Child of a Dead God by Barb and J.C. Hendee is the sixth book in the Noble Dead Saga. The preceeding books are; Dhampir (Noble Dead), Thief of Lives (Noble Dead), Sister of the Dead (The Noble Dead), Traitor to the Blood (The Noble Dead), and Rebel Fay (Noble Dead). This novel marks the end of the first Noble Dead series, however the authors have already started a second series oddly titled The Noble Dead II. As a reader, I wish they would have titled the new series differently to cut back on confusion by newer readers. At any rate, here are my thoughts on this novel.
The plot of this books picks up where Rebel Fey ended. Magiere, Leesil, Wynn and Chap are following a path that is little more then a feeling of Magiere's. They are seeking a mysterious artifact. They have little to go on aside from her dreams. Welstiel and Chane are trying to stop Mariere's group for several different reasons. There are also a couple of sub plots added in such as, Chane's wavering feelings about Welstiel and their new found group, Magiere and Leesil's relationship. Magiere's heritage, and finally Chap's role in the entire thing. While it does sound like there is quite a bit included in this book, for the most part I was bored and disappointed while reading it. It seems, much like the last book, there is a lot of traveling a little action, then more traveling. Don't get me wrong, I like it when authors include the smaller things in novels, yet at the same time too much of a good thing can ruin it and to me that is the case with this book. I found myself wanting to skip ahead and read about something different, rather then traveling and the like. By the end of the book the only plot line I really cared about anymore was that involving Chane. The rest just lost my interest and never recovered.
The characters in this book are largely the same as those from the previos books; Magiere, Leesil, Wynn, Chap, Chane, and Welstiel to name a few. In the first few books these characters were fantastic, three dimensional, witty, and `real'. Yet, much like the plot, in this book the characters (excluding Chane) became two dimensional and flat. They no longer had the extra spark that made them special, they are average or even below average characters. There are also times when it feels as though the Hendee's lost a character or two partly because of how many characters they decided to put into a given scene. There are a couple scenes in particular where a character pops in says a couple lines, then seems to disappear again. The dialogue seems to be the same as in the previous books, but again, I felt something lacking in the dialogue. Where in the past Magiere's musings added to the story and character development, this time around it comes across as more whining and grates on the nerves. I wish I could pinpoint exactly what changed in this book, and to a small degree Rebel Fey, to lessen my enjoyment of the books but I can not. The easiest way to say it is, for me, the characters didn't work nearly as well as they did in the past.
A couple criticisms about this novel:
1 - Too much traveling. For the most part, the book is divided up into two groups of people. Magiere's and Chane's and both groups do extensive traveling. So much so that as a reader I craved something else. I understand the need to show some traveling in a book, but I think it was way overdone here.
2 - The lack of any real character development (aside from Chane). For the most part how the characters end in book five is the same as they end in this novel. For the culmination of a six book series, I was rather disappointed by that. I expected there to be a great deal of development and progression, and sadly that is not the case.
3 - The ending. Without giving away too much about the end of this book, let me say that it is very anti-climatic. For a series to build up to this moment, and then for that moment to be merely brushed aside because the authors want to continue with the series (ala Nobled Dead Saga II) is very disappointing. It makes it feel as though reading the six books wasn't worth it.
A couple positives about this book:
1 - Much like the previous books there is that one comedic scene that really works. Fans of this series may recall the sausage scene with Chap in a previous book. In this one there is a particular scene where Wynn tries to brush Chap. Funny stuff.
2 - Chane. I know Chane could be considered a secondary character, but in my opinion the majority of the scenes he was in he stole. He was far and away the best character in this novel. The most developed, sincere, and real.
I really wanted to like this book. I have long recommended Dhampir to people looking for something new to read. Yet, in so many ways it seems that the authors went away from what worked in the past, keeping it a relatively small scope and focusing on character conflicts. Maybe they simply tried to do too much with this novel and as a result nothing seemed to mesh together very well. It seemed almost everything I liked about the previous books was missing, or changed dramatically. The end result is a book that I simply could not wait to end. I would have enjoyed extolling this book, and series, but I simply can not. I will still recommend Dhampir, and most likely the next three books as well beyond that I will suggest readers enter at their own risk as they end up as disappointed as I am.