The book summary really didn't do this book justice. I found it an excellent read with a lot more complexity than I was expecting..
It follow..Show More »s the well-trodden path of a magical world separate to the "muggle" world with rules about not letting the non-magical people find out about the reality of magic. However it establishes a good universe through which the story unwinds. The characters are all rich and have a depth to them, and the author doesn't separate them into distinct good/bad groups.
After reading this book I immediately downloaded the next in the series. I rarely do that.
To top it all off, the narrator is brilliant. Her performance significantly enhances the experience and adds an additional dimension to the main character.
She is so good that I would pay to hear her read a telephone directory.
Book 2 is still keeping my interest. It is not off the charts Awesome, but still has potential. It really is a good story. Although it does keep my..Show More » interest I am not sitting on the edge of my seat with excitement about what might happen next. I can put the book on pause and not think about it until I am bored again. But there is progress in the storyline and she received some nice new powers, I just want her to kick more butt!!! :)
Finally, the last chapters of the book were on the verge of being intense. :) Fist time I actually feel a little in suspense at what might happen ne..Show More »xt. Yaay. I hope it meets my expectations. :)
Have you ever started a book in the middle of a series where some amount of time has past for the characters between the books (i.e.: 10 years later)...Show More » When that happens they will usually summarized things for you during the main storyline. That is exactly what this book should have been (a Summary). With the exception of one thing all of which happened over the last few chapters. This book should have been book 3.5 (Not book 4). I want to give more details as to why but even though I am disappointed I don't what to give any spoilers.
For those people who are really into the drama behind the relationship buildup (not sure if that is a spoiler or not) then that is what this book is about. I think I could have pulled out about 5 chapters and put them at the beginning of the next book to get the same result. You know when a writer completes a novel and it is not quite long enough for the publisher... The writer will go back through the book and add what I call filler, more details here and there and maybe a side adventure, With the exception of a few chapters, that is how I feel about this whole book. I would not be surprised if she wrote book four first, then decided she needed something in between and wrote this one.
Another thing that bugs me is the ending didn't really fly for me. The writer pushed the last part without any real reason behind it. Yes it did add some senseless drama, but the urgency didn't make sense to me, the writer was clearly trying to hook you in for the next book (skip a little common sense and BLAM, you have DRAMA), which after reading this book I can see why Helen Harper panicked, however I was already invested, I know the Lord Alpha wouldn't be manipulated by the last event like the drama suggests, it's out of character. I have no doubt something will be explained in the next book to iron out the ridiculousness of the final drama. Still like I said the last few chapters were good, it felt more like the beginning of the book should not the end.
I am with HIGH HOPES, the next book brings it... !!!
Unfortunately, this final installment was a little bit of a dud for me. It started out alright, with some fun scenes that quickly deteriorated to the..Show More » illogical. In a way, I was reminded of the first book a lot. Mack was obtuse in some seriously annoying and (to me) unrealistic ways, and the entire novel is centered around her anger and resentment at feeling like she has to be self-sacrificing. Added to this is the fact that, suddenly, she does not feel like it is appropriate to hold her friends accountable for their behavior! I don't know where this attitude came from, but she just kept rolling over for others and then complaining about it in her head the entire time. At one point, she justifies it because of her fear of being alone. That just DOES NOT wash with me. If she really felt concerned about being alone, she wouldn't have dropped her lifelong shifter friends (Tom, Betsy, Julia) without so much as a spare thought. Also .. Alex, Solus, Corrigan, Aubrey, the pink demon librarian, Mrs. Alcoon ... how is she alone?!
The bad guy is never really fleshed out this time around. He has got to be the least memorable of all the bad guys in this series, which is completely at odds with the fact that he's supposed to be the biggest nasty they've faced so far. What were his motives? He reminded me of a robot with no feelings that just went through the motions, as if he were just a vessel for someone else to work through.
Also, there are some very unnecessary scenes in this story, which is even more disappointing because of how well I thought the previous book was handled. There is a scene in an Unseelie club that just seems pointless, a sudden love interest for Solus that does not make any sense, and some random and sloppy gallivanting that could very well have happened behind the scenes.
I wanted to give the story 4 stars due to my relief at a happy ending ending and some closure on previously unexplored subjects, such as Mack's secret dragon nature and her mysteriously absent family. Honestly, with the way Harper had been increasing the severity of character deaths in the previous books, I wasn't expecting either Mack or Corrigan to be alive by the end of it all. Then again, maybe that's how it should have ended, because the bogus happy ending is really what dropped my rating down to 3 stars.
******Extreme Spoilers!!!!****** Before I address the ending, here's an example of Mack's rediscovered obtusity: after the first hour of this book, it will become painfully obvious to the reader that Mack is pregnant. In my experience, it is most definitely NOT the last thing on a woman's mind if she is a reproductively healthy female. Mack does not even admit to herself that there is a possibility she is pregnant, despite the fact that Mrs. Alcoon practically starts knitting baby booties and painting the spare bedroom in pastel colors. Barfing, stomach aches, detesting the smell of coffee, sudden uncontrollable shifting--come on! It would have been much more believable for Mack to recognize the possibility, then refuse to investigate out of fear or denial or putting it off because she's so busy being a martyr. Even in this scenario, we could have been introduced to her thoughts, worries, and curiosities on the subject. As it goes, Corrigan tells her she's pregnant in the last hour of the book--which I also find to be a ridiculous scenario--and she doesn't even have a "Holy crap, there's something invading my body and it's going to take over my life" moment. Her reaction is simply, "Oh, rats, I guess that makes sense! Babies are ... hmm. Well, time to go be badass again!"
Oh, and Corrigan! Talk about character backsliding! I know he was dumped publicly, but he becomes more of a hostile decoration in this book than anything. I can totally dig some good arguments, but he and Mack don't even have a real conversation until the big baby reveal at the end. Pardon me for not buying that for one second, by the way, seeing as how in the previous books they were drawn to each other like magnets and they are supposedly soul mates.
And the big happy ending? Yes, they fly off into the sunset together, but in doing so they abandon everyone they know and love. In what world is it better to leave everyone for the wolves and run away to live in hiding while simultaneously destroying your best friends' wedding? I never thought Mack and Corrigan would turn out to be cowards, but that's what this ending was. I wish they had found the inner strength to acknowledge that their own happiness was worth standing up for, even if it meant losing some political power or being criticized.
In fact, the ending doesn't make sense from any viewpoint to me. In the story, everyone depends on Mack uniting the races as a neutral power and Corrigan being a newer, gentler breed of Lord Alpha. With their faked deaths, the races will never remain united and the shifters may very well return to their old massacring ways. Despite their arrogant demands, there is no way the Summer Queen and the Arch Mage have the ability to force Mack to stay away from Corrigan--especially considering she's been pregnant with his babies the whole freaking time. That ship sailed waaaaay before they even got to the pier. As it stands, the pair end up leaving the world exactly as it was before their rise to power.
Why couldn't Corrigan just retire from being Lord Alpha and be Mack's right hand man? Why couldn't she marry Corrigan as Lord Alpha and have her children fostered in Fairyland every summer, then educated by the mages for the rest of the year in order to maintain a balanced relationship between the races? That little bit about dragonkind being cursed by auto assassins--well, there are ways to break a curse. If Mack could go off to Russia on the off chance of finding an almost extinct race of midget to get some precious metal that a friend of a friend read about in an old history document, then is it really so hard to believe in a happily married couple that kicks butt and saves the dragon race from genocide? Certainly not! Married couples can still have passion, witty dialogues, inner turmoil, and withstand hardships that separate family members under stressful circumstances. Just look at dual military families!
Helen Harper, if you read this, I hope you write one more book in which Corrigan and Mack return with some adorably chubby toddlers to fix these wrongs! BAH!