With the number of main and important secondary characters killed off in this series, i'm starting to wonder if Darynda Jones is a pen name for GeorgeWith the number of main and important secondary characters killed off in this series, i'm starting to wonder if Darynda Jones is a pen name for George R. R. Martin....more
This was a difficult book for me to rate. I was left feeling very.. disappointed at the end of the last book; not because the book was worse than theThis was a difficult book for me to rate. I was left feeling very.. disappointed at the end of the last book; not because the book was worse than the others but because of how it ended. (view spoiler)[Main character Amnesia, is, I think, the single worst possible trope to use for long-running series fiction. It often leads to lazy plotting but far worse I think, it takes away the thing many readers love most about long-running series - continuity. It turns this main character, who has been characterised in pieces over many books, into someone completely new, and if that was the reader's desire why wouldn't they simply have started a new series? (hide spoiler)]
So, it was with some reluctance I moved on to the next book. And Darynda surprised the hell out of me. Not only was the use of this particular trope _not_ allowed to become an excuse for lazy writing, but it was played up to the reader better than I have ever seen it done, with nods and winks to reader knowledge that Charley no longer possessed, and plenty of entertaining moments were drawn out of this. It was still a trope, sure, but it was a trope played to best possible effect and that has to be respected.
On the whole however, it will be interesting to see how long this series can continue to run. It has a lot of heart, and listening to the audio towards the end even made me teary. A lot of emotions packaged into an entertaining story, but the suspension of disbelief with relation to the fantastic elements of the book was lost long ago. I mean, (view spoiler)[Charley is literally a god from another dimension, and now Reyes is revealed to also be made of god-stuff and has accidently sworn to cast himself from the plane? (hide spoiler)]. I'm not sure if it's content or delivery, but I had less trouble accepting Sandman Slim becoming the new lord of Hell than I have this story.
Come to think of it, it must be delivery... there have been plenty of ridiculous fantastical plots out there that I haven't blinked twice at. That warrants further analysis.
tldr; if you liked the previous eight, you'll probably like the ninth volume, so go ahead and dive in....more
I am still enjoying this series and continuing, especially the audiobooks (Lorelei King is a fantastic narrator), but I find the plot has strained toI am still enjoying this series and continuing, especially the audiobooks (Lorelei King is a fantastic narrator), but I find the plot has strained to breaking even my, rather elastic suspension of disbelief. It doesn't help that Darynda tends to make terrible continuity errors from book to book, and I have been reading them back-to-back so the errors tend to be quite glaring. Even when they are minor, they irritate....more
This series continues much as it started. Good plots, great characters, irritatingly unbelievable love affair. That was unfortunate in this particularThis series continues much as it started. Good plots, great characters, irritatingly unbelievable love affair. That was unfortunate in this particular book's case the love affair between Faust and his succubus is one of the primary plot drivers, and it still doesn't feel quite right to me. It happened too quick and too completely to feel realistic - especially when the stakes are abruptly as high as they are in this novel.
That said, the book is definitely saved by the plot, which is a wonderful combination of con and heist novel, multi-layered and full of feints and deceptions. It was highly enjoyable....more
This is an interesting book, hard to guess what to make of it. On the one hand, it has many flaws - the relationship between Faust and the Succubus foThis is an interesting book, hard to guess what to make of it. On the one hand, it has many flaws - the relationship between Faust and the Succubus for instance strains credulity with the speed with which it goes from "help, demon!" to "we will never be parted". Faust tends to wander off conversationally in to what are meant to be deep and meaningfuls, particularly with the succubus or the other mages, that are meant to be character and motivation building but instead come across as stilted and unrealistic. Definite sour notes in the symphony.
That said, it's hard to tell how much of that is due to the writing, and how much is due to the narrator's performance which I don't think does the character justice in many ways.
And on the other hand, the story itself is quite entertaining. None of the characters jump out and make you love them, but the plot is solid, the magical side of the story is interesting - though we don't see much of Faust's supposed prowess in this book, hopefully in future books we'll get to see a bit more of what he can do with those cards.
The overarching plot, involving a ring from Solomon's temple and the Etruscan was fun and mystical enough, and despite its flaws the story was enjoyable enough that I picked up the next two to continue the series. More of the same would be welcome enough, but perhaps it will even improve.
The book seems to end on a bit of a downer until the epilogue. The epilogue, in my opinion, makes up for a lot of the book's flaws in one beautifully written scene - a perfect ending to the story that left me completely satisfied, a rare thing in itself.
Recommended to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy, though I doubt it would make any converts to the genre standing on its own....more