Top critical review
Accomplished, but laboured.
on 30 December 2014
Where do I start with this book. Admittedly, I had begun to lose momentum towards the end of 'Knife Edge,' so didn't approach this book with the great excitement and anticipation I had once started this compelling series with. My opinion has been what some would call a roller coaster as I have journeyed with the characters, from moments of being completely gripped, to chapters which have felt like a complete slog.
The book begins very much where the second left off in terms of the characters, but skips into a future scenario where Callie Rose, the protagonist / antagonist / hard to place lead, seems to be a troubled, bitter individual. We then back track to see how and why she became the way she is.
Throughout the book, I found it hard to maintain pace and enthusiasm with the constant switching between the present and past - we have seen the character POV switch a number of times in many successful novels, but on reflection I feel this possibly caused the narrative to lose impetus. Whilst I wanted to find out the conclusion to the present, I found the past only served to distract me at times.
On the whole, the book ends well. I liked the ending and the way Blackman concludes the series (yes there is now another book). Hope, which was completely absent in many parts of Knife Edge and Checkmate, seemed to glimmer back into existence, providing me, the reader, with a small amount of satisfaction for reaching the end of what has been on the whole, a pleasurable reading series. Not the masterpiece that Noughts and Crosses strived to be, but I do believe Blackman has achieved something with this series.