After Kat and the gang defeated the shadowy evil at the Pollitt's place, we were left floating in the airship, with more than a friendship brewing between Pepper and Kat.
Next thing we know, Kat and Pepper are scurrying up a rope ladder, trying to reach the airship before their cleverly placed dynamite sticks go off. Sure, they had narrowly escaped death...again...but that's just how Kat loves life - fast, gritty and always on the edge. If not for her, Pepper and Martin, who would defeat the darkness? Even with them always pushing back, the darkness will always be there. Hopefully it will not reach the same stage as it did with the zombies, but lately the darkness has been growing. It's finding its way in to corners, creating a gloom over everything - would there be another uprising? One thing's for sure, there are a lot more creatures from the dark than there used to be, including their latest kill - gargoyles.
Their new focus on gargoyles has led them to a dilapidated church, abandoned some 20 years previous. Nothing seems right, but they know why. The darkness has entered this church, in a way unlike any they have encountered before. Would this evil be as easy to beat, especially when they have to do it under the watchful eyes of the church?
Kat and the gang jump full throttle into this church With life always on the edge, fast paced and never knowing whether they'll get through a day, it's hard not to take advantage of each moment. That attitude leads Kat and Pepper down a path they never thought possible. When they are caught in a loving embrace, by Martin and Kat's mother, they are rushed toward marriage. Luckily, Kat's mother is able to find a lovely hotel for them to have the ceremony at, and they all head there for the weekend to plan, but -as with all things Kat - nothing is quite what it seems.
They arrive at the hotel, all in a flutter. Kat is overwhelmed by beauty, love and marriage, which is nothing like the Kat we all knew. Is she changing, or is this all part of a sinister plot? Why do the ladies who've just checked in look so different, pale with bright red lips - almost as read as blood? Why does it seem like everyone is falling for Pepper? Why can't Kat seem to remember anything important and what on earth do bats have to do with it?
Let's only hope Kat and Martin can get to the bottom of this problem, before the problem flies out of hand and Pepper finds himself between more than a rock and a hard place...
What I Thought
I have yet to be let down by the brilliant writing from Sam Stone. This third instalment of the Kat Lightfoot mysteries is no less brilliant than the other two. Again, Stone has chosen to keep the overall premise of fighting the darkness as the main story of her mystery. She has also kept with the theme that each book, while fighting off darkness is key, also starts at a slightly different time and involves different minions and settings. I, personally, find this to be one of the reasons that her stories are so addicting. It is nice to know I am going to sit down and enjoy the gang, steampunk brilliance and lots of action, but I also love the fact that I know that there will not be any repetition and I will have loads of surprises awaiting me!
The characters in this story, outside of Kat and the gang, are very well developed. They have depth, emotion and we are given enough detail to be able not only to picture each of them, but to know what faces they would be making when they are talking, feel the emotion exuding from them and even believe (completely) the surprise turns they make take in the story. I love this, as all the characters are real and plausible, rather than finding myself thinking ' err, I wouldn't have seen him doing that, how disappointing' I find myself thinking 'damn, i knew that guy was bad news.' It's great!
I also found that we are delving even deeper into the main characters of our story. We are getting to know even more about Pepper, Kat, Martin, Kat's mother and even Holly! Unlike a lot of series, I like that they characters have many layers and depth, giving us more insight into them with each story, rather than building the characters in the first book and just leaving be.
The plot to this book was done perfectly, and was completely believable - with the understanding and knowledge of what we have come to expect from both the darkness and from vampires. The pace held its own, ensuring that the story had twists/turns exactly when they were needed and that you were never left waiting for something to happen to boost the story - there was always something to keep your interested piqued and your mind craving for more.
I also love that this book ends with an option for so much more from Stone and the Lightfoot mysteries. I, for one, hope she doesn't plan to stop here. I want to here so much more of the gang's adventures.
OVERALL: This book blew me away. I would highly recommend this book and the entire Lightfoot mysteries, as they are addicting. They are great reads for adults and even down to YA, probably over 15-16, with the dark details. They are great for a fast read - if you want to sit for a few hours and just immerse yourself, but are also great for a pick-up read if you only have minutes to spare. The depth and breadth of writing make this book one not to be missed and the skill from Stone will make you fall in love with Kat, Pepper and Martin more with each page.