Top positive review
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Starts out light, then turns dark and heavy. I loved it!
on 8 April 2010
Cal and Niko Leandros are hired by Abelia-Roo to recover something which has been stolen from her Romney clan. Oh, and by the way, the stolen item is a coffin which contains The Plague of the World and, it seems, the seals are not completely holding The Plague inside any more. If Cal, Niko, and Robin Goodfellow can't find the person who stole the coffin before the seals break down completely, there will be death on a monumental scale.
I was very glad to see that author Rob Thurman has presented this story from the perspective of Cal, the half human/half Auphe (demon)young man who has now reached the age when he should be considered an adult. But only if his brother Niko will let go long enough for Cal to make some mistakes and learn from them. Ahh, but that's a problem, because when Cal makes a mistake, people - or things - die. The first portion of this book had some seriously laugh out loud moments. I was going to use a quote to illustrate that, but there were so many I decided to just let you read the book for yourself and enjoy them as you come to them. Then slowly this road trip from hell turns in a dark and intense direction. In a previous book Cal and Niko had confronted the Auphe and killed them all. Really? No, not all. But the revelation of that little mystery is part of why this is such a wonderfully written book. By the end of the story I found myself sniffing and tearing up and needing a tissue. As would be expected when dealing with The Plague of the World, there are some seriously dangerous situations our band of happy warriors find themselves involved in. When you add Delilah, Cal's werewolf girlfriend into the mix and then toss in two more characters from previous novels, well, I never knew exactly where we were going next. This author was able to handle a pet peeve of mine in wonderful fashion. She inserted information regarding the back story of the characters and from her other books in the series without making my eyes roll back in my head from sheer boredom. Quite an accomplishment and a sign to me of great writing skill.
Is this a stand alone book in this series? Definitely yes because of the skillful blending of current and back story. This entire series of books is very highly recommended by me. This particular novel had me fully engaged from the very first page. It is very dark and intense by the time the final confrontation happens, but with this genre that is to be expected. The episode in the farmhouse was quite disturbing, but then so much of urban fantasy can be disturbing on many levels. I sat down and started reading the book and I would have willingly read straight through to the conclusion if my eyes had not demanded rest. I'm hoping that the two characters in the epilogue are not gone from the series forever. I really like both of them and don't want to say goodbye.