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2.5*. Disappointing - disappointing 'love' between the leads, disappointing baddie...the tale dragged.
on 8 September 2012
This was a much-anticipated book, as AI books always are for me, but there was something missing from it. Or rather, many things were missing: intrigue, romance, sex, danger...and not that much of anything seemed to be happening until around the last third of the book.
The blurb provided by amazon, which is word for word accurate to the back cover...is inaccurate to the actual tale itself; in fact, I wondered who wrote it/whether that was the blurb from the planning stages of the book, rather than the finished object. I mean, Caine didn't seem to want to seduce Cassie at all; in fact, she did the running, more out of curiosity to experience 'romance novels' (as provided by the cur Briggs during her captivity) than out of wanting him. Yes, they did get to have 1/2 scenes, but they were all instigated by Cassie and Caine seemed kind of an unwilling participant. I don't recall Cassie being at all 'both charmed and frightened by Caine', in any way. She never doubted him at all, not even when her visions foretold that he might hurt her...like I said, totally inaccurate blurb.
The first scene where they nearly ended up in trouble could have been avoided...if they'd simply made a call to Salvatore, to establish if Harley was really in danger, or if she had a doppelganger...a bit of a TSTL moment that was entirely predictable. If they had called, especially after they discovered the baddie's powers and intent, then the other biggie event in the tale could have been planned for. I know, I know, Caine and Cassie were on the run, but neither the vamps nor the weres would have harmed them, so there really was no reason not to call.
The tale felt as if it had been written as AI was under contract to put another tale out, but it seemed lazy and lax. Caine, a character who'd previously been an anti-hero, who'd then defied death and had been transformed into a purebred were, should have had a kick-bottom (sorry, you know what I mean, but we need to try to get it past censors) tale, but this so wasn't worthy of him...Cassie might have had her visions, but she really didn't contribute anything else to the tale - she couldn't fight, she couldn't shift...
With the way the last tale ended, a bit a la Harry Potter, with the Dark Lord becoming embodied in a teenage girl, with the looming possibility that the prophecy would be fulfilled and doom and gloom would be on the way, this needed to be an almost frenetic/fraught tale, but there was no sense of urgency, and it seemed far longer than necessary. I'm not really sure why Styx, Viper and Roke had to feature at all in this tale, as they barely did anything; all Roke did was stay in his hotel room and translate symbols...twice; Stxy and Viper seemed to be underground for most of the tale, and the big thing about having the meeting in such a secretive, remote place was...not really necessary.
For me, the only positive in this tale are that hints are dropped rather heavily about one of the Ravens, who we have met before, and no doubt, he will soon get his own tale. Yes, I will read it, as I do with everything this author writes, but this book is not a great addition to the series. Roke came to life a bit more as the tale reached its end stages, and he'll probably also be in line for his own tale at some point.
Overall, this was readable and did have some action in the last third of the tale, and yes, the course of the tales may have been altered, therefore taking the rest of the series in a different direction, but overall, it lacked passion, fire, danger and intrigue.