Mithrendiel's Reviews > The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect by J.A. Saare
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Aug 16, 12

it was amazing
bookshelves: urban-fantasy, all-time-favorites, favorites-2012, vampires, kick-ass-heroines
Read on August 01, 2012

Words really can’t describe how much I love the Rhiannon’s Law series. I read Dead, Undead, and Somewhere Inbetween and Renfield Syndrome in early 2012, I still feel like they are some of the best novels I’ve read all year. When I love a series this much, I tend to set my expectations fairly high for future novels. I stress about new releases, worrying they won’t live up to my expectations. But I am thrilled to report that this third installment is not only a fantastic addition to an already great series, it may even be the best of the series.

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”

Ripple Effect opens with this ominous quote, and it sets the stage for everything that is to come. After finishing the Renfield Syndrome, we all knew bad times loomed in Rhiannon’s future. She’d made deals with demons and fallen angels, defied fate, and cheated death on behalf of a loved one. Paine warned us there would be painful consequences, and we all knew we’d see them played out in Ripple Effect.

And so we do.

This novel picks up where the last left off, and immediately drops Rhiannon into a shit storm. The synopsis here says it all. Our girl, Rhiannon, finds herself between a rock and a hard place. Marius is in town demanding she give up Sucker – the only weapon that can kill half demons and prevent the terrible future we saw in Renfield Syndrome. Marigold’s amulet continues to be a source of great power and corruption. And worst of all, Marius’ sadistic half-demon sire is a constant threat. Many characters we love suffer in this book, and a great many things are broken and lost. But through it all, Rhiannon remains determined, consistent, and indomitable.

Rhiannon is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favorite female protagonists. Not since Mercy Thompson have I run into such a self-sufficient, bad ass heroine. My heart really goes out to her for the decisions she’s forced to make in this book. It seems like no one has her back, understands her decisions, or supports her choices. Even the ever loyal Goose abandons her. I can’t really blame them – no one has seen what Rhiannon’s seen. She’s lived through a terrible version of the future, and witnessed the hell on earth the demons will create if given the chance. She is the only one with that clarity of vision, and as such she’s forced to play the role of Cassandra, knowing the future but unable to make anyone believe in her predictions. I’ve never seen Rhiannon so lonely, but she doesn’t balk, or whine. She stands tall, makes the hard decisions, and fights her own battles. I didn’t think it was possible for me to love her more, but I do. She’s magnificent in this book.

Ripple Effect is a darker novel than its predecessors, but it is not a story about hopelessness. Nor is it a story about defeat. J.A. Saare could have easily gone that route. This is a middle book and she’d have the rest of the series to fix everything she broke. What she gives us instead is complete cliff-hanger free story that is heartrending and even terrible at times, but ultimately triumphant. It left me with a huge smile on my face, and an eagerness to read the next book of the series.
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