by Jacqueline Carey
Hardcover, 437 pg.
Read: October 7 – 10, 2014This one just made me mad.
Yes, there was some very good character development. Some of the backup stories that we’ve been waiting 3 books to get resolved, gets resolved. There’s even a great, epic climactic battle. Daisy gets to be kick-ass on more than one occasion.
But…but…but. It started with her being terrible, careless and incompetent.
And even then, I’m getting ahead of myself. Things start off with Daisy and her closeted werewolf partner, Cody, investigating what seems like a pretty run of the mill case (from the point of view of the reader, not the people being terrorized by the supernatural person). While they’re moving on that, there’s some follow-up on the events of the last book — namely a class action lawsuit against the local governments due to the pain and suffering that the bystanders and spectators weren’t protected from.
Now basically, due to miscellaneous shenanigans, if the settlement reached is too large, the city of Pemkowet will have to sell off a bunch of land — Hel’s demesne. And things will get bad from there. So, basically, it’s all about stopping the trial — or winning it. Which will be difficult as the opposing lawyer can bend the wills of whomever he wants.
So, what do Daisy and the rest do? Highlight to see the spoilers if you want: They cook up one harebrained scheme that may work, and then they wait months for the trial to start. That’s it. And sure, the scheme works — for a day or two, until the opposing lawyer proves he’s not an idiot, figures out what they’re doing and stops it.
Could they have come up with other things to try? A back-up plan, maybe? Could they have investigated just a smidgen to figure out who was behind these antics and maybe find a way to stop things before it got to trial? Nope.
So because they don’t do enough, a big battle between Daisy and the eldritch community and the people that Daisy couldn’t bother herself with investigating, and it is an awesome battle featuring nifty and tragic things — like any good climactic battle would. And trust me, I’d like to spend time talking about and thinking about how great a lot of what happened at that battle was, but I can’t. Because the only way we got there was through Daisy neglecting her duties as Hel’s liaison. It’s not apathy, and I give her too much credit for being distracted by her love life (and how distracting can it be, really, with one date a week?).
You know what Ivy Tamwood, Rachel Morgan, Toby Daye, Kitty Norville, Harper Blaine, Kara Gillian, or Anna Strong (to name a few of UF’s better female characters) would’ve done in this situation? Something. They wouldn’t have waited to see if Plan A would work, they’d have done what they could to prevent Plan A from being necessary.
Oh yeah, and the love story ends up concluding the way we all thought it would — with a little Deus ex machina thrown in to get it there. At that point, I didn’t care, really.
I was initially disappointed to find out that this would be the end of this series, but now I’m absolutely okay with that.