well, there are two characters who are killed that the reader is familiar with, but I never really felt any kind of sadness for them. Laurel and Tam cared deeply for them, but they weren’t around enough in the previous books for me to grow an attachment to them. They were expendable characters.

Another reviewer noted that with everything that was going on, and there was a fair amount of action, it actually felt like nothing was happening. I’ve been pondering how that’s possible and I believe it’s because there didn’t appear to be much anticipation or build up to any of the scenes. At least I didn’t feel any. I just went through the motions of finishing the book to be able to say I completed the series. There was exactly one part where I felt a twinge of emotion and it’s where Tamani thinks he sees Laurel die and goes off on his own to kill Klea or be killed by her. But before those feelings get a chance to develop, Laurel goes running after him. End scene. That left me so angry!

Then my biggest pet peeve about YA novels starts flying around left and right. The whole, “I can’t live without you!” trope. I really hate when that’s used because it gives off the appearance of teens ready to end their life over a boyfriend/girlfriend. They’re in the midst of a battle for Avalon, saving other fae’s lives, and they start wondering why they would bother if the other were to die. Ummm… because your friends and family are still in danger?!


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Then we get to the ending where there is a deadly toxin seeping into the land and killing Tamani courtesy of Klea. It’s up to Laurel to save not only Tamani, but all of Avalon. And she’s all:

“She wasn’t sure if it mattered if the toxin infected her. Was her life worth living without Tamani? Was the risk worth one last kiss? One final embrace?”

So, you’re just going to forget about Avalon then?

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“He had to be alive. She wasn’t sure if she could live another moment if he wasn’t with her. What did any of this matter if, in the end, she was too late to save Tamani?”


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*inhale, exhale*


Whew, sorry about that. I started seeing red again.

The ending was your typical “… And they lived happily ever after” in true Disney fashion. In hindsight, there were casualties, but none that anyone cared about (I find it interesting that Tamani never went back to check on his niece after she lost her mother! O.o Laurel was more important, I guess.). The only thing that mattered is that Tamani got to be with his one true love forever and ever. The end. Lame.

So, I guess if you enjoyed the first three books, you’ll probably enjoy this one to some extent. But for everyone else, I wouldn’t go into this one expecting much. Overall it was a big ol’ pile of MEH.

ARC was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss. Thank you!

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

13 Responses to “Review: Destined by Aprilynne Pike”

  1. Katie @ Blook Girl

    I must admit, I was quoting each scene of The Sword in the Stone as the GIFs came up >.< I enjoy this series, too, but they're definitely not the best books I've ever read. I need to catch up!

  2. Sai K

    I don’t even know half the people you mentioned cuz I didn’t read after the 2nd book. …. And now I feel justified. Thank you. *bow* XD

      • Sai K

        @Stephanie Sinclair:
        I actually didn’t like the first two much either. Just… read them. Only reason read book 2 was cuz had already gotten it from the library. But if the rest are even worse… can’t even imagine… *shudders* Thank GOD dropped the series.

        • Stephanie Sinclair

          @Sai K:

          When I say best, I mean out of that series. Lol. This series reminds me of the Glimmerglass series by Jenna Black. It wasn’t terrible, but still not good. And I happened to finish that series to the end too.

          • Sai K

            @Stephanie Sinclair:
            Hah– same here! Regarding Glimmerglass, I mean. Can’t believe you finished the series. Props, man. Makes sense about the Wings series: but how’d you get through the last two then? Dedicated, you are. 🙂

  3. linda

    Wow, I’m impressed you made it so far in the series! I didn’t even like the first book but somehow read Book 2 anyway, and regretted it. Good to know I didn’t miss out by not reading books 3 and 4!
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  4. Gellie

    I agree with everything in this post. Like you, Wings was a guilty pleasure for me. I feel like such a hormonal teenager(Which I actually am) for saying this but the only thing I truly enjoyed in the series is Tamani… and I didn’t feel Tamani I love in this book at all. Ugh. All my feels.

    But one thing that did surprise me was David. I genuinely hated David in the previous books not because he was the love interest, but because he was soooo boring. But then, THAT EPILOGUE HAPPENED. Curious about what you thought of that, Stephanie!

    • Stephanie Sinclair


      I think I continued reading for Tamani too. Not because I’m hormonal, but he was just a like able character to me. I was curious to see if he’d actually end up with Laurel in the end.

      The epilogue was surprising and I much prefer it to how Pike really need the book. It’s interesting that she says in a way the series was about David because Destined seemed ALL about David when the previous books did not. So, yeah, I liked the epilogue. I guess it’s like the entire series was the book David wrote to Chelsea and her baby? That’s pretty neat.

  5. Lexie B.

    Ahhh, the deus ex machinas. They have this wonderful way of completely spoiling a plot. Where’s the tension, the possibility, the danger, if you know the writer can just pull magic powers out of their ass?

    Also, I haven’t even read the books, but those ~romantic quotes~ may have possibly made me gag.
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  6. Lucian Hodoboc

    Nice review! If you ignore the plot holes and the slightly annoying heroine (Laurel), the “Wings” series is a pretty interesting one. The fourth book seemed very rushed, as if the author had been under some sort of contractual pressure to finish it either in a certain period of time or a certain number of words. As far as the issue with David being able to defeat the trolls despite not having had any prior fighting experience, I think that it was mentioned in one of the previous books that the guy had a massive growth spurt and started working out at the gym during the summer. Also, the Excalibur created an energy field around him that made him bullet-proof, so I’m guessing that the trolls’ attacks were also easily manageable for him. Personally, I would have preferred for Laurel and David to end up together, and for Tamani to save and fall in love with Yuki, if only just to have a moralistic undertone about love being more important than ranks, seasons, type of cells in their bodies etc.

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