While the narrative trick that binds these three stories together seems a bit forced, the stories themselves are natural and necessary components in the development of Miles' character. You will love the story behind how the loveable Taura became a part of the Dendari Mercenaries. And, unless you are a heartless bastard, you will need to have a box of tissue beside you as you finish the title story.
The previous three books in the series were entertaining despite the gross flaws of the main character Stile. The author had obviously projected a wild wish-fulfillment fantasy onto his main character and it was quite disturbing at times. The protagonist Stile is an arrogant, self-serving jerk.
So, it was quite a pleasant shock that the best book in the series so far was the one that was almost entirely absent of the Stile character.
The elemental magic described in the books was unique and developed well throughout the story - although it was difficult to believe anyone would go to the trouble of producing ice cubes out of thin air when she works at a restaurant that probably has an ice machine!! All of the characters played to rather atrocious Southern stereotypes and only barely moved beyond that by the end of the book. The main character, Gin, has an endearing quirk of counting time in her head.
The story line was good enough that I would listen to another book in this series. I hope the characters move beyond their stereotypical roles and get fleshed out as real people.
Be aware that the sex if fairly explicit. Also, I found it odd that the author creates this world that is rife with decadence and yet all her characters are essentially militantly heterosexual.
The story worked well as background to the Newsflesh series, but it was very technical. There was a lot of background, but not much story.
This series is one of my favorite "zombie" series. The characters are so easy to relate to and the situations in the story have an immediate and real world feel.
The reader's performance was outstanding and added to the terror in very real ways.
A great first book in a great new series. Likeable characters and a good pace to the action mean that I will be returning to this series. It is almost worth the listen just for Luke Daniels delightful take on the voice of the Irish wolfhound.
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