For some authors, I reverse my usual logic in the star-assignment process: they've proven to be consistent in their good jobs, so I just assume a starting point of a maximum rating and eventually go down from there.
Rachel Caine surely has a place in this empyrean of trustworthy authors. So why the missing stars
? What did go wrong in this book?
But from Rachel Caine I would have expected more.
God, I'm sounding like my literature teacher back in high school. But I felt a bit let down and there you have it, the unsatisfied-teacher talk.
So, here's a brief summary of what really had bothered me
, apart from some editorial oversights that I surely haven't enjoyed but that didn't annoy me (much).
First of all, I'm used to better heroines in Caine's novels. Bryn is somewhat plain; less clever than Claire (Morganville Vampires
), less sassy than Joanne (Weather Warden
), less assertive than Cassiel (Outcast Season
). She is just plain.
I kept waiting for her to pull some rabbits out of her hat, but she disappointed me.
The amount of villiany in the book is distributed among differnt characters. And that's good, it keeps things lively. But the one supposed to be the villainest of the villains (uh) was an unsatisfying character. Here's a direct, spoiler quote: (view spoiler)[
“I knew it’d be you,” Harte said, from a great distance away.
“Not McCallister. You. Because you never understood the good we were going to do here.”
What kind of motive is that for Harte to feel threatened by our heroine? Because she didn't share the same POV? Well, 90% of the other characters in the book didn't, either. And many of them were much more resourceful and dangerous than Bryn. (hide spoiler)]
As bad-guy's-speeches go, this is a bit on the lame side. Not that usually bad-guy's-speeches are so great... I always wonder why they have to say them in the first place, instead of just killing the hero (who invariably gets away) and be done with it.
And now, finally, for the deserved praise
Rachel Caine gives a whole new spin on the concept of "undead". And I'm talking about the kind of ideas that leave you saying "why haven't I ever thought of that before?", the ones you feel are so obvious and just so practical that you don't know why anyone else hasn't come up with them.
The plot was past paced and captivating. Definitely a page-turner, so much that I finished the book in a matter of hours because I wasn't able to put it down.