This book contains the three elements that are always the key to a good read, in my opinion;
First, dynamic characters. Though due to the nature of Kaleb and Sahara's backstories, it takes a while to get to know them well enough to be truly invested in their happily ever after. Especially Kaleb, because with his past, and his motivations shrouded in mystery, he comes across as a morally ambivalent (at best!) character for most of the book.
Second, an intricate plot. Singh introduced Sahara's abduction waaaaaay back in Visions of Heat, but the mention was so brief you would almost certainly miss it. Is it possible she has been planning this storyline for several years? She has definitely been developing the mystery around Kaleb for the last few books. And even as far as halfway through the novel I was still not quite sure what-all was going on--a nice change from so many books where everything is laid out in the first three chapters and you spend the rest of the book just waiting for the characters to figure it out.
Third, an amazingly complex, evolving world to provide backstory, conflict and infinite possibilities. Without crossing the line into providing so many details as to be overwhelming, Singh has created a futuristic world to serve as a backdrop for this series that is vibrant, fascinating and unforgettable.
AD is a fantastic narrator. She has narrated the entire series and has kept her voices and character interpretations consistent throughout. Her pacing is good, and she dramatizes dialogue without overacting, which is always appreciated!
This is a fantastic book, worthy of Singh's talent and the grand scope of this series. However, be warned; do not read this book if you are only going to be able to lend it half an ear--you really need to concentrate, because the story moves quickly and there is a lot going on in every chapter. I tried to listen while grading my students' math tests and finally had to give up and rewind because I kept missing things!
Also, this story is not a light-hearted romantic comfort read. It is quite dark in places, as both protagonists have tortured pasts which effect them on every level. This novel is also distinctly short of those cute, amusing, funny pack interactions we are so used to enjoying in many of the other Psy-Changeling books. Be warned! You'll love the story,but this is definitely not the book to start if you're in the mood for a fluffy summer romance.
This entire series has been about Sookie's growth as a character. In the first book we met a social outcast, a recluse, crippled by her telepathy and terrified of herself. She was the perfect victim, because she had no self-confidence, and was semingly unable to take control of the events effecting her life. In the past few books, and especially in this one, we see a stronger, smarter, more resiliant Sookie, who has learned to value herself and her abilities and who has decided to take control of her own future--as much as anybody can.
While I, like most other readers, enjoyed the ins and outs of Sookie'sromantic life throughout this series, the underlying story was of her coming into her own.
"I also knew, that if he turned away from me at this moment, I would survive that, and I would find a way to flourish...I'm Sookie Stackhouse, and I belong here."
If you're a shipper with a particular adgenda, beware, you may be disappointed. If you've been reading between the lines, you can pretty much guess how this story ends. The curtain comes down on Bon Temps with only the faintest shaddow of vampires in the wings. And while Sookie's future is uncertain, it's not without the hope of love on the horizon.
Absolutely. I came very close to calling out from work so I could spend some quality couch time with this novel. I resisted the impulse, but I definitely spent my entire commute and my lunch break with Johanna Parker's excellent narration keeping me company.
If you've put time and emotional energy into reading this series for the past few years, read this one. Yes, there is a distinct air of "tying up loose ends" at various points throughout the book, but you'll be left with a sense of satisfaction for having seen Sookie through to the end of her journey.
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