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Slightly disappointing conclusion to the enjoyable CHANGELING series
on 30 November 2011
It's several months since CHANGELING - DEMON GAMES and Trey Laporte is disillusioned. Despite their best efforts, Lucien and Hag still haven't been able to locate Caliban or his sorceress, Helde, who have united the Netherworld and will soon attempt to take over the human world as well.
Trey's the only one who can defeat Caliban but he's sick of fighting and living up to other people's expectations. Fortunately, Ella (last seen in CHANGELING - BLOOD WOLF) arrives in London to take his mind off it but when Alexia becomes jealous, it reminds him how difficult his life really is and his friends don't have the time to help him work through his problems.
When Caliban and Helde bring the impenetrable Tower of Leroth to London and unleash a zombie army on the population, Trey goes missing. Unsure whether Trey has abandoned them or something more sinister has happened, Lucian, Tom and Hag must battle Caliban while Alexia searches for Trey. The fate of the world rests on whether the last hereditary werewolf joins the fight to save it ...
The conclusion to Steve Feasey's CHANGELING series was disappointing. It has the same terrific pace as the earlier 4 books, contains excellent fight scenes and as a zombie fan, I found the zombie army to be chilling. I also enjoyed Trey's personal doubts and his thoughts about walking away from the struggle, which were in keeping with his trials. I missed Philippa (whose absence is explained in passing) but loved Hag and her mandragore.
However, there's too much going on for such a slim book. Some plot strands are under-developed and others rushed. I was particularly disappointed with the Ella storyline, which seems to exist purely as a means of stopping Trey from immediately joining the battle. The problem is that Ella's now unrecognisable from her previous appearance and her motivation in finding Trey is overwrought. The romance between Trey and Alexia is rushed and the final battle something of an anti-climax. Mostly, I never got a sense of jeopardy for the main characters (although there is a death and some near misses), which reduced the stakes for me.
I really wish that the ending had been split over 2 books to enable Feasey to do all his storylines justice. As it is, this wasn't the ending I was hoping for, but I look forward to seeing what Feasey does next.