Excellent end to the trilogy,
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This review is from: Suicide Kings (Wild Cards Novel) (Mass Market Paperback)
and has to be the darkest, most brutal Wild Cards yet, which is saying something with the number of titles there are now and is certainly not one for the kids or grandma.
The central theme of the book is child soldiers and they and every character involved suffers and none are immune from death. Both new and old characters are maimed and killed, some within the chapter they are introduced in, although this will be of no great surprise to any old readers.
For new readers the characters have been fleshed out from the first two volumes and should be familiar enough to give an indication what they have missed in the back history. For an old reader like myself the new characters are much more defined and enjoyable to read despite pining for the old ones.
I hope there is more of the new characters in the future and of the old ones a number of their final fates are recorded, especially in the case of Mark Meadows who has been in the series since the beginning despite a long absence.
There is also more dipping into the back history, Jokertown, Popinjay, Dr Finn, the Jokertown Clinic and Kimberly Meadows all make brief appearances and provide the strength that a series now this old can use.
There are a lot of story strands and there are long gaps between some that you forget about until they pop up again. As usual they weave themselves to the conclusion whereby most characters end up in the same place for the finale.
This and the finale are the weakest aspects, I just found the resolution to the three books a bit weak and an anticlimax in comparison to the rest of the quality of the whole of the third book overall.
As a series it started well, the second book being a bit weak and the third rounding it off nicely. It allows new readers to access the Wild Cards Universe at a convenient point and not at too much at a disadvantage for the back catalogue and for old readers resolutions of storylines decades old.
The greatest credit to Martin and the other authors is that they never seem to lose the quality that defines this series and plagues other franchises. Whilst not always classics they are always of a minimum quality and I never regret buying a WC title.
Well worth reading as a set and at some point in the future I will reread them expecting to get more out the second time understanding the overall story and characters better.
And definitely looking forward to Fort Freak.