Review: “Darkest Hour,” Rob Cornell

Pros: Good story
Cons: Some details
Rating: 4 out of 5

Rob Cornell’s Darkest Hour: An Urban Fantasy Thriller (The Lockman Chronicles Book 3) starts up six months after the previous installment. Craig Lockman, the ogre Adam, and Teresa are recruiting an army of supernaturals to work against the vampires. Craig’s daughter Jessie is picking up new and scary ways to use her powers far faster than anyone’s comfortable with, and if Teresa had her way she’d just kill Jessie. The vampires, meanwhile, are taking over a small town in Alaska and turning more people into vampires at great speed. Gabriel’s spirit is still hanging around, and possibly gaining entirely too much control over Jessie. And don’t worry–the author hasn’t forgotten about Kate.

Jessie and Teresa are at each other’s throats. As usual in this series, there are no examples of good relationships between women. When Kate falls in with a group of supernaturals looking for Jessie she ends up at odds with a pixie woman named Mica. I’m just waiting to see whether in book four certain female characters inevitably end up at odds. (Just for reference, this is an old pet peeve stereotype of mine.)

Jessie’s powers get pretty nasty under Gabriel’s guidance. There’s some very dark violence in here (content warning). He also manages to accomplish a lot, so there’s some serious stakes in terms of whether Craig will get to keep his daughter, and whether the vampires will overcome Craig’s army. This is not a series without consequences and stakes! Things sometimes go in entirely unexpected directions.

When Craig’s army heads to Alaska via hastily cobbled-together portal, it doesn’t seem to occur to anyone to have someone go through first and phone back with a status report. Maybe there are no cell phone towers there, but that at least should have been addressed. I’m also dubious that one could “crop dust” vampires with holy water in Alaska in the middle of winter–wouldn’t you basically be making holy snow instead of rain?

It’s nice to finally see the ridiculous numbers of supernaturals around starting to wreck the veil of secrecy that’s kept them hidden from mortals. Many urban fantasies take place after supernaturals have ‘come out’, so it’s interesting to instead see a timeline in which we’re just experiencing that.

I enjoy seeing Kate finally have some real agency in these books. She gets to have a serious effect on the outcome, and it’s wonderful.

I kept having a number of questions I’d note as I read along, then the book did a credible job of answering almost all of them. Also, it gets really tense waiting to see whether Craig and Kate will be able to get Jessie back. All in all this is a decent installment in the series, and I’ll probably continue to read more.

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Review: “The Demon’s Den and Other Tales of Valdemar,” Tanya Huff

Pros: Fantastic Valdemar stories
Cons: Veeery sappy!
Rating: 5 out of 5

If you aren’t familiar with Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar books, then Tanya Huff’s anthology of short stories set in Valdemar, The Demon’s Den and Other Tales of Valdemar, would probably still work for you. You still get the bare bones of the concept, with Heralds being chosen by intelligent horse-looking Companions and going out into the world to do good. That said, it’s always good to have the background. These seven stories, collected from a variety of Valdemar anthologies, all feature the exploits of Jors and his Companion Gervis. Because they’re Valdemar stories, they’re about hope, and optimism, and things that bring tears to your eyes. If that isn’t your bag, skip this one–but it’s done very well. I find I have to be in the right mood for Valdemar, but I love it when I am.

In the first story, Jors gets trapped in a rockfall in a mine and has to be rescued by a bitter blind woman with no legs who happens to be a brilliant engineer. In another tale, he meets a young man who believes he’s a Herald and does his best to act as one even though he has no Companion, and the various Heralds’ Companions insist on going along with it. In story number three, he’s tapped to mentor young Herald Alyise on a circuit, and finds his will tested by the attraction between them.

In another tale, probably the first one with much action on Jors’s part in it, he has to track down a group of raiders and rescue a young woman, with his only help being that of an elderly Herald with his aging Companion. In a rather plain yet touching story, Jors finds a toddler whose father is dying and has to deliver him to his nearest relative, without having any experience with children. Then Jors encounters bandits again, including one named Morgaine who has a great impact on him. Finally he’s pressed into visiting his family, where he has to help rescue a missing man, sort out his cousin’s desire to be some sort of musician, and face his grandmother!

Probably my only negative at all was the need for something more in the story of the bandit Morgaine to explain Jors’s super-strong reaction to her. My guess is this might be something that would have made more sense to me if I had more experience with Valdemar (I’ve read a couple of books, but not many, and it’s been a while). I would have liked for it to stand better alone, however, if that’s the case.

Jors is a fun character. He enjoys the ladies (in a non-repulsive sense), he’s a rather earnest young man, and his Companion has an exceptionally dry sense of humor. The stories are very sappy, but as long as you go in expecting and wanting that, it’s just fine. I found tears in my eyes after several of the tales.

The most important thing is that this is a crossover between one of my favorite authors (Tanya Huff) and an excellent fantasy world (Valdemar), so how could you possibly go wrong?

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Non-Review: “Satan’s Highway,” Tim Miller

Every once in a long while I post a non-review: a brief blurb in which I tell you why, exactly, I was unable to finish reading a book, so you can decide for yourself whether it might interest you anyway. (When I do this, I don’t review the book on Amazon or Goodreads.) In this case the book is Tim Miller’s Satan’s Highway.

I was expecting something bloody and cheesy and fun, which I was in the mood for, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t also want good writing, characters, and story. All men in this book are lecherous, dangerous assholes–that’s pretty much the extent of that characterization. The pacing and tone of the book are rather monotone–things go from a character musing about driving to having a tire blow with no real change in tone, pacing, tension, etc. The whole thing just feels very straightforwardly presented, which doesn’t do much for the atmosphere, something I see as vital to horror.

Lawyer Katie and her four friends get kidnapped after their tire blows. A family of rednecks kills one of them and engages in some necrophilia and torture, and then the lot get kidnapped by a second set of crazies. Now, I don’t mind blood and gore when it builds the atmosphere and tension and such, but it was so straightforwardly presented in this case that it just felt like straight-out “torture porn”. There was no real atmosphere, tension, etc. If that interests you, great, you’ll probably enjoy this book. I, however, saw no real point in it and shut the book about 20 percent of the way through.

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Review: “The Cyanide Process,” Jennifer Rahn

Pros: Interesting worldbuilding; some good characters
Cons: Boring in places
Rating: 3 out of 5

Jennifer Rahn’s The Cyanide Process is about genetics researcher Gina Delgado, who has been disgraced and sent to work on a mining colony. Her new boss only gives her dribs and drabs of information about what they’re working on, so she’s never quite sure what her research is being used for. Meanwhile, her boss, who’s also a medical doctor, gets involved in finding marriage matches for the colonists–a challenge in a plague-stricken region.

There’s some interesting worldbuilding going on here. In particular, the disintegrating remnants of a now largely cyborg-driven semi-pirate fleet called the Yoshinogari is quite interesting. The member of the Yoshinogari we primarily deal with, Kurosawa, is also a very interesting character. For someone so ruthless, he has some fascinating good sides. Other characters are wonderful as well; Gina becomes friends with Leslie, one of the women brought in to make a match with one of the miners, and the two of them have a very expressive friendship. Their interactions become one of the most lively parts of the book, and Leslie’s character seriously improves Gina’s (up until Leslie’s arrival, Gina has been entirely sulking and morose).

The politicking is confusingly labyrinthine. It felt like there really wasn’t enough time in the universe to account for all that Gina’s boss, Samuel Greigsen, was up to. I expected his work to turn out to be more of a team effort, and I think that would have been more believable.

I must note for future authors: if you find yourself writing about how your main character is bored to tears over an extensive period of time, consider that the reader might be bored along with them. The in-depth discussion of mining processes is something I found seriously boring, and since a lot of the genetics material was at a level over my head, it read largely as technobabble to me. For reference, I’ve recently had college-level basic bio and anatomy, but haven’t taken any particularly genetics-oriented classes. If you have, you might find this material more engrossing than I did. The story didn’t entirely pull me in until more than 90 percent of the way through the book, at which point it actually became quite interesting. Much of what makes the Yoshinogari particularly noteworthy happens during that last ten percent.

As a minor note, but something spelling nitpickers might care about: hopefully at some point the author will learn the difference between discrete and discreet. Also, the Kvinesdal Elite mercenaries, who show up in a good chunk of the book, seem to get their name misspelled in multiple ways.

This is a decent book, but it just didn’t wow me, and it definitely had a few flaws.

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Review: “Autumn Cthulhu,” ed. Mike Davis

Pros: Some fascinating tales of dread
Cons: Too many vague, ‘unfinished’ endings
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

You can definitely see some patterns in the stories of the anthology Autumn Cthulhu (edited by Mike Davis). There’s a certain style of horror story where the end feels vaguely… unfinished. There are some good reasons why many horror stories end this way; ending a story before the final moments allows the reader’s imagination to fill in the gaps, and often that can be more horrifying than anything a writer can come up with. However, it can also be a bit of a cop-out: the writer couldn’t quite figure out how to best end the story, so they just kind of didn’t. Many, if not most, of these stories fall into this pattern. So if that isn’t your favorite type of horror–it definitely depends on the reader–this probably won’t be your favorite anthology.

In Scott Thomas’s “The Night is a Sea”, reporter Emerson checks out a house where a woman mysteriously disappeared (except for one hand) in an explosion that left the house largely unmarked. He ends up caught up in (somewhat random-seeming) events, helping another woman to save the world. Evan Dicken’s “Cul-De-Sac Virus” leaves us contemplating the origin of all of these faceless, nameless inhabitants of suburban developments. In Robert Levy’s “DST (Fall Back)”, a man finds out that his ex-lover, Jasper, is missing, and may have gone mad. This is one of the more successful and self-contained cosmic horror tales in this volume, I think. Richard Gavin’s “The Stiles of Palemarsh” introduces us to Ian. He was supposed to go to Wales on a honeymoon with his wife Cari, but he seems to have gone alone instead. Things unravel quite well from there.

In Damien Angelica Walters’s “In the Spaces Where You Once Lived”, Jack has Alzheimer’s and his wife Helena is determined to care for him throughout it. He keeps talking to something beyond the house they’re living in, something about a doorway. This is a poignant tale that tugs at the heart strings. Wendy N. Wagner’s “The Black Azalea” introduces us to Candace, a widow who’s still mourning her husband’s death. The azalea bush he planted seems to be going black and mildewed, and the blight is spreading. (Trigger warning for a quick-but-nasty animal death.)

Pete Rawlik’s “Memories of the Fall” is a strange little diversion that involves a writer reading a few stories and giving out advice at a school. It’s hard to get into without spoiling anything, so I’ll leave it at that. Another tale about writers is Michael Griffin’s “The Smoke Lodge”. Five writers get together to remember an old friend, and end up confronting his ghost.

Laird Barron’s “Andy Kaufman Creeping through the Trees” sees a high school cheerleader trying to get tickets to a Tony Clifton show for her father, who’s dying of cancer. The local fixer, Steely J, promises to hook her up with something, but it all goes bizarrely wrong. Most of the stories in this volume have a creepy tone to them; this one is irreverent and weird. It also has one of those mostly-implied endings, to better effect than some of them. Another freaky tale is Nadia Bulkin’s “There Is a Bear in the Woods”. It places us in a bizarre version of America with an ‘Alliance’ and a ‘Church of True Light’. Congressional candidate Rick McFarland gets tricked into getting involved with a weird ritual of some kind. This is another tale with a fairly random ending, but it has its moments:

It seemed natural to walk through an open door.

Jeffrey Thomas’s “After the Fall” sees a worldwide windstorm spring up, followed by the appearance of mysterious, monstrous white fossils in the sky. It’s overly random to my taste, and doesn’t really go much of anywhere. S.P. Miskowski’s “Water Main” introduces us to a woman who’s at the end of her rope with her live-in boyfriend, Jim. She decides to look at another apartment on a whim, and very much regrets setting foot across the threshold. This is another tale that ended just a moment or two too soon, but it really does beautifully convey Nancy’s frustration and annoyance.

John Langan’s “Anchor” is a particularly long tale. The language is somewhat poetic, which is appropriate since two of the characters are poets. Will, the main character, is a fisherman and guide. His father’s friend, Carson, keeps moving around the world, and Will and his father seem to spend a couple of nights standing guard against a bizarre monster that comes looking for Carson. Honestly, I’m not even sure how to put it into words; you’ll just have to read it. It definitely goes on at length, and one story-within-a-story gets a little tedious, but the tale is ultimately beautiful. In Trent Kollodge’s “End of the Season” a seasonal worker on a close-knit island decides to invite himself to the islanders-only shindig going on at a mysterious rumored site. This one feels more satisfying than most of the others, and doesn’t feel unfinished. It goes just as far as it needs to.

Gemma Files’s “Grave Goods” is a fascinating tale of prejudice, culture clash, science, and monsters. Aretha, an archaeology intern, helps out at a dig in Canada on tribal land. Some rather unusual skeletons have been unearthed, and two of the women on the dig are at each other’s throats regarding whether the skeletons must be left in place or taken for study. This was one of my favorite stories in this collection. Another excellent story is Orrin Grey’s “The Well and the Wheel”. Emma must clean out her father’s house after he dies, and she makes some terrifying discoveries. Unfortunately the ending is a bit vague for my taste.

Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.’s “Trick… or the Other Thing” was my least favorite tale in the book. The basic notion–that maybe spilling your angry wish to Nyarlathotep over a drink is a bad idea–is great. But the narrative is choppy, surreal, fractured, and jumbled. I feel like I’m supposed to nod sagely and exclaim how brilliant it is, but really it just gave me a headache:

Where was September and its possibility of remorseless, the August angel who opened the brief flight from misery with spoonfuls and skin?

Daniel Mills’s “A Shadow Passing,” in which a boy’s mother sees things, is okay, but again the ending isn’t satisfying. Ann K. Schwader’s “Lavinia in Autumn (Sentinel Hill)” is a very short poem, which, while good, didn’t leave a lasting impression on me.

Ultimately, I felt like too many of these stories went for deliberately bizarre or unfinished endings, sometimes at the expense of the narrative. That said, there are still some creepy and delicious cosmic horror thrills in here, and you may find it worth a read.

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Review: “Home From the Sea,” William Meikle

Pros: Wonderful, dreadful cosmic horror tales
Cons:
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I almost skipped William Meikle’s Home From The Sea because the cover on Amazon looked cheap and chintzy, which made me worry the author would have skimped on other things like editing or just didn’t have much experience. But I was in the mood for some Lovecraftian cosmic horror so I decided to read it anyway–and I’m glad I did!

Stories range from a tale about an Inquisitor torturing a dark creature for information in the 1500s to a modern-day Twitter story. Most tales, however, fall in an in-between place, in the past but not too far back. Most of the tales take place in such areas as Glasgow, Oxford, London, or even Newfoundland. There’s a lot of booze and tobacco. Mad scientists build inventions to repel Russian ICBMs or render battleships invisible, with horrible consequences and side effects.

Doorways are opened. Strange and compelling rhythms tear holes in time and space. A massive creature destroys entire swaths of London, and a strange ooze eats people in Oxford. There’s a Sherlock Holmes story in which an odd green substance found in a brewery starts turning people into slime.

We are announcing our presence into the ether. And who knows what might reply?

Some of the tales are quite tense! Men try to rescue a whaling vessel, only to find themselves trapped on a ship full of tentacled creatures. A man’s experiments have called down a strange creature that kills all who come into contact with it.

“Turn it off,” I yelled into his face.
He replied, remarkably calmly. “That’s a problem, Duncan. It isn’t switched on.”

I recently read a collection of stories in which it seemed like most of the stories ended a moment or two too early; this collection didn’t have that problem. Nor did it go too far in the other direction and over-explain. The stories felt like they were the perfect length–enough to pull the reader in and make it fairly clear what’s happened, without trying to make things too mundane or easy. If you enjoy cosmic horror and mysterious ripples in reality, Home From the Sea is an excellent choice to read.

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Review: “Shadowed Blade,” J.C. Daniels

Pros: We get to learn plenty more about Kit’s family
Cons: A lot of confusion at first
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Shadowed Blade (Colbana Files Series Book 5), by J.C. Daniels/Shiloh Walker, starts off very confusing with some weird thing about a healer who can supposedly heal cancer (which should be impossible), and Kit and Justin going to investigate, and then–uh, time skips ahead and moves on to other things without explanation. But anyway, Kit and Justin end up on the run from an extremely dangerous witch who’s been sent after them, possibly having to do with the jobs Kit is taking from President Whitmore. Justin ends up hurt and Colleen nurses him back to health. Then Justin and Colleen both go missing, and Kit’s extremely powerful psychic friend Nova helps Kit go after them. A figure from Kit’s past shows up, triggering some very interesting revelations. And Whitmore turns out to be more than he seems.

Daniels seems to spend the initial part of the story being as cryptic and circumspect as possible to avoid explaining what was going on with the mysterious healer. I wish she hadn’t. It wouldn’t have harmed the story any to explain what was going on (we find out toward the end of the book), and the confusion just totally discombobulated me for the first portion of the book. Sometimes writers get a little too determined to keep all their secrets for the last moment, and I think that can undermine the story in cases like this. (Note: I have since found out this might partially be related to a stand-alone story set in this universe. I think that when you’re going from “book four” to “book five” you should be able to expect non-confusing continuity. And I still believe the relevant details that came out later in the book could have been worked in at the beginning to clear things up.)

Just a content/trigger warning for some: presence of explicit (consensual) sex, and mentions/threats of rape. This novel could also have used one last editing pass to catch missing/repeated/misspelled words (could be worse, though).

Kit and Damon and those around them start noticing some interesting discrepancies regarding President Whitmore, and this becomes quite the interesting plot. Unspooling what he’s up to is intriguing, and oddly tied in to Kit’s past. It eventually becomes clear why the President of all people would want Kit’s help, which is nice.

Poor Colleen and Justin. They really go through hell in this book. It’s a reminder that Daniels writes people who’ve been traumatized extremely well. It’s tough to read about, but handled beautifully.

I’m relieved to see some of the events that come up in this book, but I don’t want to get into detail and spoil some of the surprises. Damon seems a little one-note this time; I’m hoping we see more of him than just his super-protectiveness of Kit again soon. Overall while this installment had some problems that the earlier books lacked, I’m still enjoying the series and looking forward to reading more of it.

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Review: “Dark Legion,” Rob Cornell

Pros: Interesting storyline and characters
Cons: Damn that one stereotype; too many supernaturals
Rating: 3 out of 5

Rob Cornell’s Dark Legion: An Urban Fantasy Thriller (The Lockman Chronicles Book 2) isn’t as good as the previous book, Darker Things, but it isn’t bad. Craig Lockman, his old girlfriend Kate, and their daughter Jessie are now living in the middle of the woods, away from all of the supernaturals that might still want to harm them. Then Craig’s old colleague and lover, Teresa, shows up, looking for help against some vampires who took her sister. Craig doesn’t want to leave Jessie and Kate, but when Teresa is kidnapped he decides he has no choice. He sets off for New Orleans, leaving Jessie and Kate behind.

I’m not sure why everyone in these books thinks they need to manipulate Craig into everything rather than level with him. It would be nice if they’d at least try leveling with him now and then.

I wish Teresa had just been an old and close friend and colleague rather than a former lover. We’re back to that rivals stereotype where women must jealously compete over a man’s affections. On the plus side, when it really comes down to it Teresa doesn’t ultimately screw Kate over, so it could have been worse. Hopefully in future volumes there are women who don’t have a thing for Craig. Kate still could have been angry at Craig for leaving her without the jealousy over Teresa, and Craig still could have cared enough about Teresa to go after her even if they hadn’t been lovers. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of chemistry between Craig and Kate.

There are definitely too many supernaturals in this installment. One of the things that made the first book unusual among urban fantasies was the idea that most humans are still completely unaware of the presence of supernaturals, and there aren’t that many of them in our world. There are so many in this volume that it’s impossible to believe they’re in any way unnoticed. This made the book feel much less unusual or unique.

Trigger warning for some rape mentions (vampires are definitely awful creatures).

I’m still interested in this ongoing prophecy plot involving Jessie and Craig; we get to see a bit more of that here, but it certainly isn’t resolved in any way. Also, Jessie is left with some interesting things going on, so it’ll be good to see where that goes. Hopefully the next book will get back to what made the first book so strong. This one does have a really good raid on a hotel full of vampires, so it has that going for it!

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Review: “A Curse of Memories,” Lee French & Erik Kort

Pros: Riveting arc-plot!
Cons:
Rating: 5 out of 5

In book one, Chavali the Seer was brought back to life after her clan was slaughtered, and she swore to aid the Fallen in their quest to reunite with their Creator. In book two, Chavali and her new companions had to investigate a murder and a mysterious prophecy. In book three, Chavali and her companions had to settle a murder mystery, find a missing boy, and help out a bunch of werewolves. In book four, they had to find out what happened to Harris, rescue a missing princess, and stop a plan to drug an entire city. Now, in A Curse of Memories (The Greatest Sin Book 5), there’s a traitor among the Fallen–someone had to reveal Harris’s courier task, since he was targeted specifically for the statue he was transporting. The thing is, due to the oath they’re bound by, it should be literally impossible for anyone to betray the order without visibly suffering from the Wasting. Princess Aislynn of Shappa comes along, takes over from Eldrack, and locks down the town and tower until the traitor can be found. One of the healers is murdered, and Chavali ends up charged with the task of finding the murderer.

Colby and Chavali’s interesting relationship gets delved into a bit more in this volume since, of course, they’re both trapped in town for the duration in a very stressful situation. The authors really give these two the right amount of antagonism vs. interest–it’s enough to string things out and build up a believable situation without being ridiculously overblown. Chavali is also starting to treat several people almost as though they’re clan even though the ceremony hasn’t been done yet; it’s a nicely subtle change.

The authors remain incredibly good at dropping little crumbs of info here and there and then coming back to them later. They build up a rather complex arc-plot over the course of the series, and in each book some small part of it becomes clearer, and some part of it grows and leaves more questions than it answers.

Another thing the authors excel at is creating dreams and visions. I find most dreams and visions in books are fairly random and not very useful, and could easily be skipped over without the reader losing anything. In here, the visions and dreams mean something and are important to Chavali’s growth and to the plot.

The characters are wonderful. Colby and Chavali and many of their friends feel like real people to me. They’re flawed but strong, and even bad guys have reasons for what they do. I love the fact that Robin, who started out as a mysterious madman, is shown to have the capacity to love.

I cannot wait for French and Kort to put out more books in this series. Even though each individual book’s main plot is wrapped up relatively well by the end, there’s still a strong arc-plot that I can’t wait to see more of.

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Review: “Illusive Echoes,” Erik Kort & Lee French

Pros: Still loving this series!
Cons:
Rating: 5 out of 5

In book one, Chavali the Seer was brought back to life after her clan was slaughtered, and she swore to aid the Fallen in their quest to reunite with their Creator. In book two, Chavali and her new companions had to investigate a murder and a mysterious prophecy. In book three, Chavali and her companions had to settle a murder mystery, find a missing boy, and help out a bunch of werewolves. In Illusive Echoes (The Greatest Sin Book 4), Chavali and her friends are sent to find out who killed their friend Harris and regain the cat statue that he had been transporting. Of course when they get to the city where the statue ended up, they get caught in the thick of various schemes going on. A group called the Drowned Ones is distributing a drug called Blue Death that may connect with Chavali’s spirit powers. A gang called the Bloodflies is causing mayhem and destruction, and probably has the statue. Then Princess/Inspector Ambrye goes missing, and the queen agrees that our heroes can have their statue in return for their aid in finding Ambrye.

The Drowned Ones say that everyone must die and be reborn in order for the Reunion with the Creator to happen. I’d like to have seen the characters comment on the similarity between this and the Fallen’s own circumstances and goals, but it doesn’t get brought up. I honestly think that’s my only negative from this book.

The character building is still fantastic. Karias is becoming more and more involved, and he isn’t what I expect from some sort of intelligent horse/spirit/whatever. I look forward to finding out more. The leader of the Drowned Ones only shows up for a short amount of time, but there are already hints of an interesting and complex character there. We finally find out more of why Eldrack seems to know so much about the future and why he’s kept it from Chavali, and it makes things very interesting. Chavali still tends to be more pragmatic than sentimental, but I caught her once or twice convincing herself that she was doing something for a pragmatic reason when it was relatively clear it was more. I do love her gradual character growth. We also see a bit more of Robin this time than the madman we know and hate.

The plot is sufficiently complicated that it kept me guessing for quite a bit, which I loved, yet it does get untangled sufficiently I think. There are multiple gangs involved, multiple art thefts, a royal family full of suspects, a group of inspectors full of suspects, a group of zealots who seem to have an interest in Chavali… The spirits of Chavali’s clan are also restive, and I’m looking forward to finding out where things go with that. Up until now they’ve been little more than a power source, and now we find they may have interests and an agenda. We also still don’t know what the deal is with the mysterious cat statue.

I’m really enjoying the individual mysteries in these books as well as the overall arc-plot and wonderful characters.

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