A Forgettable Ending | Review of ‘Vengeance’ (Private #14)

By Cynthia Ayala

Vengeance by Kate Brian
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Despite the disaster that turned into Reed’s birthday party, she is adamant on rebuilding Billings, refusing to let her legacy become a pile of rubble. But someone is lurking in the shadows of Billings, adamant on ending her and Billings once and for all.

Published August 30, 2011, by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Vengeance is the final novel In Kate Brian‘s bestselling young adult Private series.

Looks like Brian ditched that witch coven things very quick. There for a book then gone. Was it a gimmick? Probably, but it did give the reader a little more insight into the world of Billings and the history of it too. Although the ending here, it felt a little bit like a let-down.

Everything has come to an end and the students here are moving forward with their lives, although Reed just seems stuck in the past. She’s been such a strong character but the money she inherited and the plot of rebuilding Billings, seems incredibly detrimental to her character development to the point of annoyance. She’s a junior and she’s already reading like one of those adults who peaked in high school and then only wants to relive the golden days. Reed won’t listen to anyone else, and sure that’s nothing new, but considering the events of the last book, one would think some sense would enter this character. Not the case. It’s almost as if the author didn’t know how to evolve the character, and instead turned Billings House into a character and a plot device for this ending to center around. It’s such a disappointment because this series has such a strong beginning, one that really lent itself to be a thrilling read. But it seems like Brian wasn’t quite sure how to end the series and instead brought back a character through unbelievable means to end the mystery of why everything bad happens to Reed.

It’s a little hard to follow a character that has become static. Reed used to be a strong character with a uniqueness about her. But her need for Billings and inability to think ahead (unlike before) has turned her into a lackluster annoying character. Given how stupid she acts sometimes one almost wishes that she would either grow up or just die. She’s being very careless which is unlike her character. Yes she gets into trouble but that’s always been due to people stalking her and going after her, not that bridge has sailed and for most of the novel she is being stupid, her brains that worked so hard to get her into this school have faltered.

It’s hard to say this but this series should have ended after their trip in the Bahamas, or be reworked to present something else. It just comes off as Reed regressing rather than growing. How sad considering she had such a strong personality.

Now that’s not to say it’s a terrible read, it’s not as great as it could have been, but it’s not terrible. There are a lot of tension driven moments that lend to making this a redeemable novel. And it certainly does close the chapter on the Private series which leaves the door open and closed at the same time. She does change a little bit and finally figures out how to save herself. No more “we’re coming Reed,” which has driven the entirety of the series where she’s scared out of her mind, too scared to do anything, but she saves herself. But to be fair, she wouldn’t have to if she hadn’t done so many stupid things.

As the last book in the series, you want to love it, but it’s hard. Noelle Lang is probably the only character that has growth in the series while the others have leveled off. The plot is sort of eerie, but the ending leaves readers yawning because it was just more of the same. It’s a hard book to love after the opening arc was so brilliant. Not everything should last forever, and this series is proof of that. (★★☆☆☆ | C)

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