Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2020-03-21 20:01:39 UTC
Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a bad book -- I'd say about 3.5
stars, but the first book in the series was a *great* 5-star debut,
so my hopes were pretty high.
This book still has Jane, so it has that going for it, and if you
liked her, you'll end up liking this book, but let me (unfairly)
set that aside and tell you my problems with the book:
*************************THERE WILL BE SPOILERS***************
1) Aside from Jane, all the other characters feel like shadows of
theirselves from the first book. Rather than continuing to show
why they are interesting, Hunter just assumes we will find them
interesting based on their history.
2) This is particularly true of the vampire lord Leo, and is one
of the worst failings of the book. In book one, Leo and Jane had
an interesting, prickly but engaging back & forth relationship. In
this book, for rather unconvincing plot reasons, *that* Leo is
completely absent, and the Leo who does appear does things that
will make it very hard to impossible to bring back that relationship.
And he's not even *compellingly* crazy.
3) Jane's romantic life is a complete hash. We get one reasonably
hot almost-sex scene that gives an interesting glimpse at what a
full-on romantic encounter between two more-than-humans could be,
then Jane ends up with Mr. Milk-toast, despite leading on the other
guy time after time. Not to mention that even after the kids are
kidnapped and the quest should be engaging Jane's full attention,
we get several episodes of inappropriate flirting and innuendo.
4) A female vampire hints broadly to Jane that she has important
information, and Jane smells the rouge-raiser on her, but never
gets around to talking to her. Hey, didn't the exact same thing
happen in book one? Didn't Jane beat herself up about it then?
Unless there is some unrevealed spell or something and we're
*supposed* to think this is odd, I call trainwreck.
5) The whole bad-guy plot seems overcomplicated and hard to explain.
This causes lots of dead-time in the "woo-woo room" where Jane reads
documents or gets info-dumps from other characters.
6) I didn't like the whole way the young-rogues were handled. Yes,
they were raised by black-magic: Bad! But that's not their fault.
Given that the ex-marines have nets capable of incapicating vampires,
the whole business of taking their heads seems extreme. In
self-defense, yes. To prevent a kill, yes. As a policy, no. In
fact, the two encounters Jane has with young rogues seem to leave
her sympathetic to their plight, but she doesn't make the leap that
maybe putting a price on their heads is wrong.
7) In fact, the denoument seems to argue that anything allowing the
ten-year feral period to be shortened is wrong. Yes, black magic,
human sacrifice: wrong, we get that. But if there is a way to keep
from having to chain potentially intelligent beings in basements
for ten years, would that be so bad? Jane seems to buy into the
whole visiting-the-sins-of-the-fathers thing the crazy priestess
8) The whole shifting to a male saber-tooth thing is forced.
Apparently it's to lay some important groundwork about beast/Jane's
new abilities, but it's deployed very limply and does nothing other
than establish that Jane can shift male now -- [s]he just sulks in
a ward the whole time of the shift. How can you turn into a
saber-tooth tiger and not do something awesome? (There are a few
other forced bits/hints about Jane/Beast, like Beast walking in
Jane's skin and her remark about Jane being only a killer. Interesting,
but totally un-followed-up-on).
9) Lots of to-ing & fro-ing rather than plot. Jane goes places,
then she goes back to places, then she goes a third time..
Anyway. Perhaps that list is too harsh. I *did* enjoy reading the
book, it's just that I was looking for something as good as the
first book. Next time for sure :-)