Felt like a good quote was needed for a subject header. Forgive me that one. :)
I agree with the majority of complaints and praise given by the other three star reviewers (in particular, Anthrophile's). Like everyone else, I decided to give TotL a try because of my absolute love for the Leandros series.
In a previous review I did (for Thurman's "Nightlife"), I mentioned that the Leandros books are golden if the voice of the narrator is one that you can enjoy. If not, well... Cal Leandros is a pretty strong character; you really get a sense of his personality and beliefs from even the most mundane of comments, so if you don't like his tone, the story might be a long haul for you.
The same holds true for our latest protagonist - Trixa. Her personality comes through in just about everything she says. Things are rarely spoken or described without a flavor of sarcasm, deceit, or a healthy boast of self-confidence. However, while I liked Cal's voice, I wasn't as fond of Trixa's. In the moments when she remarked about her faults (whether as a joke, or to give the readers a few flaws with which they could relate), it felt forced. When Cal makes those kind of remarks about himself, you know he means it. WIth Trixa, it felt hollow. Anyone read Meyers' stuff? Y'know how Bella always said she was pretty average, and yet all the world loved her? Sort of like that. It's hard to find merit in one's admitted "bad points" when the rest of the world isn't backing you up on them. In other words, to me, Trixa seemed too perfect.
BUT.. and this is a huge but, by the very end of the book (and I'm talking the last twenty pages or so), I understood her opinions and feelings a little more. If I were to read TotL a second time, I dont believe I'd feel as strongly about the above. Sorry - that sounds so vague, but I can't elaborate without spoiling things!
Last, Trixa can be repetitive. The evils of Heaven and Hell and the broken judgement of Zeke and the brightness of Eli's smile or smoothness of Solomon's voice.. some things were drilled into the pages. Yeah, yeah.. I know Cal does the same at times. But I like hearing what Cal has to say. Again, with Trixa, that wasn't always the case.
The ending was a bit of a deus ex machina. If this was a standalone book, it would have rubbed me the wrong way. Being part of a series, I didn't mind it as much (because I have hopes that the big shocking moment of the novel will be developed further along in the series).
...so, as you can see, I will continue reading.
I do lack a fondness for Trixa, but I didn't outright dislike her, either. Neither the characters or the story completely won me over, but I've enjoyed Ms. Thurman's other novels so much that I have faith that this series can make a turn for the better.
All of that said, the one comment I hope people read, if any, from this review is the following:
If you are new to Ms. Thurman's books, I really, really, REALLY recommend that you try the Leandros series first. I most definitely wouldn't recommend Trick of the Light as a gateway to the Thurman urban-fantasy experience.
However, if you are already a fan of the Leandros series, then give Trick of the Light a try. It's not Ms. Thurman's best work, but it has a lot of her trademark wit, pretty people, plot twists, and unique takes on legendary creatures.