I kind of skipped over the second book of this series (basically, I got the urge, and book three was on the library shelf, while the second wasn't, soI kind of skipped over the second book of this series (basically, I got the urge, and book three was on the library shelf, while the second wasn't, so I went for book three), but I kind of picked up on details of what happened in book two. I'm not sure that having the same villain showing up over and over again is such a good idea.
Jade is meeting up with her mother in Tangier, since her mother was heading from the US to Spain on business, and Morocco was a goodplace to meet in the middle. There, Jade is disappointed to find herself still at odds with her mother over the fact that she refuses to be a 'proper lady'. Then her mother is abducted and accused of murder, and Jade has to go chasing to Marrakech to rescue her.
I did find the sorta mystical elements a bizarre combination with historical (between the World Wars) mystery. And for a white woman, Jade is accumulating quite the number of tattoos. I very much enjoyed the interplay between Jade, who refuses to be 'proper', and her mother Inez, who once was the same, but has become very proper, to the disappointment of her daughter and (it is hinted) her husband. The relationship was the highlight of the book.
I also found the historical elements very nicely drawn, including the casual racism and sexism of the era without making me want to grind my teeth in reaction.
I look forward to reading the other books in the series eventually, even though I feel no urge to go out and grab the next one right away....more
I loved the stories in the collection, but taken together, I did have some issues. First of all is the main character, Booth, a timid closeted gay. HeI loved the stories in the collection, but taken together, I did have some issues. First of all is the main character, Booth, a timid closeted gay. He's a little too passive and insecure, despite being likeable. It makes you wonder just how he managed to finish school, let alone find a job. He seems more like someone who would end up a shut-in. And all the stories involve things happening to him, and very little where he actually does things (without being almost forced into it). The only real initiative he shows is in the story where he is seduced by an Incubus and manages to banish it before it can drain him completely.
I was also left puzzled as to what time period it is set in. My guess is late Victorian, or very early 20th century. There are things like elevators, but it is all so very... proper.
I definitely would have bumped up the stars if there'd been a story where he was a little more active than reactive.
(PS, one of the best parts of the book was the introduction from a scholar analyzing the characters papers as historical documents, looking at them as parables on themes, not events that actually happened to the writer)...more
I came away from this book having enjoyed it, but also having some quibbles. For one thing, if it was so damned easy for Annja to find the Mask of TorI came away from this book having enjoyed it, but also having some quibbles. For one thing, if it was so damned easy for Annja to find the Mask of Torquemada and find out where the treasure it points to is, why was it necessary to blackmail her into doing it? Why didn't the bad guys just do it themselves?
Also, the ending appears to create a major change in her relationship with one of the two immortals she hangs around with. One could argue that he's tried to kill her in the past, but she never *knew* he was being the bad guy. Now she has proof. The only question is, in a series written by a variety of authors, will that simply disappear?
Still, recommended to fans of the series, but probably not a good place to start....more
One thing that I took away from this book was that it was a master class on building likeable characters, even the 'villain' of the book, which bounceOne thing that I took away from this book was that it was a master class on building likeable characters, even the 'villain' of the book, which bounces between the headspaces of a number of characters.
Gabriel is a biologist and native. He has disappeared from work, leaving behind an apartment with the names of a long string of environmental disasters written all over the walls and doors. He feels guilt for one particular environmental disaster using a defoliant he helped design, and which killed a lot of people in a reservation, including his mother and sister. The story starts out with a suicide attempt on the coastline damaged by his defoliant, interrupted by the rescue of a group of people from the ocean.
Mara feels equally guilty, but because she'd moved to Toronto to pursue and art career, coming home only after the disaster killed her mother, grandmother, and best friend. Now she's painting portraits of the dead and hanging them on their homes so that they will be remembered.
Sonny is a kid who lives at the motel with his silent father. He wields a hammer with great enthusiasm, and I wondered if he ever went to school.
Nicholas Crisp is a salty local who dispenses wisdom and advice.
Soldier is a dog that seems to be more than a dog.
Dorian is the CEO of Domidion, the company that Gabriel worked for. He's dealing with another environmental disaster in Alberta on the Athabasca reserve, his disappearing scientist, his wife having gone to Florida and is now impossible to reach, and a personal health crisis.
You would expect Dorian to be the villain of the novel, but to be honest, he might even have been the most sympathetic character in a cast of sympathetic characters. The writing had a light touch, pulling me along with a chuckle, while still addressing some pretty serious issues like GMOs, corporations, and the cover-up of environmental disasters.