The beautiful mind is at it again with CALICO: book two of The Covenant of Shadows (TCOS). TCOS has to be the literary fiction of supernatural paranormal if that’s even possible. It’s beautiful prose. CALICO begins where Grey left off; in a sort of calm. But things definitely not resolved for Gabrian Shadwell. Gabrian has to go before those pesky Elders again, and Cook does a good job of making you feel her anxiety, not only there but throughout the story. In short, Gabrian has a LOT going on, not only in her short hazy past as a Boregan, but in the way of her newly developing, colorful gifts.
Cook infuses powerful emotions in this second installment of the saga, both negative and positive, and the writing is superb. The dynamic between Shadow Walker, Shane, and Borrower, Gabrian is captured in these words spoken by Shane.“As long as there are stars to shine through the darkness of night and there is breath to fill my lungs, there will never be a place in this world or the next that my heart won’t find yours.” Bonito!
The strength of CALICO resides its mystery, suspense, and the complexity of its characters. When the story begins, things appear to be black and white where good and evil are concerned, but when it heats up (literally) and the plot thickens, all bets are off. Things definitely aren’t what they appear to be as one of the final chapter headers read: “A FRIEND, A FOE, OR SOMETHING IN BETWEEN. Cook takes the story to the limit and the characters and readers to a chilling place we only heard about in Grey: Erebus.
CALICO is one of those reads of the savoring kind. Try it out. “Following the narrow lip of sand that kisses against the grassy shoreline, Gabrian drifts down the beach, following the moon as it dances in the distance upon the ocean’s smoothened flesh.” Mmmm...
Cook also subtly blends in a bit of philosophy in this genre-defying piece. “There is always something good to fight for. And so, because of this, I [Shane] try to carry that measure of gratitude with me as a reminder to keep breathing, keep believing, and keep fighting for those precious moments.” And, “Not taking advantage of a chance to help someone is a wasted opportunity to witness one of life’s precious miracles.”
The pacing in CALICO is such that it never lets up, even in the final pages. I was compelled to read the final chapter twice. This one easily gets my highest recommendation. Soooo looking forward to the next book in TCOS series.