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. :)
Disappointing - Quality Sacrificed to Create Drama
I think the author knew that she wanted certain things to happen in the end, so she came up with events that would lead to that conclusion- BUT, the e..Show More »vents were out of character for both Mac & Corrigan. Corrigan goes from being mr. understanding and patient to mr. unreasonable and irrational, and it doesn't make any sense. There were two main instances where he got angry, to different degrees, with Mac for prioritizing saving lives over whatever was going on with them. Has he MET her? And, seriously, he's the leader of the entire shifter world, like he doesn't know about that kind of sacrifice? I don't blame him for being upset or disappointed or whatever, but it made no sense for him to be mad at her, especially the time towards the end of the book (won't give it away, don't worry). It was totally obvious why Mac did what she did, and although I wouldn't expect him to be happy about it, I WOULD expect him to understand. The fact that he didn't understand makes me just not like him very much. He was being a selfish jerk, yet Mac is the one who is apologizing. Also, it's one thing for him to be mad, but another thing for him to act the way he did etc. That was just ridiculous, and I found myself rolling my eyes. Mac also did things totally against her character. She's pig headed and stubborn and doesn't give a crap what other people say or think, yet suddenly towards the end she lets another character bully her into a ridiculous situation that was so contrived. I get why she agreed to what the other character wanted, but not the manner in which it was carried out. The author tried to give a reason or why she went with things that way, but it fell flat. Plus, both of them were total idiots in the park while waiting for the threat to arrive, like they knew when or how or where it would come? Seriously? I know that the author is trying to keep the tension and drama going, but it just didn't really work. It was too extreme and, well, it just annoyed me. The events were just too obviously plot devices to achieve certain goals, instead of events that made sense within the context of the story and the characters.I will, of course, listen to the next book whenever it comes out because I'm totally attached to the characters. If it's as ridiculous as this one though, then it will be my last.
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!