There is so much that is excellent about this series, and this book in particular. I am really enjoying the character development of Luna and Alex. I love the fact that we do not (yet) have a love interest developing. Isn't it interesting how female fantasy writers always seem to have gorgeous hunky male harems lying around the place, while male fantasy writers just get on with the adventure, with occasional relationships incidental to the plot. As a female reader, I am loving not having to wade through incongruous sex scenes in the middle of a plot driven novel!
I am fascinated with the skill and consistency that allows the precog and divining to enhance the plot. How easy it would have been to wreck everything by making the magic provide all the answers. Instead, Alex survives each encounter using common sense and quick wits. The magic helps, but it isn't a cop out or an easy option.
My only two little quibbles (and remember this is still a 5 star review) are things that I have noticed in each of the 3 novels in this series:
1. Alex doesn't ask women enough questions. He encounters women and lets them run rings around him, mainly because he fails to ask obvious questions such as 'why are you doing this?' Or 'why do you think someone is trying to kill/abduct/squelch you?' This lack of curiosity is usually covered by a comment 'I sensed she wouldn't tell me any more, so I didn't ask.' Hmm. Not good enough. You are risking your life for her. She should be able to answer a straight question, or you smell a rat, don't you?
2. The additional male characters all behave in incredibly one dimensional ways. Lyle is self serving, cowardly and stupid. Every time. Onyx is a loud brutal bully, every time. Morden is an enigmatic cold fish, every time. It is like they are cardboard cut outs wheeled on stage, saying their 3 lines, then being wheeled back off. I get that they are bit parts, but it would be fantastic to see them breaking the mold a little? Morden showing curiosity? Onyx showing anything other than aggression? Lyle being generous? It would deepen and broaden the story while adding to the delicious moral maze that Jacka has built so well.
I think these novels are some of the best urban fantasy (yes, I know this one was mainly set in a country house) available. I love item - premise, plot, pace, delivery, main characters... Believe me, if the two whines above are the worst things I can muster, then these books are really excellent.